Support for voting at 16

Dickinson supports Labour’s commitment to lowering the voting age to 16 would give over 1.5 million more young people the right to have their say.

 

New data published today reveals more than 1.5 million more young people will be eligible to take part in elections as a result of this lowering of the voting age -  the biggest expansion of the franchise in nearly half a century – and shows how important 16 and 17-year-olds could be in deciding the outcome of future elections.

 

The figures also reveal that had a lower voting age had been in place for May’s General Election, the number of 16 and 17-year-olds on the register would exceed sitting MPs’ majorities in parliamentary constituencies across the country.

 

It comes as Labour confirms lowering the voting age will be an early priority for a future Labour government and allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in all elections will be a central plank of the party’s manifesto.  Legislation will be brought forward at an early stage, so that the law can be changed in time for the first 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in May 2016 elections.

 

Scott said:

 

“recently thousands of young people marched to the polling booths in the Scottish referendum this shows that there is a real appetite amongst 16 and 17-year-olds to vote. I want the voices of our young people to be heard. Labour will give 1.5 million 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in elections from May 2016 onwards, the biggest expansion of the franchise in nearly half a century. It is important to me that the young people of North Northumberland are heard, at 16 they can do so many things, voting should be part of that.”

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. Labour has committed to lower the voting age to 16 should it form the next Government.
  2. On 8 December 2014, Ed Miliband confirmed that 16 and 17 year olds would be able to vote in all elections from May 2016 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30384644
  3. Elections in May 2016 include: Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Irish Assembly, London Assembly, Mayor of London and local elections. 
  4. Data uncovered by Labour reveals that the number of 16 and 17 year olds is estimated to be:
  • UK                                           1.545 million
  • England                                   1.3 million
  • Wales                                       75,000
  • Scotland                                   123,000
  • Northern Ireland                       49,000
  • South West                              127,000
  • South East                               214,000
  • London                                     187,000
  • East of England                        146,000
  • West Midlands                          144,000
  • East Midlands                           112,000          
  • North West                              175,000
  • Yorkshire & Humberside            130,000
  • North East                               62,000

Source: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2013  http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-322718

According to the Votes at 16 website (http://www.votesat16.org/about/), aged 16, you can:

  • give full consent to medical treatment
  • leave school and enter work or training
  • pay income tax and National Insurance
  • obtain tax credits and welfare benefits in their own right
  • consent to sexual relationships
  • get married or enter a civil partnership
  • change their name by deed poll
  • become a director of a company
  • join the armed forces
  • become a member of a trade union or a co-operative society.

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