With a record mandate of 478,000 votes, is this the start of new age for democracy as the youth voice vote beckons in 2015?


Lowering the voting age and combating youth unemployment are two of the five topics to be debated by Members of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons on Friday 15th November, as part of Parliament Week.

Today the British Youth Council publishes the Make Your Mark report containing the details of the popular vote of 478,000 young people in 2013 UKYP’s annual Make Your Mark ballot. The record turnout of almost half a million young people represents a huge increase on last year’s figure of 253,000 and indicates a growing interest in democracy and a potential for growth in first time voters in 2015.

Download the Make Your Mark report here

Young people around the UK were asked to vote on a shortlist of fifteen topics, including issues such as the environment, euthanasia and apprenticeships.  The top five issues, listed below, will be discussed to prioritise the campaigns for 2014, in a debate chaired by Speaker of the House The Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and witnessed by the Leader and Shadow Leader of the House, with Youth Minister Nick Hurd MP and Labour Chair of the Backbench Committee Natasha Engel MP.

Debates begin at 11:00 and finish at 14:30, at which point MYPs will vote to decide which of the topics discussed will become the focus of their national campaign for 2014.

In addition to the event being broadcast live on BBC Parliament, UKYP will again work in partnership with BBC 3’s Free Speech programme to promote the topics to schools and the public.  Watch this space for further news releases.

The aim of the debates are to choose the UKYP’s campaign for 2014 from the top five topics voted for by young people from the UKYP manifesto. The Make Your Mark report shows variations in choice throughout regions of the UK and devolved nations.

The top five topics are:
A curriculum to prepare us for life

Speakers: Jamie Macleod (Scotland);  Harry Samuels (South West)
Summation: Chante Joseph (London)

Zero tolerance to bullying in schools

Jakub Markowski (East of England); Kieara McKay (Army Welfare)
Summation: Rupom Subramanian (South East)

Combating youth unemployment

Speakers: Steven Atkins (North West);  Jawaad Ashraf (West Midlands)
Summation: Laurie Donaldson (Scotland)

Better work experience and careers advice

Speakers: Ruairi Kennedy (Northern Ireland): Matthew Otubu (North East)
Summation: Minhazul Abedin (Yorkshire and Humber)

Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections

Speakers: Shakeel Hajat (East Midlands); Matthew Walker (Wales)
Summation: Naiha Masih (South East)



Click here to download the press release

Attending the debate? Click here to download the press pack