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1918: Women Voters

Not only was the 1918 election the first election for 10 years, it was also the first election since the passing of the Representation of the People Act. This meant that women over the age of 30 who owned property or were university graduates could vote. As women now made up around 43% of the electorate, they had considerable political power. Some politicians specifically targeted them in their campaigns. This included Herbert Samuel, the MP for the Cleveland division in Yorkshire. Samuel had also championed a Bill which allowed women to stand as MPs and was rushed through in time for the 1918 election. Here is Samuel's campaign pamphlet which outlines the reasons that women should vote for him; including a lasting peace, a lowered cost of living and better work conditions.