Isle of Wight Member of Youth Parliament calls for votes for 16 & 17 year olds

Joe Davies believes the snap general election is “truly is a watershed moment for the country” and is urging everyone to sign the petition calling on Theresa May to allow young people to have their say.

joe davies

Joe Davies, the Isle of Wight’s newest member of Youth Parliament, has launched a petition calling for 16 and 17 year olds to allowed to vote in the 2017 general election.

He’s also created a video message (see below) to accompany the petition, noting that although votes at 16 have been debated and defeated before, “this election is different”. Joe believes “this truly is a watershed moment for the country” and is calling on Theresa May to allow young people to have their say.

The petition reads,

The EU referendum result is often described as the ‘will of the people’. I’d agree, but I wasn’t allowed to vote in it. In fact, whilst the rest of the country was heading to the polls, I was sat at home, absolutely bricking it for my last GCSE physics exam. Despite it being the biggest decision of our generation, and one that would affect our futures more than anyone else’s, and despite the success of lowering the voting age in the Scottish Independence referendum, 16 and 17 year olds weren’t allowed to vote. When we need our voices heard the most, we were silenced.

This is not intended as a historical sob-story. Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that a General Election will be held on the 8th of June to secure a mandate for the Brexit negotiations. This is absolutely the right democratic move – the British public must be able to have their say on what we want from Brexit.

However, under our current voting system, 16 and 17 year olds won’t be allowed to take part. This needs to be changed – and fast, there’s only a few weeks until Parliament will dissolve for the campaign – so that we can have a say on our future. Votes at 16 has been debated and defeated before, but this election is different. This truly is a watershed moment for the country, and we need our young people to be a part of it. We cannot be silenced.

If you agree with me, please sign this petition and share it. Cynics will tell you that this petition won’t make a difference – in fact, the Parliament petitions page didn’t let me post this because, apparently, this issue has been addressed too recently – but they’re wrong. A million signatures won’t change the law, but every person who signs is another voice in the ear of an MP worried about losing their seat in 6 weeks time. Together, we can make a change. All it takes is a signature.

If you want to show your support head over to the petition site.

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 1:05pm



Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Youth

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15 Comments on "Isle of Wight Member of Youth Parliament calls for votes for 16 & 17 year olds"

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I’d agree with this. If our young people can marry, drive, serve in the armed forces and leave school before 18, they should certainly be able to vote. Given their stake in the future of this country, it was criminal for the Tories to deliberately exclude them from the Referendum last year. They could make up for that by including them in June. However, given the tendency… Read more »
Joe Davies

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Julian. More and more people are understanding why we need votes at 16 – I think it’s only a matter of time. This election is the perfect chance for law makers to do the right thing and allow our voices to be heard on our future. Thank you for your support. Did you sign the petition?


Have now. I must admit I’m a little sceptical about the impact of such online petitions, but it’s a good cause…

I’ve always thought the voting age should be lowered to 17, and the age of consent, marriage, and armed forces service should be raised to 17. Make it one age for everything. Having said that, I also think before any of that happens, its far more important to pass a law which requires every person eligible to vote to actually vote, much like Australia have. Fine anyone… Read more »

Compulsory voting would only be acceptable if there was also a “none of the above” option on the ballot paper.

If the “none of the above” vote wins, then all candidates must stand down and new candidates must be selected for a fresh vote.

Forcing someone to vote for a candidate they do not want is just plain wrong.


Votes for embryos! You know it makes as much sense as votes for children…

billy builder
or votes for old peoplle who won’t be there to suffer the consequences of that vote. 750000 18 year olds will have the opportunity to vote in this general election who were denied a vote in the referendum. And about 750000 people who have since died did get a vote although they will never suffer the fallout of that vote. That a change in voter population that… Read more »

Are we talking about having the mental capacity to cast an informed vote, here?

If so, then you should stop right there. I would suggest that the number of 16 to 18 year-olds who aren’t competent to vote is no more than the number of over 75s who aren’t, either.

Under 18s are legally children. 16 year olds are not allowed to drive or marry without parental permission and under 18s are required to remain in some form of education or training. This is because they are too young to have a mature capability yet. They do not appear in adult courts nor adult prisons since they are not judged to be as responsible as an adult… Read more »
So? Those are artificial lines. Nobody miraculously gains “mature capabilities” when they turn 18. There are plenty of 13 and 14 year olds who are certainly mature enough to vote, and plenty of over 75s who certainly shouldn’t. Furthermore, a 16 year old will be an “adult” for 3 of the 5 years of a full parliamentary term. Is it right or fair that they should have… Read more »
If we adopt your tortuous logic that anyone within two years of the legal age should be granted suffrage, where would this lead? The sixteen year olds would be immediately followed by fourteen year olds, then twelves , then tens, and so on. It seems very fortunate for the majority of contributors to this forum of left wing fantasy that the vote is not restricted to people… Read more »

Fortunate for you, perhaps.

Suruk,as stated above we protect children from the consequences of their immaturity in many ways under the law because they are too young and inexperienced to realise the outcomes of their decisions. If you think otherwise then perhaps we should start sending children to adult prisons, enforcing contracts to which they may mistakenly agree, etc,etc. There may indeed be plenty of 13 and 14 year olds intellectually… Read more »
In fact, the law states that the age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10. And where we *do* send under 18’s who break the law to the extent that they require a custodial sentence (Young offenders institutions) are every bit as brutal as adult prisons, if not more so. Most 16 year olds I know are extremely politically aware. Much more so than some of… Read more »
barbara penman

In 1970 this was the year that eighteen year olds were given the right to vote, previously the age was twenty one. I being eighteen voted for Edward Heath, says it all really doesn’t it.