The paragraph below contains the introduction to the article, with the rest of the text available at the Journal of Victorian Culture Online:
'Politics is boring, we are often told. Every party, apart from the colour of their rosettes, seems to offer pretty much the same thing when it comes to policy and personality. So disconnected are voters with the modern breed of candidates, that in recent decades, some 30 percent of the electorate have seemingly disenfranchised themselves by just not bothering to vote at all, and that’s on a good day. Yet, 175 years ago, on November 4th, people fought and died for that very opportunity. The candidates may have been disliked no less than they are today, perhaps more so, but the right to have a say was something that thousands would knowingly risk their lives for. Debate over the relative success of the Chartist movement continues, but success or failure, it retains a striking legacy that remains a potent symbol for political reformers today.'