In the wake of the vote against Scottish Independence, Prime Minister David Cameron set up the the Smith Commission to look at what additional powers should be devolved to Scotland. In consultation with Scottish Parliament's five parties - The SNP, Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens - the Smith Commission has recommended: 

  • The Parliament should be given powers to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Scottish elections. (Page 5 of the report )
  • The UK Parliament should devolve the relevant powers in sufficient time to allow the Scottish Parliament to extend the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds for the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections, should the Scottish Parliament wish to do so. (Page 14 of the report)  

The full report can be found here    

Votes at 16 Coalition members Louise Cameron MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:
"We are delighted that the Smith Commission has recommended powers over the voting age  to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Given the experience of the referendum, there is now widespread consensus among the public, the media and politicians that the voting age should be lowered to 16.  At the Scottish Youth Parliament, we have always known that young people are engaged, active and informed citizens; and keen to play their part in creating a better Scotland."

Votes at 16 Coalition members Steve Brooks, Director of ERS Cymru  said:
"Wales should be given the power to determine how Assembly elections work, including the number of AMs needed to hold Welsh Government to account.  We must ensure Welsh 16 and 17 year olds are not left behind and get the chance to vote in the 2016 elections.  And as Leighton Andrews implements local government re-organisation, the National Assembly should be given full control over how elections work."

BYC Chair Mita Desai said:
"Votes at 16 - equal rights, equal votes. We at the British Youth Council and the Votes 16 Coalition - welcome the findings of the Smith Commission for Scotland,  that confirm the power to give 16 and 17 years olds the vote in devolved elections. So what about the rest of us? How can young people  be denied the right to vote in some parts and not others, How can unequal rights within the UK be sustainable, just? We want equal rights - equal votes , not just for the devolved nations elections, but Englsih Council elections, referenda, Europe, Mayors and General Election as soon as possible".