For the electorate to make informed political choices, they must be able to obtain information about political parties and individual candidates.
It is important that voters can understand political theory and the issues that parties stand for - they should be able to receive political information as well as understand it.
During the 1800s, a number of societal changes helped to raise understanding of politics in Britain:
In the early 1800s, lack of effective transport meant that many areas of Britain were cut off in terms of receiving up to date information. Voters rarely met those who they voted for and often never heard them speak. The establishment of a railway network in Britain helped to change this:
All these factors resulted in an improved understanding and awareness of current affairs throughout the country.
Libraries also provided newspaper and discussion rooms where the public could meet to spread political ideas.
Between 1870 and 1872, Education Acts were passed in England and Scotland respectively, to introduce compulsory education for all from 5-12 years. This helped to increase levels of literacy amongst the populace.