Will extending the franchise increase participation?


What impact will new laws have on political participation? This is the question that Holyrood’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is asking as it launches a call for views on the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill.

The Bill extends candidacy rights for Scottish Parliament and local government elections for foreign nationals, as well as setting out a number of changes to the electoral franchise in Scotland. 

These changes include provisions extending the electoral franchise to include all those with a legal right to live in Scotland and extending the right to vote to some prisoners.

Now the Committee is asking what effect this will have on political participation in Scotland.

Committee Convener, Bill Kidd MSP said:

“Although the Bill before us is small, its ambition is clear.  By extending the right of who can stand in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections, it is aiming to increase diversity and of course political participation.

“But we want to hear about how this would work in practice and whether this change really will have an impact on who gets involved in politics.”

More information about the Committee’s call for views can be found here.


The Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill on 20 June 2019.

More information on the Bill can be found on the Parliament’s website.

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