The population of Harrogate was, at the last census, 5,556, and houses, 1,091. During, the season, an addition of about twenty thousand visitors arrive and depart. Harrogate, although a polling-place for the West-Riding, is not specially represented in the House of Commons ; but its elder neighbour, Knaresborough, sends two members.
The valuation of the district, within range of the Improvement Act, is £21,190 per annum, and it is computed that in the present state of the elective franchise, Harrogate would furnish upwards of eight hundred voters, being in these respects equal to Ripon and Knaresborough conjointly, though these two places have four members.
The principal civil affairs of the town of Harrogate are managed by a number of gentlemen who are appointed Commissioners under an Act of Parliament, passed in May, 1841, entitled
"An Act for Improving certain parts of the Township of Bilton-with-Harrogate and Pannal, called High and Low Harrogate, in the West-Riding of the County of York ; for Protecting the Mineral Springs and Regulating the stinted Pasture in the said Townships." The number of Commissioners is limited to twenty-one, one-third of whom retire annually. A list of eligible persons is published by the Commissioners' clerk every year, prior to the 6th day of April, on which day the vacancies are filled up.
The electors consist of all occupiers of property within the limits of the Act who are assessed to the relief of the poor at, £3 and upwards per annum.