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Britain

The significance of the County Claire election

QuestionAnswer
When did O'Connell stand for the County Claire by-election 1828.
Who was one of the gentlemen that he was competing with? MP, Fitzerald - newly appointed President of the Board of Trade. Popular Protestant MP, but did support Catholic Emancipation. There were enough Catholic voters to make sure O'Connell won. He did.
Did this cause the government any implications? Yes it did. This is because a Catholic won the election so needed to have a seat in parliament. However the Test and Corporation Acts forbid this. Only Protestants could have the seats.
Why were the government worried? Because if they didn't let O'Connell have his seat it could start a civil war in Ireland. Feared this greatly - wanted to avoid it at all costs. Also worried that if Catholics had seats they'd make demands for the repeal of the Act of Union.
How did the Tories respond? Peel passed the bill for Catholic Emancipation by 320 to 142 in the Commons. Wellington only got a majority of 2 votes for it in the Lords.
What did George IV do? Didn't give his assent so the cabinet resigned. Parliament was govent-less for a day. The King was forced to call back in the Tories and let Catholic Emancipation pass because to him that was better than the Whigs being in power.
Created by: supercars