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Second Great Reform Act, 1867

The Second Reform Act 1867 increased the number of men who could vote in elections. It expanded upon the First Reform Act, passed in 1832 by extending the vote to all householders and lodgers in boroughs who paid rent of £10 a year or more. It also lowered the property threshold which enabled agricultural landowners and tenants with very small amounts of land to vote. This legislation was influenced by the campaign of the Chartist movement, who were dissatisfied by the limited enfranchisement granted in the 1832 Act. The movement, driven by the working classes, petitioned for universal male suffrage and protested when their demands were rejected by Parliament. Eventually, Members of Parliament acknowledged that further reform was necessary, and when the Second Reform Act was given royal assent in 1867, the electorate in England and Wales doubled from one to two million men.


An Act further to amend the Laws relating to the Representation of the People in England and Wales. ("The Second Reform Act, 1867")



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1867/30&31V1n309