The 1886 General Election resulted in a Conservative government without an overall majority having to rely for support on the Liberal Unionist Party, the LUP (how history tends to repeat itself!). The LUP demanded a bill creating County Councils for the first time.
Woman ratepayers had been eligible to vote at Borough level since 1869 but once the Local Government Act had been passed in 1888 they could vote at County level. They could also become Councillors. Two women were elected as councillors including Jane Cobden, daughter of the popular politician Richard Cobden. She was elected as a councillor in Bow & Bromley in London’s East End, which was to later become a Sylvia Pankhurst Suffragette hot bed, but legal challenges prevented her from ever serving in this capacity.
There was still a long fight ahead.