MSPs give independence vote to 16 and 17 year olds

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MSPs passed the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill on 27 June 2013, after its final debate in parliament.

103 MSPs voted for the bill with 12 voting against it.

The legislation will allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in next year's Scottish independence referendum.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government had long wished to extend the referendum franchise and this bill was a "crucial first step towards next year's historic poll".

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said: "Scottish Labour strongly supports the principle of giving 16 and 17 year olds the vote and believes the right should be extended to all elections".

Annabel Goldie, the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said using the independence referendum as a "test bed for extending the franchise" was "premature and misjudged".

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