In the first independence referendum 16 and 17 year olds were allowed to take part, as were EU/Others living in Scotland and anyone eligible to vote from Wales, England and Northern Ireland and living in Scotland. It was assumed by some that many 16 to 17 year olds would vote yes but also the Scottish Government wanted to be as inclusive as they could in the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.
On September 18th 2014 52.7% of people born in Scotland and eligible to vote voted YES to Scottish Independence. There were around 420,000 eligible voters from the rest of the United Kingdom and 72.1% of those voted no, while voters from outside the UK eligible to vote resulted in 57.1% voting no. 37.5% of 16 to 19 year olds also voted no in the referendum.
The difference in the result between no 2,001,926 and yes 1,617,989 was 383,937 votes cast. It is estimated that around 177,000 EU citizens took part in the Scottish Independence Referendum with the majority of them making up the 57.1% who voted no.
Now the Scottish Government would never get away with stopping English, Welsh and Northern Ireland voters living in Scotland voting in the next Indy Referendum, nor should they, but I was wondering if all of those who were allowed to vote in Indy1 would be allowed to vote in Indy2 and came across this.
There is currently a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website asking for a debate on the subject of EU citizens to not be allowed to vote in any future Scottish independence referendum, not many signatures so unlikely to make it to the panel who decides what gets debated on the floor of Westminster but interesting all the same.
I was thinking that I would not put it past Westminster to try to make sure that 16 and 17 year olds and EU citizens are not allowed to vote in the next Independence Referendum. Is this something that we will have to be on our guard against the next time given the current decision for the United Kingdom to come out of the EU and the majority of young people very much being pro EU.
Who do you trust!