GRA (UP) - Terms and Changes of the Great Reform Act


Constituency Representation

  • Small boroughs lost 1 or both MPs
  • 56 boroughs with a population of less than 2000 lost both MPs and were thus disenfranchised
  • 31 small boroughs (2000-4000 MPs) lost one of their two MPs

This made 143 seats available for redistribution

  • 65 were given to counties
  • 65 given to boroughs with no MPs e.g. Leeds, Birmingham. This made the North more represented
  • 8 to Scotland; 5 to Ireland
  • Cornwall and Wilshire lost 50 MPs that were redistrubuted
  • Total number of seats in Commons remained 658.
  • Scot and lot, burgage and potwalloper boroughs gone


  • 50 rotten boroughs remained
  • SCO and IRL still under represented
  • North still under represented (2:1 ratio)
1 of 3

The franchise

  • Vote extended from landed upperclass to most of middle class
  • Uniform property qualification introduced for owners of property worth £10 a year
  • Also given to holders of land on leases worth £10, short leases worth £50, tenant farmers paying £50 rent p/a. 40 shilling (£2) freeholders keep vote
  • Eligable voters had to register, for a a 1 shilling fee
  • Electorate increased from 478000 to 8130000 (now 1/7 men, rather than 1/14)
  • Bribery and corruption decreased
  • Increasing franchise means Whig get more votes, and achieve own aims
  • BPU achieve aims of wider suffrage


  • Property qualification remained £10 in IRL to exclude Catholics
  • Bribery still existed
  • W/c were disappointed and bereayed
  • Diluted power of upper m/c
  • Landlord influence remained in pocket boroughs
  • Women disenfranchised from burgage boroughs because they're gone
2 of 3


  • 143 rotten boroughs gone
  • 1st bill wanted 100 gone (Fails); Pitt wanted 36 -> actually 143. Shows increasing greatness each time on a larger scale
  • This means it was good compared to what came before
  • Grey's own aims on corruption were achieved -> got rid of some but kept it 'acceptable'


  • 50 rotten boroughs remained
  • No secret ballot so corruption remained
3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Pitt to Peel resources »