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Vote for Harry Kemp

Early independent political broadcast

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This is an early political broadcast by cinema owner Harry Kemp, a candidate for office on Saltcoats Burgh Council, Ayrshire. It was shown in his cinema in the run up to the election. Kemp was elected to Saltcoats Burgh Council on 8th November 1922.

Questions & Activities


  • Where do you think people saw this film?
  • What other methods (other than film/television) do candidates use when canvassing for votes?
  • We only see Harry Kemp as a caricature. Why do you think there is no live image of him?
  • Why do you think Harry Kemp used film to encourage people to vote for him? Do you think this was appropriate and would it be allowed today?
  • Do you think Harry Kemp won the local council election?
  • There is a lot of degradation in this film, what do you think has caused it and what work do you think has been done to preserve old film?


Look at a selection of party political broadcasts ( and discuss how and why they have changed?

Run a class election which may take place in a class or across a whole school. Devise your manifesto. Build a campaign team. Create all the publicity material you would need.

Storyboard, film and edit your own party political broadcast. You could use animation, live action or drama. Think about how you would encourage people to vote for your candidate. Present your film alongside other people in you class. Then hold a vote based on the films. Debate which film won and why.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-109-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0642
Date 1922
Genre Propaganda
School Subject Modern Studies, Media Studies, History, Expressive Arts, Politics, Social Studies
Subject Matter Political Literacy, Citizenship
Who Greens Film Service (production company), La Scala Cinema (sponsor)
Where Saltcoats
Event Election
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 0:58
Film Length 0:58