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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

The Reform of 1868

The Reform of 1868

Was forced upon a Conservative Ministry by popular agitation and a hostile majority in the Lower House. To keep office they tried one shift after another, and finally submitted to the entire excision of the clauses and provisions of a ridicu- page 41 lous Bill introduced by Mr. Disraeli, and the substitution one by one of the following instalments of Electoral justice:—

Borough Household suffrage after one year's residence, and to Lodgers a £10 franchise. County, £12 franchise to occupiers. Four constituencies given a third member; 35 places below 10,000 population deprived of one member; 11 places entirely disfranchised; 18 additional seats to Boroughs, 25 to Counties, 3 to Universities, 1 to Wales, and 7 to Scotland; Chelsea created a Borough and assigned 2 members; Tower Hamlets divided into 2 Boroughs, each with 2 members; 9 new Boroughs in England and 1 in Scotland; 13 new County divisions in England; 2 Scotch Counties amalgamated, and 3 granted an extra member.

In the House of Lords a clause introducing the minority (or three-cornered) voting system was grafted upon the Bill, and the power of all the largest boroughs thus reduced to a minimum.