Worcester's MP 'sceptical' over lowering voting age to 16

Worcester News: Worcester MP Robin Walker Worcester MP Robin Walker

WORCESTER'S MP has voiced his opposition to lowering the voting age - saying it could turn out to be "counter productive".

Robin Walker says giving 16-year-olds the power to vote is unlikely to herald a turnaround in getting more young people interested in politics.

He says the move could just create "a whole new pool of people" who don't take part in the democratic process.

As your Worcester News revealed on Wednesday, just 41 per cent of first-time voters say they intend to have their say at next year's general election.

A YouGov poll of 1,000 youngsters aged 17-21 suggested the majority don't feel it is worthwhile, citing disillusionment with parliament.

The Labour Party says if it forms the new Government next year, it plans to bring in legislation so 16-year-olds can take part for the first time.

Mr Walker said: "The findings from that survey have been like that for quite a long time, it's nothing new in that sense and I don't believe there is a quick or easy solution to it.

"That's why I'm sceptical about lowering the voting age, I don't feel it would actually would change things, it could turn out to be counter productive in that it just creates a whole new pool of people who won't be voting.

"Of course the results of the survey are disappointing and it's something all politicians, of all parties need to work on long-term."

The Labour Party says it wants to lower the voting age to 16, and hopes it can be introduced in time for the 2016 London Mayoral election.

The move, which is also thought to have support within Liberal Democrat circles, comes after years of falling turnouts in elections.

Proposals to lower the voting age to 16 from 18 was first considered in the UK in 1999, but it has not gained momentum since.

Sunder Katwala, director of lobbying group British Future, said: "The next generation of Britain's voters clearly feel they're affected by big political issues like jobs, education and housing.

"But they also think that political leaders don't understand their worries or listen to their concerns.

"The message for our political class is clear: get better at engaging young people and representing their views."

Comments (7)

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6:32pm Tue 13 May 14

bmoc55 says...

What a joke.
National elections are not some trendy game.
What a joke. National elections are not some trendy game. bmoc55
  • Score: 1

1:47am Wed 14 May 14

Jabbadad says...

I am a supporter of Compulsary voting as in Australia.
I would only support 16 year olds voting on non National issues. I respectfulluy feel that the majority of 16 year olds have not gained enough life experiences. When I recall being 16 we were full of tosterone , big ideas, and litle judgement, and felt we could change the world but in quite a daft manner. WE would have probably voted our parents out of control over us for stopping us being late home or going to a sleep over.Then we gained more life experiences as we grew up.Didn't we?
I am a supporter of Compulsary voting as in Australia. I would only support 16 year olds voting on non National issues. I respectfulluy feel that the majority of 16 year olds have not gained enough life experiences. When I recall being 16 we were full of tosterone , big ideas, and litle judgement, and felt we could change the world but in quite a daft manner. WE would have probably voted our parents out of control over us for stopping us being late home or going to a sleep over.Then we gained more life experiences as we grew up.Didn't we? Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

12:27pm Wed 14 May 14

Hwicce says...

The reason people (of any age) aren't interested in politics is they don't believe it does anything for them. We are just sick to death of one party after another slagging off each other while the City, County, Country falls apart.

I would like compulsory voting but with a "none of the above" option so that if you are (like 60% of the population) disillusioned with what is on offer you can vote for none of them and the seat will remain vacant with another election being held in 3 to 6 months time. At least then we might have a chance of real democracy rather than this sham we have at the moment.

As for giving the vote to 16 year olds, it won't make a jot of difference, just add to the number of people who can vote but don't.
The reason people (of any age) aren't interested in politics is they don't believe it does anything for them. We are just sick to death of one party after another slagging off each other while the City, County, Country falls apart. I would like compulsory voting but with a "none of the above" option so that if you are (like 60% of the population) disillusioned with what is on offer you can vote for none of them and the seat will remain vacant with another election being held in 3 to 6 months time. At least then we might have a chance of real democracy rather than this sham we have at the moment. As for giving the vote to 16 year olds, it won't make a jot of difference, just add to the number of people who can vote but don't. Hwicce
  • Score: -1

12:51pm Wed 14 May 14

Jabbadad says...

Hwicce I agree, and I have wished for the opportunity to just have my one vote but be able to vote against a candidate, but I am sure that Europe and its supporters such as David Barlow, and Peter Neilson would rush in saying that is an infringement, just as daft as supporting prisoners right to vote. The first thing they would vote for would be shorter sentances to be served at Home not prison, massages and manicures for some of the men as well, the list would be endless.
Hwicce I agree, and I have wished for the opportunity to just have my one vote but be able to vote against a candidate, but I am sure that Europe and its supporters such as David Barlow, and Peter Neilson would rush in saying that is an infringement, just as daft as supporting prisoners right to vote. The first thing they would vote for would be shorter sentances to be served at Home not prison, massages and manicures for some of the men as well, the list would be endless. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Wed 14 May 14

thesquirrel says...

If they want young people to vote then we need to make it easy.

We need internet/online voting - scrap polling stations. If people can vote from their smartphones, tablets and computers I think we'll see a huge rise in participation and interest.
If they want young people to vote then we need to make it easy. We need internet/online voting - scrap polling stations. If people can vote from their smartphones, tablets and computers I think we'll see a huge rise in participation and interest. thesquirrel
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Wed 14 May 14

New Kid on the Block says...

thesquirrel wrote:
If they want young people to vote then we need to make it easy.

We need internet/online voting - scrap polling stations. If people can vote from their smartphones, tablets and computers I think we'll see a huge rise in participation and interest.
If you want to make it easy to vote register for a postal vote.
Then well in advance of polling day you will get your ballot paper delivered to your door.
All you then need to do is some time at your convenience fill it in and drop it into a post box.
As you will have at least two weeks to do this I don't think it could be described as at all difficult.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: If they want young people to vote then we need to make it easy. We need internet/online voting - scrap polling stations. If people can vote from their smartphones, tablets and computers I think we'll see a huge rise in participation and interest.[/p][/quote]If you want to make it easy to vote register for a postal vote. Then well in advance of polling day you will get your ballot paper delivered to your door. All you then need to do is some time at your convenience fill it in and drop it into a post box. As you will have at least two weeks to do this I don't think it could be described as at all difficult. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Wed 14 May 14

Jabbadad says...

thesquirell. Statistics show that at least 47% of our population do not have access to the internet apart from the libraries that is of course before they are closed by this government. And many more don't own smart phones and the like. So you would be reachng the wizzo kids but not the general population. But I suppose that to get them (Wizzo's) interested in any way would be good / better than nothing. .
thesquirell. Statistics show that at least 47% of our population do not have access to the internet apart from the libraries that is of course before they are closed by this government. And many more don't own smart phones and the like. So you would be reachng the wizzo kids but not the general population. But I suppose that to get them (Wizzo's) interested in any way would be good / better than nothing. . Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

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