Controverted elections

Elections in the late 19th century were commonly exposed to corrupt practices including bribery, treating and intimidation. Due to this widespread culture, election results were frequently challenged by candidates. These elections are often referred to as "controverted elections".

What were controverted elections?

Controverted elections were election results which had their legitimacy challenged. This could be done for a number of reasons, but often involved allegations of bribery, corruption and treating, all of which were commonplace in the early 19th century.

This section explores the background to controverted elections, and answers the following questions:

  • What were controverted elections?
  • How were controverted elections dealt with in the 19th century?
  • How did Parliament deal with these cultures of corruption and bribery? 
  • How did legislation passed in the 19th century affect elections and voting?

Also within Living Heritage

Women had to wait until 1928 to gain equal voting rights with men. Read more about their struggle