EU referendum: Jeremy Corbyn leads calls for voter registration deadline to be extended after website crashes

 
Jake Cordell
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The government's voter registration service crashed last night after a surge in demand
The government's voter registration service crashed last night after a surge in demand

--- UPDATE 11.42AM: The Electoral Commission has now called for the voter registration deadline to be extended

Jeremy Corbyn and a host of MPs have called for the deadline to register to vote in the EU referendum to be extended after surging demand caused the government's official website to crash last night.

A total of 515,000 people logged on the voter registration service yesterday - the last day it was possible to sign up to vote - with traffic spiking at 50,711 users at 10.15pm last night.

With such unprecedented demand, however, the website buckled, with a number of users unable to load pages and receiving error messages instead.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately called for the deadline to be extended to make sure everybody who tried to register to vote was able to.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, also said the deadline had to be extended, as did a number of other Labour MPs.

The government's performance monitor reported that the website crashed between 10pm and midnight last night, with an "uptime" of zero per cent at 11pm.

One of the error messages displayed to those who tried to register to vote last night

More than half of those who managed to apply yesterday - 332,000 of 525,000 - were under 35.

The Electoral Commission - the UK's elections watchdog - said it was "aware of issues" with the registration website last night.

The less glamorous page displayed to some after the original error page also crashed.

There has been no comment from either the Electoral Commission or a government spokesperson on whether the deadline will be extended.

The BBC reported that the government was looking into the legal and technical possibilities of extending the deadline.

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