General Election - How Members of Parliament are Elected

'The film shows how the candidates, after completing the necessary formalities, plan their election campaigns with the help of their Agents and go round the district addressing the voters. What happens on Polling Day, how people vote, the precautions for secrecy, the counting of the votes and the declaration of the result are shown in detail. The film was made at Kettering in Northamptonshire during the 1945 election.'[1]
Date: 1945
Duration: 18:58

Director: Ronald H. Riley
Production Company: Technique Films
Producer: -
Cinematographer: Raymond Elton & Henry Hall
Composer: Hubert Clifford
Narration: Geoffrey Sumner
Editor: John Krish
Sound Recording: Edgar Law
Scenario: Mary Bendetta
Music played by: London Symphony Orchestra

Length: 35mm:1769ft. 16mm: 708ft.

Notes: A Technique Films Production, made in association with the Film Producers Guild.

Still from 'General Election' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'
Further Information

In the run up to the 1945 general election, the film focuses on the electoral race of one of the 640 local constituencies in Britain, that of Kettering in Northamptonshire. Hoping to be elected as MP for the 74,000 strong population residing in the area is the Labour representative Gilbert Mitchison, Conservative John Profumo and Independent Christian standee John Dempsey. From canvassing votes and sending out ballot papers to servicemen overseas, to battling a counterproductive voting apathy, the whole process is captured until the moment when the successful candidate is announced and Kettering is appointed a new leader.

The film is designed to showcase the successful democratic process in place in British society, a way of being that renounces fascistic rule and ensures that every individual member in a larger national community has their voice heard. A lot of attention is paid to the ‘politically impartial’ role of the press, hammering home the ‘coming good’ of the supposedly free press in Britain.

National Archive File: TNA BW 4-8 - 'General Election'

  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50