General election 2017: Register to Vote site pulls in 150,000 applications in a single day
Applications on the Register to Vote website reached the third highest total in a single day since EU referendum was called
Voters keen to ensure they have their say in June are heading to the Register to Vote site in their thousands - Photo credit: PA
There were 147,000 digital applications from people registering to vote through the government’s website on 18 April.
Data published on the government’s voter registration dashboard shows that there was a total of 150,000 applications to vote yesterday, with all but 3,000 of these being made digitally.
The number is the third highest in a single day since the referendum over the UK’s membership of the European Union was announced on 20 February 2016.
The two other peaks were on 3 June 2016, when 186,000 people applied online, and on 7 June 2016, when there were 515,000 digital applications.
Yesterday’s flurry of activity fell just short of the 156,000 digital applications received on 5 February 2015 - ahead of the May 2015 general election.
The highest number of applications made on a single day during that election period was on 20 April 2015, when there were 469,000 digital applications.
The deadline for voter registration before the snap general election - which will take place on 8 June - is 22 May, and the team running the website will be under close scrutiny, after it collapsed under the increased pressure ahead of the 7 June deadline for the EU referendum.
Last week, the influential Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a report on lessons the government should learn from the referendum, which said that that a lack of technical leadership, contingency planning and testing of the site had contributed to the crash.
The MPs pointed to a report by software consultants Equal Experts UK that found that roles and responsibilities for the site were “unclear” within the Cabinet Office, and that the testing of the website was “limited, and the conclusions drawn from the results were not sufficiently detailed or tested”.
PACAC recommended that the system be tested to the point of destruction and ensure it was taking “the necessary level of testing and precautions required to mitigate against any such surge in applications”.
The Cabinet Office team is understood to have put a series of measures in place to improve the resilience of the website, including increasing the maximum capacity for applications per minute, and number of simultaneous users.
This article has been amended to say that the highest level was reached on 18, not 19 April.
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In his ninth such proclamation in the last six months, Boris Johnson cited a rise of 500,000 since 2020 – rather than a decline of 588,000