1866-2016: 150 Years of Democracy

In 1866 Tynwald approved the bill that would make the Isle of Man a parliamentary democracy. For the first time a public election would be held and publically elected Members of the House of Keys (MHKs) would be voted into power by the people, to act in the interests of the people. 
This change was significant in the Island’s history because it moved politics in the Isle of Man from a self-elected body, representing only those with land and money, to becoming a more democratic institution.

The House of Keys Election Bill received Royal Assent and was promulgated in 1866. The old House of Keys was dissolved on 19th March 1866, and the first popular elections were held on 2nd to 5th April 1867 in all the different constituencies. 

A lot has changed over the past 150 years. Click through the timeline below to find out more.