In the United Kingdom, Reform Act is a generic term used for legislation concerning electoral matters. It is most commonly used for laws passed to enfranchise new groups of voters and toredistribute seats in the British House of Commons. The periodic redrawing of constituency boundaries is now dealt with by a permanent Boundary Commission in each part of the United Kingdom, rather than by aReform Act.
Some people in Britain, mostly associated with the Liberal Democrats, have called for a new "Great Reform Act" to introduce electoral changes they favour. These would include lowering theminimum voting age to 16 and introducing proportional representation.
Reform Act may refer to:
The Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Reform Act 1832, was an Act ofParliament (2 & 3 Will. IV) that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of the United Kingdom. According to its preamble, the act was designed to "take effectual Measures for correctingdiverse Abuses that have long prevailed in the Choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament."
Calls for reform had been mooted long before 1832, but perennially without success. The Actwhich finally succeeded was proposed by the Whigs led by the Prime Minister Lord Grey. It met with significant opposition from the Tories, especially in the House of Lords. Nevertheless, as a result ofpublic pressure, the bill was eventually passed. The Act granted seats in the House of Commons to large cities that had sprung up during the Industrial Revolution, and took away seats from the "rottenboroughs"—those with very small populations. The Act also increased the number of individuals entitled to vote, increasing the size of the electorate by 50–80%, and allowing a total of one out of sixadult males to vote, in a population of some 14 million.
The full title is An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales. Its formal short title and citation is the...
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