Wales politics

No votes for 16-year-olds at Welsh assembly election

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Media captionNo votes for 16 year olds in 2016 Assembly elections

Sixteen-year-olds will not get the chance to vote at the 2016 assembly election, Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has said.

A bill on further devolution will be mentioned in the Queen's Speech.

But Mr Crabb said the Welsh government had agreed that votes for 16-year-olds would not be passed in time for the assembly election next May.

He said ideas for new powers would be drawn up by the autumn with "real legislation" following in early 2016.


Mr Crabb's comments follow a meeting with First Minister Carwyn Jones in Cardiff Bay on Thursday to discuss ongoing relations between the UK and Welsh governments following the Conservatives' victory in the general election.

Image caption Stephen Crabb and Carwyn Jones discuss plans for further devolution for Wales

Mr Jones said he always thought bringing in votes for 16-year-olds by 2016 was "ambitious" and that he "can't see it happening now".

But the first minister welcomed the pledge that plans for further Welsh devolution - set to include control over large energy projects and some financial powers - would be in the Queen's Speech.

"What is important is there's a clear timetable for when these powers will be devolved," he said.

"2018 at the latest in my view.

"I think that's plenty of time to get an act through the UK parliament and for the preparatory work to be completed for the assumption of those powers by the people of Wales."

Proposals to give more power to Wales were unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron in February.

A lower minimum voting age has been credited with boosting young people's interest in politics when it was introduced for the Scottish referendum on independence last September.

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