Liberal Youth supports vote for 16-year-olds in referendum

Throughout September members of Liberal Youth Scotland, the Youth Wing of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, ran successful freshers' fayre stalls across Scotland to promote their ‘Votes at 16’ campaign for full voting rights to be extended to 16 and 17 year olds in all elections, including the Independence Referendum.

The argument is simple, 16 year olds deal with government in most of the same ways that their parents do. They pay income tax and National Insurance, can claim welfare benefits and tax credits, enter marriage or civil partnership, become a company director or even choose a career in the armed forces.

How we are governed fundamentally affects the lives of 16 year olds and the Independence Referendum is no different.

Scottish Liberal Democrat policy has been clearly in favour of votes at 16 for a number of years. Liberal Youth Scotland believes this should apply to the Independence Referendum - a decision that will have profound effects for Scotland’s future, and young people’s views must be taken into account.

David Green, who is President of Liberal Youth Scotland, said:

“It is not a tenable position to say that 16 year olds cannot make a considered choice on who or what to vote for.

“We believe that civic responsibilities should be balanced with civic rights. If the government can take your earnings in tax, they should also take your vote and therefore a decision that determines Scotland’s future must be made with young people.”

Anyone can join the campaign and sign the petition by visiting