Votes at 16?

In an article in The Times on February 7, Daniel Finkelstein urged the Conservative Party to support the reduction of the voting age to sixteen, a change with far-reaching implications backed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Disraeli’s bold reform of the franchise in 1867 was cited in the article as a precedent. Alistair Lexden advised caution in a letter published in the newspaper on February 9.

Sir, It took a succession of bravura Commons performances by Disraeli to gain the support of his deeply suspicious MPs for his “major reform expanding the franchise” to include urban male householders in 1867 (“The Tories could profit from votes at 16”, Daniel Finkelstein, Comment, Feb.7). How on earth could timid, tongue-tied Mrs May educate her party, in Dizzy’s famous phrase, to accept another bold expansion of the electorate?

Lord Lexden
House of Lords