Number Six receives a call from Number Two, who wishes to chat. Number Six hangs up but Number Two appears instantly on his doorstep. Number Six demands to see Number One but Number Two puts him off and introduces Number Six's new maid, Number Fifty-Eight. He explains that she used to work in a records department and possesses a photographic memory. She speaks to Number Two in a foreign language that Number Six doesn't understand and then leaves. Number Two informs Number Six that the annual election campaign has begun and asks if he's going to run. Number Six notes "First chance I get," but Number Two encourages him to run for the position for Number Two, saying he has the qualities they need. Number Six is skeptical of the concept of democracy in the Village.
A fanfare comes across the loudspeakers and they go out on the balcony to find the Villagers have gathered outside with placards for Number Two. Number Two tells Number Six that he needs to run since the Villagers are complacent and need a new candidate to stir them up. He ushers Number Six to a Mini Moke and they drive to the Village square. Number Two addresses the crowd, saying that they have become complacent and they need to participate in a full-fledge democracy. Number Six steps up and speaks of the need for individuality and the reasons they are all there. The crowd initially think he's joking but soon turn serious as Number Six gets into the swing of things and finally announces he plans to run for the position. The crowd cheers, startling Number Six by producing placards with his picture on them. They hustle him away to a Mini Moke that Number Fifty-Eight is driving. She accompanies him into his flat and insists on staying. Number Two tells Number Six that she can't be dismissed, and that he's called upon to attend the dissolution of the outgoing Town Council. He goes to the Town Hall but, unfamiliar with its location, stops at a direction board. Number Fifty-Eight accompanies him and soon figures out that he needs directions, and starts playing with the automated board. They depart in a Mini Moke but 113 and 113b, a reporter and photographer, leap on. 113 asks questions about Number Six's policies and then fills in the answers himself when Number Six refuses to comment. As they arrive at Town hall, Number Six discovers that the interview has already been published in the Tally Ho.
A guardian sphere follows Number Six as he goes into the Town Hall where the council and Number Two are waiting for him. As Number Six takes his place on the centre dais, Number Two calls upon the council to give Number Six a vote of thanks. They unanimously do so, simply pounding on the tables rather than speaking. Number Six demands to question them and asks who they are and who they represent. Number Two advises him not to ask personal questions but Number Six questions the entire proceeding. Number Two pounds with a gavel for order but Number Six ignores him and tells the council to think for themselves. They ignore him and Number Two says that Number Six must undergo a test to verify his sincerity to participate in the election.
The dais spins around and descends into the floor. Number Six, dizzy, staggers into a chamber and meets the Labour Exchange Manager, who makes him sit down. He informs his superiors that Number Six temporarily got out of hand but he'll soon put things right. He locks Number Six in the chair and administers a truth test. The machine monitors Number Six's thoughts and the Labour Exchange Manager determines that he initially planned to stage a breakout. Number Six is brainwashed and then passes out. He wakes up smiling vacuously and thanks the Labour Exchange Manager for his assistance, then gives him a Number Six political badge and asks for his vote. Outside, a cheering crowd and a brass band are waiting for him. Number Six makes an empty political speech as they urge him on.
Number Six hits the campaign trail accompanied by Number Fifty-Eight. He soon finds himself speaking her unknown language without understanding what he's saying. She enthusiastically responds but Number Six, confused, throws away his political badge and tries to escape. Crowds cut him off wherever he goes and he finally runs to the beach. He steals a boat and departs as two men leap onto the boat. As they struggle, Number Two closes in by helicopter. Number Six defeats his two attackers and tries to flee by boat but Number Two summons a guardian sphere and locks the boat's controls. Number Six leaps into the water where he is quickly brought to shore, mumbling political promises.
After a treatment session at the hospital, Number Six is returned to his flat for additional programming. Afterwards he is out on the streets making impossible promises as the crowds swarm to him and ignore Number Two. When the two candidates meet, Number Six undermines Number Two's barbed comments about his unsuitability.
That night, Number Six goes to the Village pub, the Cat & Mouse, with Number Fifty-Eight still at his side. Number Six tries to buy a real alcoholic drink without success. He demands a drink and Number Fifty-Eight drives him to a cave where an illegal still is stored. Number Two is there, seemingly drunk, and drunkenly admits he's worried about Number Six. When Number Six enquires, Number Two explains the bar is a place for individuals to have a covert drink and get their minor rebellion out of the way before returning to the Village. They share a drink but Number Six collapses. The still-master tells Number Two that Number Six is sufficiently drugged to continue to the end of the election.
On the day of the election, Number Six is almost unanimously elected: even Number Two votes for him. They go to the Green Dome and Number Two wishes him well, then departs. They go into Number Two's office and Number Fifty-Eight starts playing with the buttons. Number Six joins in as they activate all of the automatic controls. Number Fifty-Eight then directs his attention to a screen with a hypnotic pattern. She takes away his Number Two badge and then slaps him. Number Six snaps out of his programming and activates the intercoms, telling everyone to escape. The Villagers outside ignore him. Inside, two guardians arrive to subdue Number Six. He flees into the cavern below and finds more guardians meditating around a guardian sphere. They attack and subdue Number Six, then beat him. They drag him back to the control office to meet the new Number Two: the former Number Fifty-Eight. She asks if he's ready to talk. He says nothing and she warns this is only the beginning. As he's taken back to his flat, she calls the departing Number Two and informs him that everything went according to plan, and to give her regards to their homeland.