Scotland politics

Scottish independence: How are young voters finding information?

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Research shows that young people are more likely to vote in the Scottish independence referendum when they have discussed it with their parents and friends.

Here, we ask members of the BBC's Generation 2014 panel how they are getting information ahead of the decisive vote on 18 September.

David White, 16, Shawhead

"I've used the summarised white paper as a resource - it presents most of the key arguments of the Yes campaign. I spoke to my local MP about it and at school, they're doing a debate about it.

"I have been reading a lot and doing research but the day-to-day news in the morning and evening helps. I think a lot of people that do subjects like modern studies at school and those that watch the news know more about the referendum. And it's growing more and more popular as something to be interested in within my peer group.

"I'll be looking more into the financial way an independent Scotland would be supported - that's been in the news a lot. I'd like to see more hard facts to help me decide how I would vote."

Gregor Larmour, 15, Kilmarnock

"I feel like I know enough to make an educated vote and to vote confidently."

"I look online a lot and use different websites to find out information. I find it effective to bounce off my friends about it and ask them how they're voting. It helps you to see a different point of view and encourages your friends to think about it too.

"I try and avoid talking about it with family to avoid a biased opinion. A lot of my friends haven't read into it because they get all the information from their mum and dad.

"It's very hard to find dumbed-down information from the technicalities that politics brings with it for your young people.

"It's key to get unbiased information and from our own opinions, especially for young people who are voting for the first time."

Ellie Kean, 15, Dundee

"I think I know a little about what's going on but it's really hard to find out stuff, especially when you don't have time to sit down and research it."

"When you're my age, you've got a lot of things going on like exams. So it's hard to sit down to listen to news reports and read articles. When you get the chance, it can be hard to find recent reports.

"My friends don't know what's actually going on - they've been asking me loads of questions and I just didn't know how to answer them.

"I'm definitely going to keep tabs on the newspapers and the news reports, and I think nearer the referendum there will be a lot more going on and I'll get to hear more opinions that will help me to make a decision.

"It's not that people this age aren't interested it. It's hard for us. When it's not easily accessible, it makes it difficult. I think people will like to know more about this stuff, it's just sometimes hard for them."

Martin Close, 15, Aberdeen

"When people say there's not a lot of information, they just haven't gone and looked for it. It is there, I've found it and I feel well-informed as a result of looking for it.

"I mainly have been looking at the internet but I've been trying not to just look at the campaign websites. I prefer looking at the research of economic institutes and how independent sources have weighed up the options.

"To a small extent, I've been influenced by my friends and family, but I would hesitate to take their word for most things.

"A lot of my friends are voting one way or another because their parents have told them how to vote. When it comes to politics and economics and real life, you have to start questioning where your parents are getting their information before coming to your own conclusions."

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