As, the Democratic Federation transformed itself into a Socialist body, differences of opinion over Socialist tactics soon divided its leaders. On the one hand was a 'right' which believed in some sort of parliamentary action; on the other hand was a 'left' which favoured a peaceful 'social agitation', aimed, however, at a genuine revolution in the future. The words 'right' and 'left' were not used at the time: but they afford a convenient classification for what were in reality two distinct tendencies.
The leader of the 'right' was, of course, Hyndman himself. He naturally took cognisance of the growing agitation for franchise reform--the extension of the household suffrage to the counties--which was then being conducted under the active leadership of Joseph Chamberlain. Although the Federation held no demonstration of its own, it took advantage of a big franchise rally of Radical and Liberal working men held in Hyde Park on 21st July 1884. Hyndman, Champion, Bums, and Williams addressed the crowd, which had really come to hear the Liberal trade union leaders, Henry Broadhurst and Joseph Arch. Some of the Socialists of the 'left', however, took little interest in the franchise agitation: J. L. Mahon, a young engineering apprentice from Scotland, insisted that the key to political power was property and argued that even under adult suffrage, the propertied classes would be 'at the horses' heads'.1____________________