Referendum consultation reveals support for 16 and 17-year-olds getting vote
A majority of people who took part in the public consultation on the independence referendum supported extending the franchise to include 16 and 17-year-olds.
This is one of the key findings in the independent analysis of the 26,000 submissions made to Your Scotland, Your Referendum.
Responding to the results, Stan Blackley, Yes Scotland’s Deputy Director of Communities, said: "The results of the public consultation are extremely encouraging. We are particularly pleased that a majority of respondents broadly supported a single question and the extension of the franchise to include 16 and 17-year-olds."
The main findings of the analysis:
- 64% of respondents who commented on the proposed referendum question broadly agreed with the wording.
- 62% broadly agreed with the proposed timetable and voting arrangements.
- 32% were broadly in favour of including a second question on the ballot paper and
- 62% were not. The remainder had unclear views.
- 46% broadly agreed with holding the referendum on a Saturday and 32% did not.
- 56% broadly agreed with extending the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds and 41% did not.
- About 3 in 5 respondents supported either the suggested spending limits or the principle of having spending limits, with respondents frequently suggesting spending should be equitable and that there must be high levels of transparency and accountability.
The UK government has agreed to grant limited powers to Holyrood to hold a legally binding referendum through a Section 30 order, which was laid at the Scottish Parliament last week.
Commenting on the findings that a majority of respondents expressed a wish for fair and equitable campaign spending limits, Yes Scotland Chief Executive Blair Jenkins said: "This is vitally important and I am very pleased the people appreciate the need for fairness and balance in relation to campaign expenditure.
"Whatever spending limits are set by the Scottish Parliament, it is clear that they should apply equally to both sides in the independence debate. Given that there will be a single question requiring a straightforward yes or no answer, it should be obvious to everyone that a level playing field is both logical and fair.
"Yes Scotland has made it clear it will not accept donations of more than £500 from any individual or organisation outside Scotland. We note that the No campaign has so far not clarified its position in this regard."
Yesterday’s Edinburgh Napier University referendum debate was a huge success for the Yes movement, with a final poll finding up to 80% of audience members supporting independence. The student debate, held at Napier’s Merchiston campus, was organised and chaired by Student Scotland.
On the day that teenagers who will be 16 or older when next year's independence referendum is held can register to take part in the historic vote, 15-year-old Matthew Palin explains why he’ll be voting Yes.
by Ellie Koepplinger
When discovering my appointment to the Yes Campaign advisory board, I felt honoured, and, at the same time, extremely pleased. I felt proud that the Scotland the Yes Campaign wants to build is accepting of someone of my diverse background and character – and yet, I was hardly surprised at all.
I believe allowing people in my age group to vote in the referendum is a great move – let me explain why.
Teenager Ellie Koepplinger, who believes that an independent Scotland is the key to a "better, brighter and fairer" future for her generation has been appointed to Yes Scotland's advisory board.
The 16-year-old will sit alongside political "heavyweights" such as Dennis Canavan and Nicola Sturgeon, as well as actress Elaine C Smith and double Michelin starred chef Andrew Fairlie, to help oversee the campaign to deliver a Yes vote in next year's referendum.