Advanced Search
Votes at 16
Time to make a lasting investment in Britain's youth
Votes at 16

The Scottish independence referendum showed once and for all that 16- and 17-year-olds are more than capable of taking important political decisions.

What's the issue?

Lowering the voting age has come into focus owing to the Scottish independence referendum. Giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds was part a political deal struck between British and Scottish governments  but it could be so much more.

The arguments against votes at 16 are now in tatters, thanks to the way in which 16- and 17-year-olds conducted themselves in the Scottish independence referendum. How can we now deny these new voters and their contemporaries the chance to help choose their local MP?

Why Votes at 16?

The next generation of voters are the first to have received citizenship education, yet are being denied their full rights as citizens. Lowering the voting age to 16 would allow a seamless transition from learning about voting, elections and democracy to putting such knowledge into practice.

The first generation of voters who have needed to study our democracy are denied the right to use this knowledge in a General Election for at least two further years, up to a possible seven years. And that's a missed opportunity.

Who supports Votes at 16?

The Electoral Reform Society is a founding member of the Votes at 16 coalition. Since we launched support for lowering the voting age can be found amongst politicians from all political parties, the House of Lords, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, as well as all the leading youth sector and young people’s organisations.

What you can do? 

You can find out more about the Votes at 16 campaign on their website.

And if you’re passionate about making politics better you can join us in our fight to build a better democracy.

Recent News
20th October 2014
Where should power lie?   Whatever the answer, it won’t do for these decisions to be taken behind closed doors. That’s why we’ve got together with 27 civil society organisations, academics and democracy experts to call for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention empowered to answer questions about the future shape of the UK.   We’ve […]
17th October 2014
“If we Brits could write a constitution for the Germans in 1947/8, why can’t we do it for ourselves?”   When it came to discussing our inaugural annual lecture themed around the next 15 years of devolution, it was pretty easy to decide who would be best suited for the task. Rhodri Morgan was First […]
10th October 2014
So UKIP burst through, taking Clacton on a 44.1% swing, the second highest in UK by-election history after Bermondsey and Old Southwark, 1982.   The two party system is dead, and has been for a long time. The voices suggesting that coalition would renew it are silent. Multi-party politics is here to stay. And it […]