Lord Cranborne's resignation
Letter to Disraeli from Lord Cranborne, 5 Mar. 1867
Dep. Hughenden 92/1, fols. 45r-v
Disraeli pressed on, defeating Gladstonian amendments en route. The Bill which eventually passed into law in August 1867 enfranchised roughly a million male voters, more than double the number originally envisaged - and without any inbuilt safeguards. The Conservative had stolen the march by 'Dishing the Whigs'. In debate Cranborne spoke about the baleful affects of poltical adventurers but Disraeli's gamble - or intuition - paid off. The newly enfranchised working class in the boroughs became key Conservative voters.
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