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."



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  • Two decisive wins at independence debates in East Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute underline that momentum is continuing to build for Yes. An exit poll taken after a lively debate at a packed St Mary's church hall in Kirkintilloch on Friday evening put Yes at 63% with No on 24% and undecideds at 13%.
  • Independence is absolutely essential for young people in Scotland - a Yes vote means we can safeguard free university education for Scottish students and use the full powers over the economy to create more jobs and opportunities here in Scotland.
  • The Paisley-born actress, who plays Kelly-Marie Adams in the popular TV soap, is convinced independence is the key to a better, fairer and more confident Scotland.