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Key Dates

Before 1866

The House of Keys is a self-selecting body. Whenever a seat becomes vacant, the Keys select two candidates to present to the Governor, who chooses one of them to take up the seat. Membership is for life or until the Member decides to retire from the position.

1866

The vote is given to men aged 21 and over who either owned property with an annual value of at least £8 or rented property with an annual value of at least £12. Candidates for election have to be male, aged 21 and over, with real estate of the annual value of £100, or of £50 together with a personal estate producing an annual income of £100.

1867

The first elections are held on 2nd and 3rd April. Five of the ten constituencies are uncontested; 3996 votes were cast in the other 5 constituencies. Since the franchise is based on property ownership, some voters areable to vote in more than one constituency.

1881

The franchise is extended to all men and unmarried women aged 21 and over who owned or, in the case of the former, occupied real estate worth an annual value of no less than £4. The property qualification for candidates is modified to allow the alternative of personal property producing a yearly income of £150. The first elections in which some women can vote are held in November.

1892

The franchise is extended to unmarried women occupiers of property worth at least £4 and to male lodgers who were sole tenants of lodgings worth an annual value of at least £10. The property qualification for candidates is removed.

1903

A residency qualification for voters was introduced in addition to the property qualification. The time between elections is reduced from 7 to 5 years.

1919

Universal adult suffrage on the basis of residency is introduced: all men and women aged 21 and above and resident on the Island can vote. The entire electorate, with the exception of clergy and holders of office of profit, becomes eligible to stand for election.

1956

The 24 seats of the House of Keys are redistributed into 13 constituencies, with a mixture of one-, two-, and three-seat constituencies.

1969

The property qualification is abolished, putting an end to extensive plural voting.

1971

The voting age is reduced from 21 to 18 years old. Candidates may not hold office in local authorities.

1976

Candidates must have been resident in the Isle of Man for at least three years, and pay a £100 election deposit.

1982

The single transferable vote system is introduced. It is used in the 1986 and 1991 General Elections, before a return to the first-past-the-post or block vote system.

1985

The 24 seats of the House of Keys are redistributed into 15 constituencies, with a mixture of one-, two-, and three-seat constituencies.

2006

The voting age is reduced from 18 to 16 years old.

2015

The 24 seats of the House of Keys are redistributed into 12 constituencies, with two Members for each.