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Following the passing of the Representation of the People Act and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act in 1918, the electorate was vastly expanded. This led to a number of firsts in the so-called ‘coupon’ election of 1918 including:

  • the first women candidates
  • the first elected woman MP, Constance Markievicz (although she didn’t take her seat)
  • the first Co-operative party MP, Alfred Waterson.

Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A to explore this wider representation with papers presented by:

  • Angela Whitecross on the early Co-operative Party and Alfred Waterson MP;
  • Edward Madigan on Sinn Fein and Constance Markievicz; and
  • Krista Cowman on Women’s Voting Experiences

To commemorate the centenary of his election, the House of Commons are exhibiting a portrait of Alfred Waterson MP for a 3-month period, this can be seen on the ground floor, in the stairwell, in One Parliament Street (access with passholders only).

Attendance is free, but you must register here in order to attend.

Click here to register

Visitors to Portcullis House are advised to bring their ticket and photo ID. Please note that you will have to go through airport-style security to gain entrance to Parliament; we recommend arriving 20 minutes before the start of the event – at busy times there is often a queue.


Angela Whitecross is currently the project manager for NHS at 70 at the University of Manchester. Having written her doctoral thesis on the history of the Co-operative Party, Angela was involved in the Party’s recent centenary commemorations interviewing key figures from the Party for its verbal history project and contributing to the recent exhibition on 100-years of the Co-operative Party held at the People’s History Museum, Manchester in 2017.

Edward Madigan is a lecturer in Public History at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research and teaching combine cultural, military and social history and he is particularly interested in the British and Irish experience and memory of the First World War.

Krista Cowman is Professor of History at the University of Lincoln and Director of Research for the College of the Arts. Krista is a historian of women and women and politics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and has published extensively on these topics.


16th Jan
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Register to attend


Attlee Suite
Portcullis House
London, SW1A0AA United Kingdom

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