Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1871.djvu/237

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CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT. 201

to be registered as a voter, and, when registered, to vote for a member or members to serve in Parliament for a county who is qualified as follows: — (1) Is of full age, and not subject to any legal incapacity ; and who shall be seised at law or in equity of any lands or tenements of copyhold or any other tenure whatever, except freehold, lor his own life, or for the life of another, or for any lives whatsoever, or for any larger estate of the clear yearly value of not less than live pounds over and above all rents and charges payable out of or in respect of the same, or who shall be entitled either as lessee or assignee to any lands or tenements of freehold or of any other tenure whatever, for the unexpired residue, whatever it may be, of any term originally created for a period of not less than 60 years of the clear yearly value of not less than five pounds over and above all rents and charges payable out of or in respect of the same ; (2) Is on the last day of July in any year, and has during the twelve months immediately preceding, been the occupier, as owner, or tenant, of lands or tene- ments within the county of the ratable value of 12/. or upwards; (3) Has during the time of such occupation been rated in respect to the premises so occupied by him to all rates made for the relief of the poor in respect of the said premises ; and (4) Has before the 20th day of July in the same year paid all poor rates that have be- come payable by him in respect of the said premises up to the pre- ceding 5th day of January.'

The result of the Reform Act of 1868 in enlarging the constituencies is shown in the following tabular statement, which gives the total number of electors, in boroughs and counties of England and Wales, in 1868 and in 1866 : —

Electors of England and Wales.

1868 1866 Increase

Boroughs . . . 1,220,715 . 514,026 . 706,689 Counties . . . 791,916 . 542,633 . 249,283

Total . . 2,012,631 . 1,056,659 . 955,972

It will be seen that the total constituencies of England and Wales were nearly doubled by the last Reform Act, so as to increase from rather more than one million to two millions, or, stated accurately, 90^ per cent. The largest portion of this increase was in the boroughs, the electors of which became 137 per cent., or above one and a third times more numerous than before. The rate of increase in the counties, on the other hand, was but 46 per cent., or one-third that of the borough constituencies.

The Reform Acts for Scotland and Ireland, passed in the session of 1868, differ in some important respects from that of England. By the Act for Scotland, the franchise in burghs is conferred upon