Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

unenfranchisedas for Westminster electionsconcomitant standardisation of the franchisedid not own property the right to voteincreased from 293,581 to 560,580Parliamentary franchise in the U.K. 1885–1918property qualificationuntil 1918
The total registered electorate in the United Kingdom grew from 5.7 million in 1885 to over 21 million in 1918.wikipedia
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Representation of the People Act 1884

Third Reform Act18841884 Reform Act
The three Reform Acts of the nineteenth century brought about some order by amending franchises in a uniform manner (see Reform Act 1832, Reform Act 1867 and Representation of the People Act 1884). They were intended to guide Conservative agents and other activists, so can be assumed to be an accurate summary of the law for the period 1885-1918, between the implementation of the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the coming into force of the Representation of the People Act 1918.
Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

1885 United Kingdom general election

1885 general election1885general election of 1885
The 1885 general election and the 1886 general election were fought on the same register.
Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

December 1910 United Kingdom general election

December 1910December 1910 general election1910
The January 1910 and December 1910 general elections were fought on the same register, except in Scotland.
Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

1886 United Kingdom general election

18861886 general election1886 election
The 1885 general election and the 1886 general election were fought on the same register.
Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

January 1910 United Kingdom general election

January 1910 general electionJanuary 19101910
The January 1910 and December 1910 general elections were fought on the same register, except in Scotland.
Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

1918 United Kingdom general election

1918 general election19181918 UK general election
The first table below shows the total registered electorate (including university electors), between the 1880 general election (the last election before the Third Reform Act) and the 1918 general election (the first after that Act was replaced).
Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918, for details of the franchises replaced by the ones used in 1918

Forty-shilling freeholders

Forty Shilling Freeholder Actforty shilling freeholders40 shilling freeholder
(1) Persons possessed in fee simple or fee tail of a freehold estate in land or tenements of the annual value of 40s.
The Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918 including a summary of the qualifications for the forty-shilling freehold franchise during the final years of its existence.

List of Parliamentary Boroughs and associated County Constituencies 1832–1918

Parliamentary Boroughs and associated County Constituencies 1832-1918
Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918

Representation of the People Act 1918

Representation of the People Act1918Representation of the People Bill
The total registered electorate in the United Kingdom grew from 5.7 million in 1885 to over 21 million in 1918. Much of the growth was result of the Reform Act 1918, which expanded franchise by abolishing property qualifications for men and introduced female suffrage for some women over the age of 30. They were intended to guide Conservative agents and other activists, so can be assumed to be an accurate summary of the law for the period 1885-1918, between the implementation of the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the coming into force of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Reform Act 1832

Reform ActReform BillReform Act of 1832
The three Reform Acts of the nineteenth century brought about some order by amending franchises in a uniform manner (see Reform Act 1832, Reform Act 1867 and Representation of the People Act 1884).

Reform Act 1867

Second Reform Act1867 Reform ActReform Act of 1867
The three Reform Acts of the nineteenth century brought about some order by amending franchises in a uniform manner (see Reform Act 1832, Reform Act 1867 and Representation of the People Act 1884).

United Kingdom constituencies

constituencycounty constituencyparliamentary constituency
The major distinction was between county constituencies and borough constituencies.

Unreformed House of Commons

558 seats513 seatsHouse of Commons
Some of the older boroughs were still affected by the different franchises that had applied to them before 1832 (see the Unreformed House of Commons for details of the position before the Reform Act 1832).

Conservative Campaign Headquarters

Conservative Central OfficeConservative Campaign HQCCHQ
The contents of the section on the Parliamentary franchise below, are taken from The Constitutional Year Book 1900, a publication issued by Conservative Central Office in 1900 and thus out of copyright.

Conservative Party (UK)

ConservativeConservative PartyConservatives
They were intended to guide Conservative agents and other activists, so can be assumed to be an accurate summary of the law for the period 1885-1918, between the implementation of the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the coming into force of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Parliament of the United Kingdom

ParliamentUK ParliamentBritish Parliament
The exact period when this pattern of franchises applied was between the dissolution of the 22nd Parliament of the United Kingdom (18 November 1885) and that of the 30th Parliament (25 November 1918).

History of local government in the United Kingdom

local government
Note that the local government franchise was different; in particular, single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

Rates (tax)

ratesratepayerrate
Note that the local government franchise was different; in particular, single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

Local Government Act 1894

Local Government Act1894Local Government Act of 1894
Note that the local government franchise was different; in particular, single women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections from 1869 following the Municipal Franchise Act, confirmed and extended to some married women by the Local Government Act 1894.

1880 United Kingdom general election

18801880 general electiongeneral election of 1880
The first table below shows the total registered electorate (including university electors), between the 1880 general election (the last election before the Third Reform Act) and the 1918 general election (the first after that Act was replaced).

Fee simple

freeholdfreeholdersfreehold title
(1) Persons possessed in fee simple or fee tail of a freehold estate in land or tenements of the annual value of 40s.

Fee tail

entailentailedtail male
(1) Persons possessed in fee simple or fee tail of a freehold estate in land or tenements of the annual value of 40s.

Estate (law)

estateestatesestate law
(1) Persons possessed in fee simple or fee tail of a freehold estate in land or tenements of the annual value of 40s.

Tenement

tenementstenement housekamienica
(1) Persons possessed in fee simple or fee tail of a freehold estate in land or tenements of the annual value of 40s.

Seisin

seisedseizinPrimer seisin
who actually or bona fide occupy the premises or were seised of such estate on 7 June 1832, or have acquired such estate after that day by marriage, marriage settlement, devise, or promotion to a benefice or office.