MSPs back principle of 16 and 17 year-old referendum vote


The Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated her opposition to allowing prisoners to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum.

She was speaking during the stage one debate of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill on Tuesday 14 May 2013.

At decision time the general principles of the bill were agreed to.

The legislation sets out who is entitled to vote in next year's referendum, and includes provisions to enable 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

During the debate Ms Sturgeon said if somebody commits a crime which lands them in prison they break their contract with society and therefore lose their right to vote.

However, she told MSPs she would listen carefully to the debate.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott argued for giving the vote to prisoners on short term sentences, saying to do so would help them remain part of wider Scotland and give them a stake in the future.

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