It was always going to be hard to adjudicate this ever-popular category, in what has been a gaffe-strewn year – so much so that we had to extend the category to encompass a fair range of entrants.
How quickly things fade in memory. Henry Bolton, who began the year as leader of UKIP, became the centre of a media circus when he failed to successfully dump his racist girlfriend – but only scores 2.3 per cent of the vote.
The Conservative Party accidentally leaking the contact details of its own ministers and MPs through its poorly-conceived conference app chalks up a mere 4.6 per cent.
Gavin Williamson responding to a chemical weapons attack on British soil by telling Russia to “go away and shut up” comes in on 6.3 per cent.
Boris Johnson’s burka column, which attracted criticism from senior figures in his own Party as well as a spurious official investigation, and dominate the news for a week, was nominated by 2.9 per cent of respondents.
Even Barry Gardiner being taped calling his own Party’s Brexit policy “utter bollocks” scored a mere 3.7 per cent.
Jeremy Corbyn’s confidence-motion-that-never-was almost broke ten per cent of the vote, while David Lammy’s holariois denunciation of the absence of police officers, all with a police officer standing behind him, cleared double figures with 15.7 per cent.
But there was a standout winner for Gaffe of the Year: the most disastrous stage of Labour’s excuses for pictures of Corbyn at a wreath-laying ceremony for dead terrorists: “I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved.” Present but not involved struck a chord, becoming shorthand for the Labour leader himself.