The Struggle for Democracy
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Before the 1832 Great Reform Act, MPs were elected by a minority of the male population, who were often bribed by candidates and whose eligibility for voting varied between boroughs. Notoriously, just one man controlled the election of both MPs for Old Sarum. Mason explains how this situation arose, then charts the progress of successive efforts to make the system fairer, such as the introduction of the secret ballot and the extension of voting rights to all women in 1928.