Top – Votes at 16: Polling expert says there is no demand


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Media captionIndividuals give their ideas on decreasing the voting age to 16

Votes for 16-year-olds in UK elections are all however inevitable, however there isn’t a public demand or apparent benefit to it, a voting knowledgeable has mentioned.

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A invoice presently going by the Senedd would decrease the voting age on the 2021 Welsh Meeting election.

Prof Philip Cowley mentioned proof urged 16 and 17-year-olds have been much less prone to vote than older teams.

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However the chair of the panel that backed votes at 16 in meeting polls mentioned the transfer might revitalise democracy.

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Sixteen and 17-year-olds voted for the primary time within the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and may now participate in Scottish parliament and native elections.

They will additionally vote in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

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Prof Philip Cowley served on the 2008-09 Youth Citizenship Fee

Prof Cowley, from Queen Mary College of London, has written to the Welsh Meeting saying proof from different international locations with a decrease minimal voting age suggests total turnout would drop, as a result of turnout for 16-and 17-year-olds tends to be decrease than different teams.

This was until, he mentioned, cash was spent to particularly goal the age group, like within the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum when 16-year-olds voted for the primary time within the UK.

“If younger voters are able to vote, then we must always not have to allocate particular sources to mobilise them,” he advised BBC Sunday Politics Wales.

“That we do, signifies that they don’t seem to be prepared.”

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Two thirds of the 60 meeting members might want to endorse reducing the voting age in 2021

He added: “Even a few of the stuff you used to have the ability to do on the age of 16, say 10 or so years in the past, you may not do, issues like smoking, shopping for a firework for instance, going right into a tanning sales space.

“All of those have modified just lately and in the event that they’ve modified in any respect, they’ve have a tendency to alter upwards in direction of 18.

“[Votes for 16] is coming. I believe you may see with what’s occurring in Wales, what’s already occurring in Scotland. The stress will then construct up for elsewhere within the UK.

“When it occurs, I do not assume any of the benefits which might be being claimed for it should manifest themselves however it’s in all probability inevitable.”

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Prof Laura McAllister backs “correct political schooling” to tell pupils earlier than they vote

Prof Laura McAllister was chair of the knowledgeable panel that, as a part of its report on how the Senedd might be developed, advisable votes for 16 and 17-year-olds in Welsh Meeting elections.

She mentioned reducing the vote can be a mechanism to revitalise democracy, “significantly when you align that with a programme of correct political schooling by the curriculum, and in an extra-curricular surroundings”.

“We all know that getting younger individuals concerned within the voting course of, while they’re nonetheless in a safe surroundings, typically dwelling at residence, is prone to be extra profitable than it’s at 18 once they’ve both left residence to go to college or coming into a extra turbulent part of their life by way of change.”

She mentioned, trying on the proof from parliamentary and native elections in Scotland, 16 to 18-year-olds voted in bigger numbers than 18 to 25-year-olds.

“In order that tells you one thing at the least in regards to the potential that there’s to have interaction younger individuals within the political course of,” she added.

BBC Sunday Politics Wales is broadcast on BBC One Wales at 11:00 BST on Sunday and is then out there on BBC iPlayer.


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