Devolution 10 October 2012 Are Scottish teenagers more in favour of independence? The polling evidence suggests not. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML The hope among nationalists and the fear among unionists is that the decision to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the Scottish independence referendum will aid the SNP's cause. Young people, it is supposed, are more susceptible to Alex Salmond's patriotic appeal than their older compatriots. But the polling evidence we have suggests that this is not the case. A survey by the Mail on Sunday last month found that support for independence stands at just 26% among 14 and 15-year-olds (who will be 16 or 17 in 2014), compared with 27% among the rest of the population. As pollster John Curtice noted: This shows the assumptions made by some that younger voters tend towards independence is some way out. The crucial group are those over the age of 60, who are more inclined to vote. We may yet see a deal which extends the franchise for the referendum but we don’t know if the people in this category will turn up and vote, as turnout among younger voters is traditionally low. The SNP will, naturally, hope to shift these numbers over the course of the campaign. But it's already clear that allowing young Scots to vote won't be the game changer that the party needs. › Crime does pay: Analysing thrillers for clues to culture First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond carries a sliver putter signifying the next location of the Ryder Cup. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Leader: Labour is failing. A hard Brexit is looming. But there is no need for fatalism Theresa May's Article 50 letter: what she said, and what she meant In Birmingham after the Westminster attack: "You can't paint everyone with one brush"