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Elections: Young People

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he has taken to measure the effect of action taken to make democracy more accessible by (a) lowering the age of candidacy and (b) opening polling booths to accompanied minors in elections held in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Northern Ireland in 2007. (154308)

The Government have not carried out any specific monitoring of these new provisions. I am aware that a number of persons aged 18 to 20-years-old have stood as candidates, and some have been elected. Allowing young people and children to accompany voters in polling stations will give young people the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the electoral process which will hopefully make them more likely to participate in future elections when they reach voting age.