Do you leave everything to the last minute? Thousands of people attempting to register to vote right at the deadline found the Government voter registration website down with a glitch on Tuesday night, two hours before the deadline to register to vote closed potentially leaving thousands of would be voters unable to have their say on 23 June. In an unprecedented step the Government has responded by pushing through emergency legislation in the middle of the election campaign to extend the deadline by two days.
Unsurprisingly the move has drawn much criticism from those in the Leave camp who view it as another unsavoury tactic to swing the vote in the Government’s favour, as those registering are considered more likely to support ‘Remain.’ An argument that is difficult to make without sounding undemocratic, the one thing Brexiters often accuse the EU of. You would think that allowing as many people to have a say in the process is a good thing, but this has not stopped one political donor for the leave campaign from threatening the Government with legal action and claims that they are behaving “unconstitutionally.”
While this latest blunder isn’t the Government’s finest hour, David Cameron, whose career depends on winning this referendum, can take comfort from the fact that predictions turnout will be at an all time high look likely to be true, with a record number of first time voters taking part in the process. And although it is still too close to call, a high turnout is likely to return a favourable result for the Government. The mantra of never letting a good crisis go to waste seems to apply perfectly here. An extra few days of registration time and all the accompanying publicity might just tip the balance. The question is, with all their claims of foul play, if a win for Remain is as close as expected, will Brexiters be content with accepting the outcome.