A Norfolk election campaign has gone awry after a political party delivered its leaflets to the wrong constituency.

The Liberal Democrats have been criticised for the "misleading" error which saw their North Norfolk flyers delivered across Broadland and Fakenham. 

The campaign material is designed to look like a newspaper named the 'North Norfolk Herald' and claims that "Labour are out of the race here", while promoting Lib Dem candidate Steffan Aquarone. 

People in Aylsham, Wroxham, Coltishall, the Snorings and Buxton have received copies of the leaflets through their doors - despite living in the Broadland and Fakenham constituency, where the party's candidate is Leyla Hannbeck. 

People living in the Broadland and Fakenham constituency have received the materialPeople living in the Broadland and Fakenham constituency have received the material (Image: Paul Thompson)

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The flyer reads: "As the election to choose North Norfolk's new MP draws nearer, the campaign is shaping up to be a clear two-horse race.

"Lib Dem Steff Aquarone is closing the gap on the Conservative candidate - as more and more people here say it is time for a change. With Labour in third place, many people who have backed them in the past are lending their support to Steff and the Lib Dems. 

"Labour won't win here in North Norfolk. Labour have zero councillors across North Norfolk, and local activists are being asked to head to Great Yarmouth and Norwich during the campaign. Only Steff can beat the Tories here and deliver real change."

Aylsham is in the Broadland and Fakenham constituencyAylsham is in the Broadland and Fakenham constituency (Image: Denise Bradley)


This is not the first time that fake newspapers have been used as campaign material.

Earlier this year the Society of Editors, which represents newspapers and broadcasters, vowed to "name and shame" parties and candidates who attempt to mislead voters by using this format. 

Voters have complained that the format of election material is misleading, as disclaimers about who has published it often appear in very small print.

The campaign material is designed to look like a newspaper The campaign material is designed to look like a newspaper (Image: Paul Thompson)

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The tactic has been used by the Lib Dems in constituencies across the country and has led to extensive backlash. 

The Electoral Commission, the elections watchdog, does not have any powers to regulate the style or design of leaflets but states that they must be clear about who they are promoting and who is responsible for publishing. 


Paul Thompson, who lives in Aylsham, received the campaign material and believes it was posted to "everyone in the Broadland constituency".

"It is misleading," he added. "This is irrelevant to voting in Aylsham."

The candidates in Broadland and Fakenham are the Conservative's Jerome Mayhew, the Green's Jan Davis and Eric Masters for Reform UK.

Leyla Hannbeck is standing for the Lib Dems and Iain Simpson is the Labour candidate.

Broadland and Fakenham Lib Dem candidate Leyla HannbeckBroadland and Fakenham Lib Dem candidate Leyla Hannbeck (Image: Leyla Hannbeck)

Mr Simpson said: "It shows how little the Lib Dems know about Broadland and Fakenham that they seem to have put out thousands of leaflets here by mistake talking about an entirely different constituency. 

"The reality is that all the polling, and last month's Police and Crime Commissioner elections, shows that Broadland and Fakenham is very much a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives. The Lib Dems are a very distant third."

Mr Mayhew, who is hoping for re-election, said he had received a copy of the leaflet in Snoring.

He added: "The only activity that I have received from the Liberal Democrats this election has been a pretend newspaper through my front door telling me to vote for the candidate in the next door constituency."

Jerome Mayhew, Conservative candidateJerome Mayhew, Conservative candidate (Image: Danielle Booden)


Steffan Aquarone, who is promoted on the leaflet, is standing for the Lib Dems in North Norfolk against the Conservative incumbent Duncan Baker, Labour candidate Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, the Green's Elizabeth Dixon and Jason Patchett for Reform UK. 

A spokeswoman for the Lib Dems said: "These were delivered by Royal Mail unaddressed deliveries. When we purchase this service we can only purchase it for entire postcodes. 

"We cannot stipulate part postcodes. Local authorities have the same problem when sending out residents' newsletters."