Someone shared this video with me today, and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a kind of public information film made by the British Council to show the world what Britain was about. This one focuses on the 1945 General Election, and in particular the contest in the constituency of Kettering, where a young John Profumo (whatever happened to him?) is trying to defend his seat against a strong Labour Party challenge.
It’s striking how similar a lot of it seems in terms of the process. Profumo makes a speech against apathy, we see him riding round in a car speaking out of a loud-speaker and the actual act of voting (giving your name at the polling station, having your name marked off, voting in the booth, all done with paper and pencil) is pretty much the same as now. The film explains that the counting of the votes had to take place many days later (like in Tower Hamlets a couple of weeks ago, but for a very different reason), so that all of our servicemen still overseas could cast their votes and have them flown back. The counting of the votes then, as now, was done by hand. Anyway, enjoy.