Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office
For Immediate Release
SYP Elections turnout is proof young people are
engaged in politics now more than ever
A staggering 80,147 votes were cast in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s recent Elections, proving perhaps now more than ever that the young people of Scotland value democracy and their right to be heard.
SYP’s Elections, which ran from 3rd-17th March 2017, saw 315 young people from across Scotland stand for election to represent their constituency or national voluntary organisation in the parliament. The successful candidates will take up their posts in June when they officially become MSYPs, serving as the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people.
With the announcement earlier this week that a General Election will be held on 8th June, SYP has renewed its call for 16 and 17-year-olds to be given the right to vote, believing that SYP’s excellent election turnout is proof young people are not only motivated to shape their own futures through the democratic process, but deeply value this process and the responsibilities it carries.
SYP Chair, Terri Smith, said: “The fact over 80,000 votes were cast in our recent Elections is irrefutable proof that the young people of Scotland are more engaged in the democratic process than ever. To deny 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in the upcoming General Election is quite simply wrong.
“SYP has been a longstanding campaigner for Votes at 16, since the organisation’s inception on 30th June, 1999 – one day before the Scottish Parliament was reconvened. While we were delighted that voting rights were extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in Scottish Parliament and local government elections, as well as in the Scottish independence referendum, we believe this right – and it is a right – must be extended to all 16 and 17-year-olds, not just in Scotland but across the UK.
“If the voices of young people truly matter, they must have a say in how their future, and their present, are shaped, and this can only be fully realised by giving the right to vote to 16 and 17-year-olds.”
Notes to editor
1. All media enquiries to Karen Keith, Communications Officer, 07729 487627/ 0131 557 0452
2. The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Their vision for Scotland is of a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its children and young people. SYP is grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly Article 12, which lays out young people’s right to be listened to on the issues that affect them, and for their views to be given weight.
3. The Scottish Youth Parliament Elections ran from Friday 3rd March to Friday 17th March. Voting was carried out through Young Scot’s e-voting or via paper ballots in local authorities.