Turnout proves young people are interested in voting when there is no negative party politics, says chair of Scottish Youth Parliament
Nearly 70,000 young people from all over Scotland voted in the 2015 Scottish Youth Parliament national elections.
The elections, which were open for two weeks and held from 2-13 March, asked young people aged 12-25 to cast their vote for their local Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) by submitting a paper ballot or using a secure e-voting platform facilitated by Young Scot.
Louise Cameron MSYP, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said the record turnout once again proved young people are interested in taking part in a democracy when there isn't any party politics.
Calling on all politicians to take note, she said: “Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed fantastic campaigning taking place all over the country, with passionate debates and hustings inspiring Scotland’s young people to get involved in the democratic process by voting in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections.
Engaging young voters is a priority that transcends party politics, and I hope the success of the Scottish Youth Parliament elections will help to encourage politicians to put the party politics to one side
“It has been a truly extraordinary journey, and the success of the elections is a real testament to the commitment and enthusiasm of young people to further their involvement in political decision making and ensure their voices are at the forefront of shaping society.
“Through our work at the Scottish Youth Parliament, we know that young people engage with and are interested in issue-based politics. Young people want to have their say about the issues that affect their lives, but often the focus on negative party politics is off-putting for young people and leads to disengagement.
“For me, engaging young voters is a priority that transcends party politics, and I hope the success of the Scottish Youth Parliament elections will help to encourage politicians to put the party politics to one side and harness young people’s enthusiasm for politics by focusing on the issues and discussions that matter to them.”
A full list of newly elected MSYPs is available at syp.org.uk/elections. The newly elected MSYPs will take up office at the Scottish Youth Parliament’s National Sitting in June 2015.