Question Ella Politics & International Relations

Why is the voting age 18?

Why is the voting age in the UK 18?

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Answer Internal Staff

Over the years the number of people eligible to vote has slowly increased, 130 years ago only men over the age of 21 who fulfilled certain requirements could vote. In 1918 the suffragette campaign helped women obtain the right to vote for the first time, however they still needed to be 30 to do so, 9 years old than men. 10 years later and the Equal Franchise act lowered the voting age for women to 21. 42 years later the 1970 both men and women became eligible to vote from the age of 18. However in recent years, much debate has centred on lowering the voting age again to 16. It has been argued that 18 is a symbolic age of reaching adulthood and a full acceptance of responsibility and as such should remain the limit there are several arguments to suggest lowering the age would be a positive. It is likely that 16 year olds who are not interested in politics will not utilise their vote yet those who are interested and well informed are likely to provide a more educated opinion that a number of older voters, the lack of interest in politics is not limited to teenagers.