Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department
David Mundell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Scotland; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Conservative)
First, my experience of the Labour party in Dumfries and Galloway is that it is very good at getting people on to the electoral register—and I am sure it will be so again in getting 16 and 17-year-olds registered. The Scottish Government will have to come forward with legally watertight proposals; otherwise, they will be subject to challenge. As we have heard, they could conduct the referendum on the basis of so-called attainers, by which is meant people who will turn 18 within the cycle of the electoral register. It is clear that that could be done legally, but the downside, from the Scottish Government’s point of view, is that not all 16 and 17-year-olds would be able to vote as not all of them would be on the register, because of that age
limitation. The other option for them is to create their own register. But were they to do that they would have to be sure that it was legally watertight.