Representation of the People Act 1948

Representation Of The People Act 1948

UK Legislation
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Representation of the People Act 1948

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The Representation of the People Act 1948 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the law relating to parliamentary and local elections. It is noteworthy for abolishing plural voting, including the abolition of the twelve separate university constituency seats.

Part I: Parliamentary Franchise and its Exercise

Part I of the Act declared that in future the United Kingdom would be divided into single-member borough constituencies and county constituencies. These terms replaced the former designations of parliamentary borough / division of a parliamentary borough and parliamentary county / division of a parliamentary county (in Scotland "burgh constituencies" replaced parliamentary burghs). There were to be 613 such constituencies, in place of the 591 under previous legislation.

These were to be the only constituencies, and thus abolished the right of graduates of universities from voting for a second MP to represent a university constituency. Constituencies which were represented by two MPs were also abolished.

Persons eligible to vote were to be British subjects of "full age" (21 years) and "not subject to any legal incapacity to vote", provided that they were registered to vote in the constituency. Each voter was only permitted to cast a single vote in one constituency, even if for some reason, they were registered in more than one. The arrangements which had given...
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