Skip to main content

1969 Representation of the People Act

The Representation of the People Act reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. However, it did not reduce the age at which people could stand for election to become Members of Parliament. This was only lowered in 2006 by the Election Administration Act. The Representation of the People Act 1969 brought about other electoral changes such as requiring that the ballot papers included the name of the party as well as the name of the candidate. The first people to benefit from this change of law were the young people of Bridgwater. On 13th March 1970, a by-election was held after the death of the sitting MP. The Conservative party candidate, Tom King won by a record majority and so was elected. This election was widely covered by the media at the time. The first general election following the passing of the Representation of the People Act was held in June 1970. The Conservative Party won this election and Edward Heath became Prime Minister.