Votes at 16: we need a proper conversation about when adulthood begins

24 Nov 2017

The vexed question of whether people should be allowed to vote from the age of 16 has returned to the Commons with Jim McMahon MP’s Private Member’s Bill. Many argue – citing the Scottish independence referendum – that it would provide a democratic stimulus. Yet the evidence for that is lacking, say Andy Mycock (University of Huddersfield) and Jon Tonge (University of Liverpool). Citizenship education in schools is patchy. There is no GCSE in politics. We need to engage in a broader debate about when adulthood really begins, and with it the right to drink alcohol, drive or serve on a jury, as well as vote.