In a surprise twist to the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen revealed that everyone involved was dead and only existed in a parallel dimension.

‘This may be difficult for some of you to take in,’ said the Queen, ‘but every one here in the Palace of Westminster is a ghost. You are all sinners waiting in a state of purgatory as punishment for your crimes.’

‘This a major disappointment,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson, ‘I have been watching Parliament since Season One and this ending just seems like a terrible cop out.’

Writers of the long running drama had struggled to find an exit strategy after a series of increasingly convoluted and preposterous storylines. ‘We needed to find some way of tying up all those loose ends,’ said writer, Ashley Pharoah, ‘we toyed with a nuclear bomb or a plane crash but in the end we decided that it was easiest to pretend that none of it had happened in the first place.’

Fans of the show say that the clues were there all along. ‘The House of Lords was obviously full of people who had already passed away,’ said political historian, Professor Peter Hennessy, ‘Gordon Brown had been walking around with a deathly pallor for months and many of us had already twigged that David Cameron wasn’t really human.’

‘The whole thing had been going on far too long anyway,’ said parliamentary commentator Matthew Parris, ‘and some of the recent plot twists had stretched credulity too far. A coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberals. I mean, really…’

Many fans still remain confused. ‘I realise that all the politicians are ghosts,’ said one, ‘but were they all a figment of the Queen’s imagination or is she dead too?’ Meanwhile, others are wondering whether the recent General Election had actually happened. ‘I distinctly remember voting,’ said housewife, Mrs Maureen Grebe, ‘but then I woke up and discovered a government that nobody had voted for. Was that all part of some crazy dream as well?’

‘Why did it all have to end like this?’ bemoaned the show’s newest character, Nick Clegg, as tears rolled down his face, ‘things were all going so well for me and now it turns out I don’t even exist. What a swizz.’

The complete DVD box set of Parliament is now available in the shops at a cost of £6.2 billion.

Following days of extensive negotiations Robin Hood has finally agreed the terms under which he will work with the Sheriff of Nottingham. ‘There had to be a bit of give and take on both sides,’ said the hero of folklore and legend, ‘we have agreed not to take from the rich, and the Sheriff has agreed not to give to the poor.’

‘I am delighted that Robin has finally seen sense,’ said the Sheriff, ‘we share so much in common and we are both passionate about taking money from people. It is just that I prefer to take it from the weak and vulnerable.’

Under the power sharing arrangement, the Merry Men will support the Sheriff’s Men in their violent and bloody persecution of the general public. In return, the Sheriff has agreed not to cancel Christmas.

There were some objections to the deal from the Sheriff’s assistant, Sir Guy of Gisbourne, who was reportedly unhappy with the idea of getting into bed with men in tights. However, he was quickly rebuffed by the Sheriff: ‘We have moved on from our old ‘nasty’ image of yore,’ he said, ‘people need to understand that the Sheriff’s Men are now a modern, progressive movement dedicated to promoting a caring, liberal and inclusive reign of terror.’

Many of Mr Hood’s supporters were hoping for a so-called ‘Rainbow Alliance’ of Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and Little John. However, negotiations quickly fell apart because everyone thought that Little John was a tedious, self-opinionated twat.

‘Of course, we would have liked to secure some serious political reform as well,’ said Robin, ‘but once we saw how nice it was to be inside the castle, we decided that we really didn’t want to go back out into the forest again and sleep rough.’

When asked about the poor, Mr Hood replied, ‘Sorry, the who?’

The Queen has invited the broadcaster David Dimbleby to form the next government of the United Kingdom. ‘He is the only man capable of commanding the confidence of the nation,’ said a spokesman for Buckingham Palace, ‘Her Majesty has therefore asked Mr Dimbleby to hold the reigns of power until further notice.’

‘I am proud and humbled to be selected as your next Prime Minister,’ said Dimbleby, ‘I haven’t slept for the last 72 hours but I promise to stay awake for as long as the country needs me.’

The decision was made after more than 17 million people chose the BBC Election coverage – significantly more than any of the political parties. ‘This is hugely disappointing,’ said Conservative leader David Cameron, ‘but the people of Britain have spoken and we must respect their decision.’

Gordon Brown was invited to the Palace to receive the news in person from the Queen. However, in the car home, he was clearly caught on mic saying, ‘they should never have put me with that woman’ before describing Her Majesty as ‘a bigoted monarch’.

