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OF

RECENT STATUTES

AFFECTING

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

IN

SCOTLAND,

WITH

APPENDIX CONTAINING THE STATUTES,

AND

A DIGEST OF RECENT DECISIONS OF THE

REGISTRATION APPEAL COURT.

BY

JAMES BADENACH NICOLSON,

ADVOCATE.

EDINBURGH: BELL AND BRADFUTE.

LONDON: WM. MAXWELL AND SON.

1885.

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PREFACE.

A THIRD time within living memory-almost within half-acentury—the representation of the people in Parliament has been made the subject of important change. In 1832 the whole system was reformed, both as regards franchises and seats. In 1867-68, household franchise was established in the burghs, and certain changes, but on the old lines, were made on the representation of localities. In 1884-85, household franchise has been extended to the counties, and what may be termed the principle of single member constituencies has been widely adopted both in counties and burghs, the only exception to its application in Scotland being the still undivided burgh of Dundee.

In the following pages I have endeavoured to analyse and explain the legislation just completed in regard to franchises and seats, reference being made wherever necessary to the earlier enactments.

I have also examined in some detail the alterations which have been made on the machinery of registration and on the proceedings at elections.

Lastly, I have treated shortly of the stringent provisions of the Acts recently passed relative to corrupt and illegal practices and for preventing excessive expenditure at elections.

Prefixed to the analysis are tables exhibiting at a glance the new arrangement of seats, the proceedings for the registration of voters in counties and burghs, the scale of expenditure permitted at elections, and (by permission of Messrs. M. W. Mattinson and S. C. Macaskie) the provisions of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act of 1883, both as regards avoidance of the election and penal consequences to individuals. It is believed these tables will be found to be of much practical use in the exigencies of registration and election business.

In the Appendix are given the statutes affecting parliamentary elections passed since 1879, the date of publication of the second edition of my treatise on the law of Election and Registration in Scotland, together with the documents issued by the late Lord Advocate (Balfour) for the guidance of those engaged in the work of registration. Until a consolidating measure can be passed, the adaptation of the Burgh Registration Act, 1856, with the variations necessary to make it (in terms of 8 8 (6) of the Reform Act, 1884) applicable to counties, which I am, by the late Lord Advocate's permission, enabled to publish, will be found of great service.

It has also been thought useful to add a short digest of the cases decided by the Registration Appeal Court since 1879

I desire to acknowledge the readiness with which Mr. Donald Crawford, Advocate, lately Legal Secretary to the Lord Advocate, afforded me much valuable information during the preparation of this analysis.

J. B. N. June, 1885.

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