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
18th December 2014
The traditional political parties are in big trouble. Back in the 1950s, one person in every ten was a member of a political party. Now, there are more people who identify their religion as ‘Jedi’ than there are members of the Conservative party, and almost the same number of Labour members.   The era of […]
16th December 2014
Today the Government presented a shopping list of solutions to the so-called West Lothian or English Question. The fact it is a shopping list demonstrates that even within the coalition they cannot agree on which solution is best.   But that’s not surprising – the chances of cross-party agreement on such a partisan issue are never going […]
12th December 2014
We were really pleased to join forces with Unlock Democracy yesterday and hand in our petition to the Prime Minister calling for a Constitutional Convention. It was signed by over 15,000 people, as well as a wide range of academics and civil society organisations.   The petition, which comes in advance of the Government’s expected […]