Alun Michael, the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, has called for the voting age to be lowered so that young people are involved in elections at the age of 14.

Concerned by the low turnout in last week’s elections, Mr. Michael (pictured) detailed his thoughts on how lowering the voting age would increase numbers and engage young people with politics. In his column in the Penarth Times he stated “14 (is) an age which I find young people far better informed and sensibly engaged than was the case in the past. They will then know how to vote if and when they come to engage with political issues later in life.”

The story was today picked up by The Independent newspaper.

Liam Preston, chair of the British Youth Council (a member of the Votes at 16 coallition) said:

“I am delighted Alun Michael recognises young people are both better-informed and more engaged than they were in the past. Locking young people out of the political system is patronising: it relies on out-dated views about young people’s capacities. One hundred years ago, people thought that women should not get to vote, and in 1970, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18.”