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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

LOCAL MP CALLS ON MORAY'S YOUNG VOTERS TO MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD

07/03/2016  

Local MP Angus Robertson is encouraging young people across Moray to make sure they make their voice heard in the Holyrood election, amidst polling evidence showing young people are less likely to be certain to vote in the election than other age groups.

The Scottish Parliament election in May will be the first where 16 and 17 year olds will have the right to vote following the unanimous passage of the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill in June last year. Scotland is only the second country in the European Union to lower the voting age to 16 for national elections.

The latest poll for TNS-BRMB shows that those aged between 16-24 are least likely to be ‘certain to vote’ in the Scottish Parliament election – with a net rating of 62 per cent, compared to 83 per cent for those aged 55-64. These findings are mirrored in the latest Survation poll for the Daily Record – which finds that 48.8 per cent of 16-34 year olds say they ‘would definitely vote’ in the election, compared to 83.4 per cent of those aged 55 and above.

Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, said:

“It is hugely important that our young people know they can take a full part in Scottish Parliament elections. Their opinions matter, their voices should be heard, and their votes can make a difference to how our country is run.

“When I was first elected in 2001 I was the youngest MP in Scotland and I committed to championing the rights of young people, including voting rights. I was delighted in 2014 that 16 and 17 year olds got to vote in the referendum. One of the most inspiring aspects of the referendum campaign was the way so many young people got involved with politics for the first time - more than 100,000 16 and 17 year olds used their vote in 2014. I am delighted that voting rights for 16 and 17 year olds are now extended to Scottish Parliament elections.

“Some young people might think that politics just doesn’t impact their lives, but that couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact, everything I’ve seen during my time at Westminster has just made me even more convinced that young people need a voice in politics.

“The government at Westminster is able to punish young people with impunity because they know they don’t vote, and are ignoring the needs of young people with their policies on restricting access to benefits and the minimum wage.

“With issues such as tuition fees at stake in the election, young people can’t stand on the sidelines and leave it up to other people – they need to make their voices heard.

“With less than three months to go until the Scottish Parliament election, there has never been a more important time to make sure that you are registered to vote. People have until 18 April to register and you can do it online at www.registertovote.scot.”

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