82. Voting / Elections / Politics / Government

In this episode I teach you lots of vocabulary for talking about voting, elections, government and politics. This episode contains some seriously useful and important terms about politics and the way the government runs here in the UK.

Small Donate ButtonRight-click here to download
The vocabulary I teach in this episode is listed below. Also you’ll find a transcript to the comedy sketch at the bottom. Enjoy!

Listen to the episode to get definitions and explanations.
– a vote, to have a vote, to vote for someone
– an election / to elect someone as leader / a general election
– to cast a vote / to take a vote
– by show of hands
– a poll vote
– polling booth
– ballot
– ballot paper / ballot box
– polls(predictions)
– candidates
– campaign
– to form government
– a coalition government
– first past the post
– proportional representation
– parliament
– cabinet
– ministers
– ministries
– prime minister
– opposition
– shadow cabinet
– The Queen
– democratic elections
– corruption
– vote rigging
– miscounting
– “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
– an uprising
– a revolution
– a riot
– looters / looting
– detention
– torture
– tourists
– terrorists


Monty Python – Election Night Special

From ‘Monty Python Live at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane’. Buy the CD here on Amazon.

About the Sketch:

This sketch not only was performed on their album ‘Monty Python live at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane’, it also appeared in the Flying Circus TV Show – Episode 19. It was also featured on their other album – ”Monty Python’s The Final Ripoff’. Please note that the actors that played the roles in the Album versions differs from the TV Series version. To avoid confusion instead of showing the characters names, I have shown the actors names.

The Transcript of the Sketch


Cleese: (talking very fast, as do all the commentators): Hello, good evening and welcome to Election Night Special. There’s tremendous excitement here at the moment and we should be getting the first results through any moment now. We’re not sure where it will be from, it might be Leicester or from West Byfleet, the polling’s been quite heavy in both areas. Ah, I’m just getting… I’m just getting… a buzzing noise in my left ear. Urgh, argh! (removes insect and stamps on it). And now let’s go straight over to Leicester.

Palin: And it’s a straight fight here at Leicester and we’re expecting the result any moment now. There with the Returning Officer is Arthur Smith the sensible candidate and next to him is Jethro Q. Walrustitty the silly candidate with his agent and his silly wife.

Idle: (clears throat) Here is the result for Leicester. Arthur J. Smith…

Cleese: Sensible Party

Idle: …30,612. (applause) Jethro Q. Bunn Whackett Buzzard Stubble and Boot Walrustitty…

Cleese: Silly Party

Idle: …33,108. (applause)

Cleese: Well there we have the first result of the election and the Silly party has held Leicester. Norman.

Palin: Well pretty much as I predicted, except that the Silly party won. Er, I think this is largely due to the number of votes cast. Gerald.

Chapman: Well there’s a big swing here to the Silly Party, but how big a swing I’m not going to tell you.

Palin: I think one should point out that in this constituency since the last election a lot of very silly people have moved into new housing estates with the result that a lot of sensible voters have moved further down the road the other side of number er, 29.

Cleese: Well I can’t add anything to that. Colin?

Idle: Can I just say that this is the first time I’ve been on television?

Cleese: No I’m sorry, there isn’t time, we’re just going straight over to Luton.

Chapman: Well here at Luton it’s a three-cornered contest between, from left to right, Alan Jones (Sensible Party), Tarquin Fin-tim-lim-bim-lim-bin- bim-bin-bim bus stop F’tang F’tang Olé Biscuitbarrel (Silly Party), and Kevin Phillips Bong, who is running on the Slightly Silly ticket. And here’s the result.

Woman: Alan Jones…

Cleese: Sensible

Woman: …9,112. Kevin Phillips Bong…

Cleese: Slightly Silly

Woman: Nought. Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim bus stop F’tang F’tang Olé Biscuitbarrel…

Cleese: Silly

Woman: 12,441. (applause)

Cleese: Well there you have it, the first result of the election as the Silly Party take Luton. Norman.

Palin: Well this is a very significant result. Luton, normally a very sensible constituency with a high proportion of people who aren’t a bit silly, has gone completely ga-ga.

Cleese: And we’ve just heard that James Gilbert has with him the winning Silly candidate at Luton.

Idle: Tarquin, are you pleased with this result?

Palin: Ho yus, me old beauty, I should say so. (Silly noises including a goat bleating).

Cleese: And do we have the swing at Luton?

Chapman: Er… no.

Cleese: (pause) Right, well I can’t add anything to that. Colin?

Idle: Can I just say that this is the second time I’ve been on television?

Cleese: No, I’m sorry there isn’t time, we’re just about to get another result.

Palin: And this one is from Harpenden Southeast. A very interesting constituency this: in addition to the official Silly candidate there is an unofficial Very Silly candidate, in the slab of concrete, and he could well split the silly vote here at Harpenden Southeast.

Jones: Mrs Elsie Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Cleese: Silly

Jones: 26,317 (applause). Jeanette Walker…

Cleese: Sensible Jones: 26,318…

Cleese: Very close!

Jones: Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Blackpool Rock Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable Brrroooo Norman Michael (rings bell) (blows whistle) Edward (sounds car horn) (does train impersonation) (sounds buzzer) Thomas Moo… (sings) “We’ll keep a welcome in the…” (fires gun) William (makes silly noise) “Raindrops keep falling on my” (weird noise) “Don’t sleep in the subway” (cuckoo cuckoo) Naaoooo… Smith.

Cleese: Very Silly

Jones: …two.

Cleese: Well there you have it, a Sensible gain at Harpenden with the Silly vote being split.

Palin: And we’ve just heard from Luton that Tony Stratton-Smith has with him there the unsuccessful Slightly Silly candidate, Kevin Phillips Bong.

Idle: Kevin Phillips Bong. You polled no votes at all. Not a sausage. Bugger all. Are you at all disappointed with this performance?

Neil Innes: Not at all. As I always say:
Climb every mountain
Ford every stream,
Follow every by-way,
Till you find your dream.
(Sings) A dream that will last
All the love you can give
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.
All together now!
Climb every mountain
Ford every stream…
Cleese: A very brave Kevin Phillips Bong there. Norman.

Palin: And I’ve just heard from Luton that my aunt is ill. Possibly gastro-enteritis, possibly just catarrh. Gerald.

Cleese: Right. Er, Colin?

Idle: Can I just say that I’ll never appear on television again?

Cleese: No I’m sorry, there isn’t time, we have to pick up a few results you may have missed. A little pink pussy-cat has taken Barrow-in-Furness — that’s a gain from the Liberals there. Rastus Odinga Odinga has taken Wolverhampton Southwest, that’s Enoch Powell’s old constituency — an important gain there for Darkie Power. Arthur Negus has held Bristols — that’s not a result, that’s just a piece of gossip. Sir Alec Douglas Home has taken Oldham for the Stone Dead party. A small piece of putty about that big, a cheese mechanic from Dunbar and two frogs — one called Kipper the other not — have all gone “Ni ni ni ni ni ni!” in Blackpool Central. And so it’s beginning to look like a Silly landslide, and with the prospect of five more years’ Silly government facing us we… Oh I don’t want to do this any more, I’m bored!

Palin: He’s right you know, it is a bloody waste of time.

Chapman: Absolute waste of time.

Palin: I wanted to be a gynaecologist…