Votes at 16

For the first time in years, securing ‘Votes at 16’ is in sight.

The campaign to lower the legal voting age is now 18 years old (that’s as old as the current age to vote!). We believe that voting for elected representatives is a fundamental right in a democratic society, and one that should be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds.

‘Votes at 16’ has already been successfully implemented for elections in local authorities and the devolved parliament in Scotland, and thanks to our campaigning and lobbying, the Welsh Government recently announced plans to lower the voting age in local elections to 16.

There is now a fundamental inequity of rights in this country: with the ability to vote decided by a ‘postcode lottery’. This situation is both morally and politically unsustainable for the government, and with the support of opposition parties we have a real opportunity to lower the voting age across all UK elections.

Since the result of the snap election in June 2017, it is also conceivable that there is now a possible majority in favour of lowering the voting age in Parliament.

NUS is working with the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the British Youth Council (BYC) to do this. For more info please see our campaign guide and visit

For further information or ideas for your ‘Votes at 16’ campaign, or if you want to make suggestions, or have stories that we can share on our website and/or with the press, please get in touch at