Charlie Cotterill celebrates his 18th birthday at the polling station

Charlie Cotterill turns 18 today and he's voting for the first time in Ipswich.

Charlie Cotterill turns 18 today and he's voting for the first time in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Reaching your 18th birthday is always a big occasion – but for Charlie Cotterill it has even more significance than most.

He was able to celebrate his big day today as one of the youngest voters in the country – calling at the polling station on the way home from Suffolk One where he is currently preparing for A Levels.

Charlie lived with his family in Quilter Drive in Pinewood, and popped into his polling station at Pinewood Community Centre on Shepherd Drive to vote in the South Suffolk constituency.

While he has been taking an interest in the issues – although he has other priorities on his mind as well at the moment.

He said: “I have been keeping up with what is happening and I have looked through all the leaflets we’ve had. I’m working out who to vote for, but I’m definitely voting.”

But he is concentrating on preparing for his A levels – he is hoping to go on to study Biosciences at university.

Charlie said: “I’ve got my first A levels just around the corner so I’m concentrating on them – but this is a very interesting way to celebrate my birthday.”

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He is one of the first of the “Blair generation” able to vote – Charlie was born six days after Labour swept to power on May 1 1997.

There are estimated to be about 500,000 18-year-olds on the electoral register nationwide, out of a total of 46 million. That would mean that, statistically, across the country there are about 1,400 people celebrating their 18th birthday today who are eligible to vote.

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