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Key dates

1729 - Bribery Act
Passed to address corruption in elections

1776 - Motion by John Wilkes MP for parliamentary reform

1832 - Representation of the People Act (the first 'Reform Act')
Extends vote to men meeting property qualification, reduces 'rotten boroughs' and redistributes Parliamentary seats to better represent urban areas

1867 - Representation of the People Act (the second 'Reform Act')
Extends vote to urban working men meeting property qualification

1872 - Ballot Act
Introduces the secret ballot at elections

1883 - Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act 1883
Effectively ended serious corruption in British elections

1884 - Representation of the People Act (the third 'Reform Act')
Addresses imbalance between men's votes in boroughs and counties

1885 - Redistribution Act
Boundaries redrawn to produce equal electoral districts. Single member seats become the norm

For key dates relating to women and the vote in the 19th and 20th centuries, see Women and the Vote: Key Dates

Other key dates on Parliamentary reform can be found under Chartists: Key Dates

Also within Living Heritage