Preservation and Progress: Representing the People c.1745–c.1845
In 1948, under the Representation of the People Act, all plural voting and the university seats were abolished. Henceforth, with only insignificant ex ceptions, each man and woman in the United Kingdom over the age of twenty-one was entitled to cast one vote in elections to determine the com position of the House of Commons. In the space of 200 years, the British polity moved from ‘oligarchy’ to ‘democracy，. The fact that it was a Labour government which introduced the above measure seemed to confirm that at length ‘the people’ had triumphed. The long struggle for the franchise had come to an end.