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How Joe Bloggs became an MP

This cartoon can be used in a personal, social and health education lesson to explain electoral procedures and promote discussion on political involvement.

1 Joe Bloggs wants to be a Member of Parliament so that he can help to make and pass laws, decide the taxes and spend the tax money - if he can get over half the other MPs to agree with him!

2 His first step is to join a political party. After years of helping them to campaign and raise funds, he is lucky enough to get an interview with a constituency selection committee.

3 If they like him, they will choose him as their candidate at the next general election, when the electors in each constituency vote for one person to be their MP.

4 The Prime Minister announces the date of the election and the Queen dissolves Parliment.

5 Now Joe needs an agent and a lot of party volunteers to help with his campaign. They will check the electoral register, organise posters and leaflets and public meetings, and will canvass the voters for their support. The other political parties will be doing the same.

6 On election day the electors go to the nearest polling station and are given a ballot paper with the names of all the candidates. They take the paper into a polling booth and write an X against the person they want to be the MP. All the papers go into a locked ballot box.

7 The poll closes and all the ballot boxes are taken to the count. When all the votes have been counted, the returning officer announces each candidate's result and declares the candidate with the most votes as the winner.

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