Sir Vince Cable has said it would be “extreme and unreasonable” to deny pensioners the right to vote in elections and referendums.
It comes as a poll suggested 47 per-cent of 16-34-year olds think older people should not have a say on issues such as Brexit and Scottish independence.*
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Darryl Morris, the former Lib Dem leader said: "Young people have a genuine grievance against older people but to say that all over-70s shouldn't vote is an extreme and unreasonable solution."
Sir Vince added: “Brexit has a long-term impact which young people quite reasonably have a bigger stake in than people in my generation.
“I’m in my mid-seventies now but I would hope to be around for another 10 years or so and anything that changes over that period affects me and my generation so we should certainly have a say in it.”
Instead, he argued, the voting age should be lowered to 16 to ensure all age groups have a say, claiming "the balance is tipped too much to older people and against younger people”.
In the Commons today, Jeremy Corbyn also called to lower the voting age to 16.
The Labour leader said: “All 16-year-olds should have the right to vote because it seems to me fundamental to our democracy. It's young people's futures after all that we will be debating in this election.”
Jo Swinson, leader of the Lib Dems, agreed, saying: “We have votes at 16 for most elections in Scotland.
“It works well, the sky has not fallen in, and I think that those should be introduced for elections across the House and across all different elections.”
*Panelbase polled 2,013 people in Scotland, England and Wales commissioned by pro-Scottish Independence website Wings Over Scotland, after studies suggested older people swung the Brexit vote in favour of Leave and pensioners sealed the 2014 Scottish referendum ‘No’ victory.