We are pleased to announce that our research article ‘Public opinion, political partisanship and the Votes-at-16 debate in the United Kingdom’ has been published in the academic journal The British Journal of Politics and International Relations.
In the article based on two nationally representative survey that we carried out as part of our Leverhulme Trust funded research project on the UK voting age debate Tom Loughran, Andy Mycock and Jon Tonge use mutli-variate regression analysis to explore how the Votes-at-16 debate in the UK has become increasingly partisan and the implications this has for advocates and opponents of the policy. We argue;
-There is evidence that support for lowering the voting age to 16 has risen among the UK electorate in recent years but that there is not yet a clear outright majority in support of reform.
-Public opinion has been hitherto marginal in the Votes-at-16 debate but is likely to become of greater importance due to age having become the most important electoral demographic division in recent UK electoral events.
-Increase in support for lowering the voting age is most likely linked to rising partisanship on the issue with Labour supporters becoming more strongly supportive of the measure. Rising support is therefore a mixed blessing for advocates as it also demonstrates that Votes-at-16 has become a more polarising and contentious issue within UK politics making its consensual introduction unlikely.