Dimbleby has made it clear that he will appoint a cabinet of ‘all the talents’ with the role of Home Secretary going to Nick Robinson, Chancellor Stephanie Flanders and Foreign Secretary John Simpson. Remaining members of the government will be chosen using the traditional method of pointing into the crowd and saying: ‘You Sir with the long hair, sorry Madam.’

Some experts believe that Dimbleby could go on to form a permanent administration with the backing of Nick Clegg in a so-called ‘Dim-Dem Pact.’ However, such a deal will only be possible if both men can reach an agreement over who gets to wear the most lurid tie.

Dimbleby is expected to move into Number 10 later today or just as soon as a 24-hour emergency locksmith can be found to open the door.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has finally revealed how the Conservative Party can cut the deficit without raising taxes via a fully costed ‘Magic Money Tree’.

Speaking at an election press conference an excited Mr Osborne said: “It looks just like a normal tree but instead of leaves it produces twenty pound notes.” Mr Osborne then produced a picture of a tree that he had drawn using special coloured pens.

“I used to think that George Osborne was a blithering idiot,” confessed Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, “but I have to say that the Magic Money Tree looks like the solution to all our problems.”

The tree, which has been fully costed and independently verified by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has received worldwide acclaim. “George Osborne has managed to completely transcend the old battle between Monetarism and Keynesianism,” said Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, “the Magic Money Tree is a work of genius.”

“I hate to admit this,” said Gordon Brown, “but George Osborne’s Magic Money Tree is the answer. I have tried for many years to grow my own ‘Neo-Classical Endogenous Growth Tree’ but sadly it withered and died – probably because it wasn’t magic. For a while I experimented with a ‘Supply-Side Golden Goose’ but in the end we were forced to sell it to Cash4Gold.”

A minor note of caution was raised by economist Will Hutton: “This is undoubtedly a great idea but in order to grow a money tree you first need to plant a magic coin. Mr Osborne has yet to explain where this coin is coming from or how long it will take for it to grow into a fully fledged magic tree.”

Mr Osborne rejected any criticism of his theory as sour grapes. “The important thing to remember is that this tree is magic,” he explained, “and I am pleased to say that we have the backing of over 60 of the country’s leading witches and wizards. They all say that the Magic Money Tree is guaranteed to work so long as I water it every day with the tears of a unicorn.”

A free hypnosis CD is included at the back of every copy of the Labour Party election manifesto to help voters feel calm, relaxed and totally unable to remember the last 13 years.

“As people listen to my voice,” said Lord Mandelson, “they will slowly feel themselves drifting into a trance-like state of well being, safe in the knowledge that voting Labour will help them to lose weight, achieve instant confidence and become more successful than they have ever imagined.”

The CD has already been criticised by David Cameron: “Hypnotising the electorate is a cheap trick and yet another example of Labour stealing Conservative ideas. Michael Gove has produced our mind programming CD although so far it mostly sends people to sleep.”

Nick Clegg was so angry that he personally rang up Lord Mandelson to complain. However, following a short conversation, Mr Clegg reported feeling much better about himself and is now planning to vote Labour.

Experts believe that the prime minister is showing increasing signs of being under the influence of the dark Lord. “You only have to look at Gordon to see that he has been reading Mandelson’s self-help book, ‘I Can Make You Grin’,” said hypnotist, Derren Brown, “and if you slow the video footage down you can clearly see that he is sending out the subliminal message: ‘Help Me!’”

Mr Brown has rejected accusations that Lord Mandelson has become too influential. “Peter is a close personal friend of both myself and Sarah and the fact that he is the only man who can cure our children of haemophilia is neither here nor there. Besides, people have tried killing him off loads of times and he always survives.”

Speaking at a press conference Lord Mandelson denied allegations that he was also behind a nationwide campaign of subliminal adverts. “Have you seen any of these subliminal adverts?” he asked reporters, “No. Of course you haven’t.”

“Voters are legally entitled to punch, kick and scratch anyone turning up at their door and asking for their vote,” said Lord Justice Judge, “It is clear provocation.”

The landmark ruling follows a number of high profile cases in which prospective parliamentary candidates were beaten to a bloody pulp on the doorstep. “When I opened my door this madman began hitting me with a list of manifesto pledges,” said voter, Mrs Maureen Grebe, “When he started trying to kiss my baby I did what anyone would do in my situation. I twatted him round the head with a cricket bat.”

“The Representation of the People Act clearly states that voters can physically defend themselves against anyone wearing a rosette and carrying campaign literature,” said constitutional expert, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, “personally I find that a swift punch to the nose followed by a double finger jab to the eyes usually does the trick.”

