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