Reform majority returned in the General election (141 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


One of the first pledges made by Earl Grey's Whig government when they came into power in November 1830 was that they would implement electoral reform. They proposed a redistribution of seats, that would disenfranchise the smallest (so-called 'rotten') boroughs, and give greater representation to those new industrial towns that were otherwise underepresented. It would also lower the requirement for the franchise from the historical '40-shilling-freeholder' to an annual worth of £10, thus increasing the size of the electorate. This bill was passed in the House of Commons by one vote, but it then ground to a halt. The government called another election, which was fought primarily over this issue of reform. It returned an overwhelmingly …

Editors. "Reform majority returned in the General election". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 23 October 2016.]