Candidates are now so concerned about increasing ‘voter violence’ that they are starting to wear protective body armour. However, this may only lead to further attacks when voters discover that many MPs have claimed their flak jackets on expenses.

Gordon Brown defended the use of electoral body armour. “Nobody can accuse me of failing to supply the proper equipment on this one,” he said, “and I think you will find that during this campaign there won’t be any shortage of helicopters either.”

However, David Cameron was already complaining that his body armour was not fit for purpose: “This is yet another example of Broken Britain,” he whined, as he lay on the floor being repeatedly kicked by an enraged mob voting with their feet.

Nick Clegg has so far remained unscathed. “This is so unfair,” he said, “Under a system of proportional representation I should at least get a good kick up the arse.”

There are concerns that the bloodshed will only rise as insurgent voters start to plant IEDs, or Improvised Electoral Devices, up their driveways. “I have every right to defend myself against these bastards,” said Mrs Grebe, “If any of them come to my door again the only thing they will be claiming on expenses will be prosthetic limbs.”

‘In the last General Election 39% of the electorate didn’t vote,’ said Apathist leader, Kevin Dullard, ‘if that figure were translated into parliamentary seats we could win an overall majority. Not that we would bother to turn up of course.’

Speaking at the Apathy party conference, a lacklustre affair at The Dog and Duck, Chipping Norton, Kevin said: ‘We have no idea how to run the country and we haven’t got any policies, so in that sense we combine the very best of both Labour and Conservative.’

A recent boost in the opinion polls coincides with the launch of The Apathist election manifesto. ‘I say manifesto,’ confessed Kevin, ‘it’s really just a few ideas scribbled on the back of a fag packet.’ The manifesto will be accompanied by a Post-it note campaign with the slogan: ‘I’ve never voted before and chances are I won’t be bothering this time either.’

‘We cannot underestimate the power of the ’shrug vote’,’ said Peter Kellner of polling organisation YouGov, ‘we used to get quite a lot of ‘don’t knows’ but now it is mostly ‘don’t cares’ and ‘they’re all the bloody sames’. The Apathy Party don’t even have a campaign strategy but they could very well win this election by default.’

The success of the Apathists is all the more remarkable since they have one of the lowest party memberships in the country. ‘Our lack of members only goes to show just how popular we are,’ said Kevin, ‘basically, it’s just me and my girlfriend Sharon – and she’s thinking of leaving.’

The core vote for Apathy is among so called ‘young people’. Various attempts to politically engage them have so far proved unsuccessful despite a recent pledge by Dermot O’Leary to sleep with every first time voter. Meanwhile, next month, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will attempt to get down with the youth in a BBC3 Election Break-Dance Special.

‘It doesn’t matter what they do,’ said Kevin, ‘nothing can stop the march of the Apathists…Except perhaps the Nihilists – but don’t waste your vote on them. That would be pointless.’

‘Each candidate will attempt to speak for sixty seconds without repetition, hesitation or deviation,’ said debate moderator Nicholas Parsons, ‘points will be awarded to any contestant who manages to speak sense for an entire minute – which is almost unheard of.’

Gordon Brown welcomed the new rules although expressed disappointment that challenges are to be made via a buzzer and not through the medium of shouting and throwing things around. ‘A minute is a long time for me to speak coherently,’ confessed David Cameron, ‘so, as usual, I plan to break it up into six, ten second sound bites.’ Nick Clegg said that he was ‘really looking forward to taking part’ before being immediately buzzed for irrelevance.

Secret footage of rehearsals shows that each candidate has his own individual weakness. David Cameron was challenged for endless repetition of the phrase ‘Broken Britain’; Nick Clegg constantly deviated by twisting every topic into a call for proportional representation; and Gordon Brown ‘ummed’ and ‘erred’ about everything before grabbing Nicholas Parsons by the lapels, throwing the stopwatch across the studio and storming off in a huff.

‘Whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gets an extra point in the opinion polls,’ said Nicholas excitedly, ‘although I see from the latest scores that we are now expecting a landslide majority for Paul Merton.’

Later debates will move onto other Radio 4 formats. In the ‘Quote Unquote’ round each party leader will attempt to wriggle out of embarrassing things that they have said in the past before accusing the others of saying something far worse.

The sessions will culminate in a special edition of ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ in which candidates will debate supply side economic theory using a swanee whistle and a kazoo. Finally, they will all swap manifestos and sing one sound bite to the tune of another.

In the event of a hung parliament the Queen is expected to apply the rules of Mornington Crescent.