Representation of the People Act 1918.
On this day, 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed! The house of lords gave their approval for this which gave women over 30 the right to vote.
This act was deemed necessary during the First World War since the amount of returning soldiers were not actually entitled to the vote because of property and residential qualifications, something they had been uninvolved in for 4 years now. This act therefore widened suffrage by abolishing almost all property qualifications for men and enhanced this to women over 30 who met the minimum property qualifications.
The changes mentioned above saw the size of the electorate actually triple from 7.7 million to 21.4 million! Which is staggering, but now women now accounted for about 43% of the electorate. However, even with this act women were still not politically equal to men, as men could vote from as early as 21 years of age and this age requirement was to ensure women did not become the majority of the electorate. And this is simply because if women had been based upon the same requirements as men, they would have been in the majority due to the loss of men in the war itself.
With love, Charlotte x