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1969 Representation of the People Bill- Second Reading Debate

During the second reading of the Representation of the People Bill MPs discussed lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Although most MPs were in favour of lowering the vote, one opinion alone stood in strong disapproval. A Mr George Strauss (MP for Vauxhall) is recorded as opposing the vote claiming that it was ‘illogical' and would only “inject a measure of idealism into our political affairs”. Strauss further stated that 18-year old's had not the ‘mental maturity' for voting, thus to lower the voting age was a ‘dangerous thing'. In sharp contrast to Strauss, Mr Eric Lubbock (MP for Orpington) who supported lowering the vote, said in response, “People can have very great knowledge but no maturity and, conversely, can be very mature and still have acquired no knowledge. I am not sure into which category the right hon. Gentleman himself falls.”