Making votes-at-16 work in Wales

  • Christine Huebner (Creator)
  • Christine Huebner (Contributor)
  • Katherine Smith (Contributor)
  • Andrew Mycock (Contributor)
  • Thomas Loughran (University of Liverpool) (Contributor)
  • Jan Eichhorn (Contributor)



The 2021 Welsh Parliament elections were the first in which 16- and 17-year-olds in Wales were allowed to vote. This presented a unique opportunity to extend the evidence base on experiences and outcomes of the lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16 years. The ‘Making Votes at 16 work in Wales’-project analysed how young people aged 16 and 17 experienced their inclusion in the franchise and the first election in which they were allowed to vote in Wales, with the aim of identifying which support young people aged 16 and 17 need to turn out to vote and what works to mobilise and enhance turnout levels among young people. A detailed overview of the data is attached. The data include 22 transcripts from focus group discussions with 86 young people from all over Wales, some of whom participated in two focus group discussions - one before and one after the election. The second subset of data are 3 files consisting of non-representative pre- and post-election survey data from focus group participants and further young people in Wales, 111 participants in total. Focus group participants joined 60- to 120-minute-long facilitated focus group discussions, conducted virtually, with young people participating via video call and online chat, between April and August 2021, in which they discussed their experience of the election and election campaign as well as their interest in and views of political issues, including of the lowering of the voting age, their attitudes to Welsh politics and governance. A few young people additionally kept election diaries, reacting to prompts from the research team in the leadup to the election and sharing an in-the-moment insight into their election experience; these data consist of 11 files. The research was funded by the UK Democracy Fund, a Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd initiative.
Date made available2022
PublisherNottingham Trent University
Date of data production1 Jan 2021

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