Votes at 16: New insights from Scotland on enfranchisement

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Abstract

This article presents new evidence on the experience of 16-year olds voting after the reduction of the voting age in Scotland following the 2014 independence referendum. Using survey data from 2015 it compares 16- to 17-year-old Scottish respondents with their peers in the rest of the UK to see whether we can observe difference in their political attitudes and behaviour ahead of the 2015 General Election. The analyses show potentially significant positive effects following the reduced voting age but distinguish different domains and show that distinctive effects for the youngest age group seem to be most pronounced in relation to political behaviour (both electoral and non-electoral forms), but to a lesser extent in terms of evaluations of politics more generally. The findings also highlight the important interplay between enfranchisement and different socialising agents for young people, in particular parents and civic education in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-391
Number of pages27
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Volume71
Issue number2
Early online date3 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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