MSPs have backed plans to extend the length of a Holyrood parliament to five years.

The Standards and Procedures committee also supported extending the time between council elections to five years, and creating two and five-member council wards.

The cross-party group gave its verdict in a report on the Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill, which proposes adding a year to the standard four-year Holyrood and local terms.

The consensus means the proposals are now set to pass at Holyrood and become law.

The changes are intended to help avoid clashes between the two and make for more settled government and long-term policy development.

The Bill would also empower the local boundary commission for Scotland to draw up new sizes of council wards, which are all currently represented by three or four councillors.

In exceptional circumstances there could be two-member wards for sparsely populated rural and island councils, and five-member wards for busy urban wards.

Although Holyrood terms are supposed to last four years, they were extended to five years for the 2011 and 2016 parliaments to avoid clashes with Westminster elections.

Committee Convener Bill Kidd said: “How our elections are run in Scotland has a direct impact on engagement and participation. Everybody should feel that they are represented and can have a say in how local and national policies are running.

“The changes in this Bill are clearly to be welcomed to make sure that this happens across Scotland. However, the Scottish Government must make sure that where there is flexibility on issues such as the size of council wards, the impact on representation is considered.”

The Bill also introduces measures to allow 14 year olds to be added to the electoral register ahead of attaining the right to vote at 16.

The Committee backed the measure, but said the Scottish Government mustdo more to ensure that young people have the opportunity to be informed about the electoral process.

Deputy Convener Mark Ruskell said “Young people have to be at the heart of our democracy. These changes send a clear signal that we want the voices of young people across Scotland to be heard and for them to play their part in Scottish democratic life.

“But it is crucial that everybody is informed how the electoral process works and what this means for them. We would urge the Scottish Government to make sure this type of information is made available to young people.”

The MSPs also backed the Bill’s plan for more electronic voting, but said ministers had to consider how best to achieve this for disabled people

The Committee has urged the Government to try to fix the so-called ‘list order effect,’ which advantages council candidates at the top of an alphabetically-listed ballot paper.