This chapter analyzes the evidence about youth political engagement since the lowering of the voting age in Scotland. The process that leads to 16- and 17-year olds being allowed to take part in all local and Scotland-wide, but not UK, general elections itself is insightful. Tracing the development of the legal changes, the chapter discusses how public perceptions changed between enfranchising younger voters for the 2014 independence referendum initially and then extending the lowered voting age for all Scottish elections in 2015. The chapter further reviews the empirical evidence that has been collected in Scotland during and after the referendum. Using both quantitative data from representative surveys and qualitative data from interviews with young people, the chapter offers insights into why young Scots showed significantly higher levels of political engagement ahead of the 2015 general election than their peers elsewhere in the UK—across all social classes. Examining the factors influencing young people’s political socialization, the chapter discusses the implications, especially for the role of civic education in schools across the UK and research into enfranchisement more widely.
|Title of host publication||Lowering the Voting Age to 16|
|Subtitle of host publication||Learning from Real Experiences Worldwide|
|Editors||Jan Eichhorn, Johannes Bergh|
|ISBN (Print)||9783030325404, 9783030325435|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2020|
|Name||Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics|