On 2nd April 2019 the All Party Parliamentary Group on Votes-at-16, a cross party grouping of Westminster MPs campaigning to lower the voting age in UK elections, released its campaign report, which contained a significant contribution from the lowering the voting age project.
The report contains contributions from politicians, campaigners and academics discussing the current state of the ‘votes-at-16’ campaign across the UK. It covers issues such as lowering the voting age in Scotland, its imminent introduction in Wales, the current state of the political debate on the issue at Westminster and the ongoing the grassroots campaign.
Our own contribution presented the initial findings from the 2 national surveys we have run; a sample of the electorate and a sample of 16 and 17 year olds. In the report we highlight the overwhelming level of support we find for lowering the voting age among those most likely to be impacted by the policy with 71% of 16 and 17 year olds in favour of ‘Votes-at-16’ and only 12% opposed. In addition, we also find evidence that support may have increased among the voting age population to the point of parity with 42% in favour compared to 40% opposed.
However, it is not all good news for ‘Votes-at-16’ advocates with support being far from universal. We find evidence of substantial opposition among Conservative supporters, Working Class groups and older members of the electorate. This suggests that while overall support may have risen the voting age has become a more divisive and partisan issue raising specific challenges to cross-party efforts to pass voting age legislation.
Click here for the link to the full report.