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Malcolm

On this day in 1918

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Malcolm

Ladies of the Forum,

On this day in 1918 women voted for the first time.

Time for you to cheer.

Gentlemen of the Forum, the Ladies.

Aye

Malcolm

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BeppoSapone
Ladies of the Forum,

On this day in 1918 women voted for the first time.

Time for you to cheer.

Gentlemen of the Forum, the Ladies.

Aye

Malcolm

Sure, but what about the men who also got the vote in 1918? A high % of the young British men who fought WW1 were not enfranchised when they joined up. I have always assumed that the AVL were prepared in such a complete fashion for the "Tommies" who had won their vote in the war.

At the same time as many of the rabid feminists got the vote, eg Christabel Pankhurst and Mrs Dacre-Fox, the male Conscientious Objector's were dis-enfranchised.

By the 1930s Mrs Dacre-Fox was a Parliamentary Candidate for the British Union of Fascists, and wasn't Christabel Pankhurst interned in Australia in WW2?

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Kate Wills

Malcolm, it was the time for women aged 30 and above to cheer. Had the franchise been extended to 21 year olds, female voters would have outnumbered the men, who were aghast at the thought. Typical!!

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Tom Morgan

As Kate says, the only women who got the vote were those over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5 or graduates of British universities.

It was to be a very long time before all women got the vote on the same terms as all men.

Tom

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mordac
Had the franchise been extended to 21 year olds, female voters would have outnumbered the men, who were aghast at the thought.

Hi Kate:

This isn't a flippant question. If the Great War hadn't happened, would the female voters (aged 21 and over) still have outnumbered male voters? :unsure:

Garth

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Kate Wills

Good question Garth. The UK population was around the 40 million mark in 1914, and females have traditionally marginally outnumbered males, probably because they tend to live a little longer. So, I would imagine that at the OAP end of the demographic spectrum, women would have been in the majority.

Further down the age range numbers would probably be fairly even; though you have to bear in mind that the vast majority of potential voters who would be absent from home on some kind of foreign service would be male, such as the military, merchant fleet, diplomatic corps etc, which would swing numbers to a female majority. I don't know if any measures were in place for postal voting back then. Perhaps another of the Pals can say.

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mordac
The UK population was around the 40 million mark in 1914, and females have traditionally marginally outnumbered males, probably because they tend to live a little longer. So, I would imagine that at the OAP end of the demographic spectrum, women would have been in the majority.

Hi Kate:

Thanks, that's what I suspected. Do you have any idea what the actual post war demographics were? I tried to find some data for 1919/1920, for the UK and Canada, but had no luck.

Garth

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Jonathan Saunders
If the Great War hadn't happened, would the female voters (aged 21 and over) still have outnumbered male voters?

Slightly different tact to the question you asked, but if the GW hadnt taken place then it is unlikely women in Britain (aged over 30) would have been granted the fanchise as early as 1918. The movement to grant women the vote in the British parliament wasnt particularly strong as it was perceived as inconceivable in the prevailing parochial society that wives or daughters would vote any differently to their husbands/fathers. This led to a belief that extending the franchise would lead to more administration and the counting of more votes to obtain the same result.

I expect known of this is any news to any of you but what is interesting, is that in 1914 in France, women were on the precipice of being enfranchised. In France the movement to grant women a meaningful vote was stronger than any other European country (if my memory is correct German women already had a vote but it was an autocracy so didnt count for much in real terms). Back to France, and she had for many years previously, had a declining population, add to this the horrendous statistics of French deaths on the Western, and the circumstances of France had changed. The pre-war and subservient role of women as mothers and home makers had to be reinforced in 1918. As a direct result of the GW, the movement to "liberate" French women came to a halt and actually went into reverse - I am sure there was legislation that made it difficult for women to live independently. French women were not enfranchised until after another World War in 1945.

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Theo

Long before the GW, admittedly, but did pals know that women were enfranchised in NZ as far back as 1893? I'm not sure if this was universal female suffrage or age restricted like the British system in 1918.

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Kate Wills

Spanish women were enfranchised in 1931, and Swiss women in 1971. It is interesting to note that both nations were neutral in WW1, which seems to strengthen the case for enfranchisment stemming from women's contribution to the national crisis.

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Frank_East

The path to the full franchise for both British men and women has not been easy.

British women were allowed the parliamentary vote in 1928 on exactly the same terms as men.This resulted in a turn out in the 1931 election of 21.7 miilion voters out of a total franchise of approximately 30 million.

Surprisingly, British women were allowed to vote in municipal elections from as early as 1869 provided they were householders.

Regarding the full franchise to French women in 1945.It has been said that this legislation was passed at the behest of Charles de Gaulle in recognition of the contribution of womenfolk to the French Resistance.

Regards

Frank East

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christine liava'a
Long before the GW, admittedly, but did pals know that women were enfranchised in NZ as far back as 1893?  I'm not sure if this was universal female suffrage or age restricted like the British system in 1918.

All females over 21

Women's Suffrage- NZ

and it wasn't dependent on war either.

What took the rest of you so long? :P

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jhill

Just to drag out this thread a bit I will note that some women voted in the Canadian federal elections of December 17, 1917. I am not sure if many members would be interested in such trivia! These elections were fought, predictably enough, on the conscription issue. The Conservative government of Sir Robert Borden brought in the Military Service Act in August of 1917, to take effect later in the year. The opposition Liberals, under Sir Wilfred Laurier, were divided, with the Ontario and western members supporting the Act against their party's policy. The government patched together a coalition of Conservatives and “Unionist” Liberals to go against the “Laurier” Liberals at the polls.

The Liberals were thought to be gaining support, so the government took precautions. In August and September they passed a Military Voters Act and a War-Time Elections Bill. The former gave the vote to all British subjects in the military, even if they had never set foot in Canada. The second gave the vote to female relatives of soldiers and disenfranchised most naturalised Canadians of “enemy” alien birth, conscientious objectors, and men subject to the Military Service Act who had not registered.

The whole thing was a colossal gerrymander, and recognized as such even by its supporters. In the end it served its purpose, but the incident is still regarded as a backward step in Canadian national development.

Of course, once some women had the vote it was impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. Over the next few years the barriers to women voting started toppling like ninepins.

Sorry to be so wordy.

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Guest MRS STEVEN

sorry to diviate slightly, but as you may know the male population of the U.K is falling, yet there are still more men than women voting in our elections. what would those women who fought on our behalf say if they knew i wonder? :huh:

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