Representation of the People Act 1867

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  • 1867 Reform Act
    • Introduced by Gladstone in 1866
      • reduce the borough franchise from £10 to £7 and extend the county franchise to £14
      • would have introduced 200,000 voters in the boroughs and 170,000 in the counties
      • bill failed due to opposition from Disraeli and the Conservatives
    • growing political unrest and economic distress
    • In 1867 Disraeli proposed to give the county franchise to those who rented property of £15 a year (rather than the original £50)
      • still hedged with qualification
      • radical amendments made the bill near unrecognisable
    • Effects of the bill
      • number of working class voters rose significantly
      • the reform bill expanded the county electorate from 540,000 to 800,000
      • franchise remained rooted in property
      • neither party was ready to give the vote to the 'residuum'

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