Franchise facts

R H Allaway (Letters, 10 May) should check his facts before criticising Linda Colley's mathematics. The UK did not have universal male suffrage in 1884. This did not come about until the 1918 franchise reform that also gave women the vote. The reforms that took effect from 1885 still limited the right to vote in several ways, especially via a residence qualification.

Richard Grayson
Director, Centre for Reform, London SW1

This article first appeared in the 17 May 1999 issue of the New Statesman, The NS Essay - A culture of pretence