THE REFORMED ELECTORATE, 1867-1884
Significance of the enfranchisement of 1867 --New electors in the boroughs--Variation in the increase of voters --Failure of the lodger franchise--Ancient right voters still registered --Effect of the act of 1867 on the county electorate--The new £12 voters -- Electoral anomalies--Ratio of voters higher in boroughs than in counties--Relative size of electorate in rural and industrial divisions before 1867--Low ratio of voters in manufacturing boroughs--Act of 1867 removes many such anomalies --But increases disparity of proportion of voters in counties and boroughs--Resulting grievances --Movement for extension of household suffrage to counties--Attitude of parties --Pledge given by Liberals--Effect of second Reform Act on party strength -- Conservative strength in counties before 1867--Increased by £12 qualification--New borough franchise did not affect balance of party strength in elections--Conservatives gained in metropolis after 1867--And in certain industrial towns --Liberals continued strong in moderate-sized towns--And gained largely in small boroughs--And especially in rural boroughs --Failure of workingclass candidates after 1867--Analysis of composition of House of Commons before and after 1867--Relations of electorate to Commons after second Reform Act--Growing power of popular pressure--Remaining bulwarks of upper class strength in elections.
THE reform of 1867 has not infrequently been regarded as the departure which first brought democracy into the electoral system, and more than one writer has believed that it sounded the knell of that middle class rule which rested upon the act of 1832. In reality the power of the middle classes between 1832 and 1867, as we have seen, by no means displaced the control which the aristocracy exercised in elections previous to the first reform. And notwithstanding the far-reaching enfran
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Publication information: Book title: Electoral Reform in England and Wales:The Development and Operation of the Parliamentary Franchise, 1832-1885. Contributors: Charles M. A. Seymour - Author. Publisher: Yale University Press. Place of publication: New Haven, CT. Publication year: 1915. Page number: 280.
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