Votes at 16

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Votes at 16 Coalition
Formation 23 January 2003
Type Coalition

Votes at 16 is a campaign in the United Kingdom which argues in favour of the reduction of the voting age to 16 for all public elections. The campaign espouses several principles in favour of lowering the voting age.[1]


The Votes at 16 Coalition is a national group of major UK youth organisations, political parties and other supporters of the Votes at 16 Cause.[2] The coalition is led by a steering group of active members who include the British Youth Council, the Children's Rights Alliance for England, The Co-operative Group, the National Union of Students and the Scottish Youth Parliament, who have all campaigned for Votes at 16 for a number of years. Trade union UNISON has also voted to support Votes at 16.[3]

Parliamentary activity[edit]

In 2008 members of the coalition met a few MPs ahead of the second reading of the Voting Age (Reduction) Bill in the UK Parliament, but the bill was talked down by Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough.[4] The Labour Party's Conference in 2008 voted to accept the recommendation of Labour's National Policy Forum to support Votes at 16.[5]

The Scottish National Party (SNP) who are currently in government in Scotland have officially called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 and lowered the voting age to 16 for the referendum on Scottish Independence. However when the SNP put forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament for a second independence referendum on the 28 March 2017, the party omitted the right for 16 and 17 year-olds to be able to vote in it. This led to the Scottish Green Party putting forward an amendment to the proposal to allow those age 16 and 17 to be able to vote in a second Scottish independence referendum. The proposal for a second independence referendum, along with the amendment to lower the voting age for it, was passed by the majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.[6][7][8]

UK Youth Parliament debate 2014[edit]

On 14 November 2014 the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) held a debate at the Houses of Parliament, led by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. They UKYP debated on five issues that had been selected from over 875,000 young people age 11-18 in the UK.[9] One of the five topics selected was Votes at 16.[10]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Votes At 16 Archived November 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Young members: Adult Rights at Age 16". UNISON. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  4. ^ "MPs debate 'votes at 16' proposal". BBC News. 6 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Labour backs votes at 16 for next election". Young Labour (United Kingdom). Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  6. ^ Scottish Parliament votes in favour of a second independence referendum. New Statesman. Published 28 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  7. ^ Scottish parliament votes to back independence referendum despite Theresa May saying 'now is not the time'. Daily Mirror. Published 28 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  8. ^ Our amendment for this week's crucial Holyrood debate and vote on a fresh Scottish independence referendum. Scottish Green Party (official website). Published 21 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]

External links[edit]