SCOTLAND’s proportional voting system, which gives a political voice to 16 and 17-year-olds, should be used as a template to repair the “broken” Westminster method, according to a campaign group.

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) made the call for change 50 years to the day since the Representation of the People Act received Royal Assent, and is planning to reignite the debate about adopting a proportional electoral system.

In Wales, moves are already under way to extend the voting age and legislation is being planned to allow councils to introduce a fairer system – moving away from first-past-the-post.

Earlier this month the Commons debated extending the vote to 16-year-olds, which attracted broad cross-party support. Now, the ERS is calling on the Government to back the plans.

It said high-profile profile Tories, including Nicky Morgan and Sir Peter Bottomley, and former chancellor George Osborne, supported extending the vote, as outlined in a paper it published last year.

Analysis by the Hansard Society has shown almost two-thirds of respondents feel our system of governing needs “quite a lot” or “a great deal” of improvement and 75% have said the main political parties were so divided within themselves that they could not serve the best interests of the country.

The society said current polling also placed support for parties other than the so-called “big two” at around 40% – yet Westminster’s two-party voting system was struggling to cope.

It predicted the next election will effectively be a “lottery”, with volatile voting and random results, as votes are split between many parties.

Last week a cross-party group of MPs published a united call for votes at 16 and 17 for the whole UK.

The Votes at 16 All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) released a campaign report to mark a year since it was established.

That document drew together evidence from the APPG through its first year, with contributions from parliamentarians across the political spectrum, academics, youth organisations, campaigners and think tanks.

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APPG chair, Danielle Rowley, said the report made a clear and compelling case for allowing votes at 16.

“We live in turbulent political times and the diverse insights of young people will be as important as ever in helping to chart a way forward,” she said.

“The mobilisation of young people on issues from Brexit to climate change shows just how much we are losing out by not recognising their views at the ballot box.

“The Government must listen to the growing calls from voices in all political parties, including their own, that the time to act is now.”

Over the last 20 years, support for lowering the voting age has increased with politicians from all sides backing such a move.

Scottish teenagers can already vote in the Holyrood and council elections and their counterparts in Wales are soon to be given a vote in local authority polls there.

The ERS said these moves made it harder to deny an extension of the franchise to all the country’s elections.

Darren Hughes, ERS chief executive, said: “On the 50th anniversary of extending the vote to 18-year-olds, it is now time to learn from the success of votes at 16 in Scotland and embrace a fairer franchise for the whole UK.

“When they vote, 16 and 17-year-olds actually have higher rates of turnout in Scotland than 18 to 24-year-olds.

“In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum turnout among 16 to 18-year-olds was 75%, with 97% of those who voted saying they would vote in future elections.

“Evidence has shown that they accessed more information ahead of the vote from a wider variety of sources than any other age group – showing that 16-year-olds are more than ready to engage in the democratic process in an enthusiastic and informed way.

“It is also time to reignite the debate about moving to a fairer electoral system. Two-party first-past-the-post politics is not working for voters or this country, as the current Brexit deadlock has highlighted.”

Hughes added: “The existing system is meant to produce ‘strong and stable’ government – but the reality is that voters want to ‘shop around’ more than ever, meaning the system is unable to cope.

“The result is volatile voting leading to random results – and increasing disillusionment among voters.

“A proportional voting system would not only give voters real choice but would encourage parties to work together – helping to mend the huge fissures in our society.

“Adopting the model for local elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland would ensure every vote counts and revitalise politics for good.

“MPs should use this anniversary as a chance to reflect on what is working – and what clearly isn’t – and start to mend Westminster’s broken politics.”