'The Supporters of the Working Man', 1859. Disraeli introduced his Reform Bill to the House early in 1859. However, because it was seen as a blatant attempt to conjure up extra Conservative votes, and was too obviously drafted to favour Conservative party interest, opposition groups combined to defeat the Bill in March 1859. One of the main reasons, though, for Lord John Russell's opposition to the Bill was that, he said, it did not allow for a 'readjustment of the franchise' to provide for a sufficient extension of the suffrage in the cities and boroughs. Mr Punch suggested that much of the support for the enfranchisement of the working man was simply words. Therefore, this cartoon shows the working man supporting three of the main representatives of the reform process, (l-r) Palmerston, Russell and John Bright, rather than being supported by them. From Punch, or the London Charivari, April 9, 1859.
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