Voting age to stay at 18 after bids to lower fail.

people of Leeds walking through Briggate.Currently the average voting age in Europe is 18.

After several campaigns, it has now been confirmed that the voting age will remain at 18. However, opinions are divided within Leeds.

By Lauren West and Jessica Barton.

Labour’s bid to lower the voting age has failed to pass through parliament after Deputy Commons Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, did not select amendments to Boris Johnson’s election bill.

The proposed changes would lower the voting age to 16 and grant EU citizens the right to vote in the upcoming general election.

Labour, Liberal Democrats and SNP have all shown support for the change, but Downing Street threatened to call off the general election if the change passed through the Commons.

On the streets of Leeds, opinions are mixed. Some argued that young people do not have enough knowledge to vote.

One woman told us, “it’s ridiculous, they should put it up to 21.”

Whilst others argued in favour of lowering the voting age as the decisions made directly impact them. One young person said “Ultimately, it’s the younger generation that should inherit the world and therefore it should be their ideas that are put across sooner rather than later”

This comes after a spokesperson for the prime minister said, “if you vote for a change in the franchise, you are voting for a delay”. However, Jeremy Corbyn said, “All 16-year-olds should have the right to vote. It seems to me fundamental to our democracy. It’s young people’s future after all that we will be debating in the election.”

Parliament also debated on Labour’s amendment to the bill that would move the election date from 12 December to 9 December. However, this also failed to pass through the House of Commons.

In response to the decision, Corbyn tweeted “@BorisJohnson is scared of young people voting because he offers nothing for their generation. Don’t let him win. Register to vote now.”

About the Author

Lauren West and Jessica Barton
Journalists for Leeds Now

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