Friday, 19 February 2016 06:42

MHAIRI BLACK – Young voters must make their voices heard

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HOLYROOD ELECTION ‘TOO IMPORTANT’ TO STAND ON THE SIDELINES

 SNP MP Mhairi Black is today calling on young people in Scotland to ensure they make their voice heard in the Holyrood election – amidst polling evidence showing young people are less likely to be certain to vote in the election than other age groups.

 Mhairi Black – the youngest MP at Westminster and the SNP’s youth campaign co-ordinator for the Scottish Parliament election – has been leading a voter registration drive ahead of May’s election, and is saying today that this vote is too important for young people to stand on the sidelines.  

 The latest poll for TNS-BRMB showed that those aged between 16-24 are least likely to be ‘certain to vote’ in the Scottish Parliament election – with a net rating of 62 per cent, compared to 83per cent for those aged 55-64. These findings are mirrored in today’s Survation poll for the Daily Record – which finds that 48.8 per cent of 16-34 year olds say they ‘would definitely vote’ in the election, compared to 83.4 per cent of those aged 55 and above.

 Commenting, Ms Black said:

 “One of the most inspiring aspects of the referendum campaign was the way so many young people got involved with politics for the first time - because people realised that politics isn’t some abstract thing that you have to be a politician to understand.

 “And with this year’s election being the first in which 16 and 17 year olds get to have their say, there’s never been a better chance to ensure that engagement continues.

 “But it’s troubling to see the latest polls showing that young people are much less likely to be certain to vote in the election than other age groups.

 “Some young people might think that politics just doesn’t impact their lives, but that couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact, everything I’ve seen during my time at Westminster so far has just made me even more convinced that young people need a voice in politics.

 “Already at this election we know that the Tories are proposing a reintroduction of tuition fees by the backdoor and Labour want to hike taxes on the low paid, which would hit thousands of young people across Scotland.  

 “With this much at stake in the election, young people can’t stand on the sidelines and leave it up to other people – we need to make our voices heard.

 “We can’t let the new spirit of engagement which was unleashed during the referendum fall by the wayside – that’s why I’m urging everyone in Scotland, but particularly our young people, to ensure that they are registered to vote and that their voices are heard and their priorities listened to over the next three months.”

 SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP added:

 “With less than three months to go until the Scottish Parliament election, there has never been a more important time to make sure that you are registered to vote.
 
 “May’s election is about how we keep Scotland moving forward, boost our economy and protect and improve the public services we all rely on – and it’s vitally important that everyone’s voice is heard as Scotland’s national debate takes place over the next three months.”

Notes:

 The latest poll from TNS BRMB found the following:

 How likely do you think you are to vote in the Scottish Parliament election in May 2016

 16-24 62%
 25-34 67%
 35-44 78%
 45-54 78%
 55-64 83%

 Details of today’s Survation poll for the Daily Record can be found here: http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Final-Scomnibus-II-110216DCCH-Tables-1c0d0h6-1702.pdf

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