Third Reform Act 1884

Parliament’s resistance to ‘one man, one vote’ was partly overturned in 1884 with the third Reform Act which:

  • established a uniform franchise throughout the country
  • brought the franchise in the counties into line with the 1867 householder and lodger franchise for boroughs

Redistribution of Seats Act

The following year, the Redistribution of Seats Act redrew boundaries to make electoral districts equal. As a result of this Act, most areas returned only one Member to Parliament, although 23 seats, including the City of London and Bath, continued to return two Members until 1910.

Parliament and the political landscape changed greatly over the 19th century, beginning with a small ruling elite in Parliament and gradually increasing to be more democratic and representative.

Votes for women

However, one section of society was still completely excluded from the voting process - women. To be truly representative, Parliament still had changes to make.

Did you know?

Many constituencies had two Members of Parliament up to 1885

Also in this section

Follow the dates and legislation that mark milestones in parliamentary reform

Also within Living Heritage