14 Oct 2014

Should we lower the voting age to 16?

Should 16 and 17-year-olds be given the vote? No wonder the Labour party thinks so, based on these results from a Channel 4 survey. Why don’t you tell us what you think?


The Channel 4 survey, of 319 people aged 16-24, found just 20 per cent said they would not vote in an election if it were held tomorrow. Three quarters of the participants said they were “interested” or “neutral” about politics, with 26 per cent saying they were “not interested”.

The survey follows the Scottish independence referendum, in which people 16 and over were eligible to vote. Being given the vote galvanised Scottish youth to political action.

If the results of the Channel 4 survey reflect the wider feelings of youth in the UK, then Labour would do well to push for the voting age to be lowered – the majority of 16 to 24-year-olds who took part said they would vote Labour (graphic, above).

More than half of those surveyed agreed that “we need to reduce unemployment benefits to ensure that you cannot earn more through benefits than through work”.

The most important issue identified was jobs/employment, followed by money/debt and healthcare.