Time to give 16-year-olds vote in General Elections

Scottish Youth Parliament Turnout Shows our Youth are engaged

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has expressed his delight at the record turnout in Renfrewshire’s elections to the Scottish Youth Parliament. He has also emphasised his belief that the record turnout shows young people are engaged in politics and deserve the opportunity to vote in General Elections.

Over 6,000 young people in Renfrewshire took part in the election last week, with Renfrewshire returning the highest turnout in the country, while accounting for almost a fifth of the total number of votes cast in the whole of Scotland.

16-year-olds can currently vote in local Council elections and Scottish Parliament elections but are not permitted to vote in UK General Elections.

Mr Mackay said:

“This record turnout is down to the hard work of all the candidates in raising the profile of the election and the Scottish Youth Parliament in general. They should all be very proud of this.

“This also proves that our young people are engaged in politics and care deeply about the matters which affect them, their family, and their friends.

“It is time the voting age in General Elections is lowered to 16, giving all our young people the chance to vote, if they wish, in all elections which affect their lives.

“I am proud that the Scottish Parliament allows 16 to 18 year-olds the opportunity to take part in deciding who represents them in the Scottish Parliament and who forms the Government which makes decisions on their behalf.

“Our young people are engaged and interested in politics, we shouldn’t run the risk of losing that. Let’s finally give them the right to vote in all elections.”

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