Hang your head in shame, Gerrymandering Commission

By April 28, 2018February 18th, 2021No Comments



Almost 1,000,000 people registered for the Referendum vote in final three days.

Two of these days were added by the government in an unprecedented extension to the deadline.

In early June 2016, polling had been showing that the Leave campaign might have a chance of winning. At this point there was a massive effort to persuade people to register to vote. In particular this was aimed at young people using social media.

As it got closer to the deadline for registering to vote, the Electoral Commission was producing figures showing the latest number of registrations in a day, and crucially these were divided into age categories.

On what was supposed to have been the final day to register to vote in the Referendum – 7th June 2016 – the Electoral Commission’s own figures show that more than half a million people registered. Of those 525,000, more than 400,000 were under 45. By this stage everyone including David Cameron’s government knew that this group were most likely to vote Remain.


An hour and forty-five minutes before the midnight deadline, at 10.15pm, the voter registration system crashed.

The next day the Electoral Commission and David Cameron’s government held emergency talks. There was a problem extending the deadline and government action was needed. As the Electoral Commission said:

“The registration deadline is set out in legislation and we have said to the Government this morning they should consider options for introducing legislation as soon as possible that would extend the deadline. We would support such a change.”

It was announced that voter registration was being extended until midnight the following day.

That’s a 48 hour extension to compensate for only one hour and 45 minutes of downtime.

The deadline for voter registrations was set in law, so an unprecedented emergency law had to be rushed through Parliament. It was.


The Government and BBC went into overdrive on Wednesday 8th June, urging people to register. Huge social media campaigns were launched, persuading young people to register to vote Remain.

During the extension period granted for voter registrations, this is what happened:


436,344 more people registered to vote

77.3% of these people were under 45, the most likely to vote Remain

Only 2.8% of the extra voters were over 65, the most likely to vote Leave


Naturally Remainers will say that democracy is about getting the maximum number of people possible to register and use their vote. This is certainly true.

However, we have four fundamental points to make.

1. Firstly, a deadline is a deadline. If you leave things until the last minute, tough.

2. Secondly, the government had the data to show that people registering in the final days were highly likely to be Remain voters.

3. Thirdly and more strikingly, when the system crashed late at night (a quarter to eleven), this bias would have been even more evident. At that time of night, older voters would be highly unlikely to have been trying to register, making the likely Remain component far bigger with all the younger people registering than it was already.

Indeed this is what the figures show. The extension period resulted in only 2.8% of the extra voters being over 65.

4. The fourth point is the crucial question of why the government and the Electoral Commission chose to extend voter registrations by a massive 48 hours, when the system had only crashed late at night, for an hour and three-quarters.

We believe that this was a cynical attempt to manipulate the vote. The government knew it was in its interests to register as many voters at the last minute as possible, because they would predominantly vote Remain.

You may or may not recall the saturation coverage the BBC and others gave to this extension of voter registration. Certainly campaigners were highly active across the country and on social media to get the Remain vote out. Leave voters, we suggest, were more committed and were far more likely to have ensured they were registered in plenty of time.


We consider this to have been a breathtaking abuse of power to try to fix a Remain result. This was pure gerrymandering in our opinion. There should be an enquiry, with a panel being made up of Leave and Remain supporters in equal proportions.

In the end Leave won despite the above, however the relative narrowness of the result has constantly been used by Remainers to suggest that “the country is split”. It is our view that had this disgraceful attempt to sway the vote not happened, the Leave victory would have been even greater.

That said, Leave still won convincingly. And a win is a win. However this is an important issue, regardless of the fact that the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful.

We continue to demand that the government – and all MPs and peers – respect the result in full.

[Sources: Electoral Commission | Cabinet Office] 07.55am, 28 Apr 2018


Name: Jon, Wales Date/Time: 28 Apr 2018, 08.40am

Message: Brexit Facts4EU have this article just right. It was clear to most voters what Government was up to. This was an abuse of the electoral system which I complained about at the time. It’s worth reminding MPs and peers the Electoral Commission changed the wording of questions placed before voters to avoid any confusion. All matters were agreed by Parliament. We should demand a UK law be introduced to prohibit foreigners, like Soros, interfering with the UK democratic process just because they have billions to play around with. In my opinion, they’re well out of order.