The Isle of Man parliament has decided to lower the minimum voting age from 18 to 16.

Members of the House of Keys, the main house of the Tynwald, voted 19 to four in favour of the move.

It will allow about 2,000 16 and 17-year-olds on the island to vote.

Education Minister Steve Rodan, who proposed the amendment to eligibility for voting in the island's parliamentary elections, said ‘It may be that only a few 16 and 17-year-olds will want to vote.'

‘But if we can get even a small number engaged at an early age it could lead to a lifetime's active interest in politics,’ he said.

A United Kingdom Electoral Commission report last year recommended against lowering the voting age for the British parliament from 18.

But Man has a history of innovation in electoral reform: in 1881, it was the first country in the world to introduce votes for women.

The Tynwald was founded by Viking settlers more than 1,000 years ago and claims to be the oldest continuous parliament in the world.

Man is a Crown Dependency, and is not part of the UK, or of the EU.