Referendum – 15 days to go
Voter Registration Débacle
The deadline for on-line Registration to Vote in the Referendum closed at 11.59 pm last night. But, of course, the system crashed before the deadline. Surprised?
Well, we should not be:
- Every government IT system is flaky. That has been true for the Home Office, the Department of Work and Pensions, the National Health Service, whatever – and it is true for a lot of commercial systems too (eg the banks); and
- Most of the people who will have been caught out by the failure are likely to be younger voters who ought to have been more aware of the intrinsic danger of leaving registration to the last minute.
There are already calls for some sort of extension to be arranged and Prime Minister suggested at Question Time today that people keep registering and hopefully something could be sorted out. The site is back up.
LATE EXTRA: The Cabinet Office Minister has just announced that the government will legislate to extend the deadline for registering to midnight on Thursday.
FT Poll Tracker: Remain 45% – Leave 43% = Don’t Know 12%
BBC Poll Tracker: Remain 43 – Leave 42 = Don’t Know 11%
William Hill Odds: Remain: 3/10 – Leave: 12/5 – Scotland Vote Leave: 10/1
The polls are too close to give any reliable indication of the outcome – the betting odds might be more enlightening.
The ITV Farage & Cameron Show
Last night’s TV event only served to prove that ITV needs to revamp its current affairs team. The format was hopeless. There was no serious cross-examination by the presenter of either Farage or Cameron. The event was a bit of a waste of viewing time. How one regrets the present absence of Jeremy Paxman from this kind of event.
The Guardian has this from its panel of observers: “EU referendum: our panel on Nigel Farage and David Cameron’s TV debate” which seems a good summary.
The Mirror has some pertinent observations from people who watched on its page: “EU referendum ITV debate recap: David Cameron and Nigel Farage face the music over Brexit”.
How goes the Campaign?
The Financial Times has a good piece about the situation in Hull: “Immigration resonates on the streets for Brexit campaign” and inside that article there is a very convincing observation:-
Some believe the referendum — for all the intricate arguments and complex judgments — now boils downs to a simple question for Leave campaigners: “If this referendum is about migration, they win. If it is about economic risks they lose,” says Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
It is not quite that simple. There are going to be areas, for example – in Hull – in parts of Scotland – in the North East and in the South West where fishing communities have been devastated by the EU fisheries policy and this will impact on the outcome irrespective of the broader economic issues.
The problem is that of getting across to the majority that so much of our employment both in manufacturing and in services now depends so critically on our continuing membership of the EU single market that a vote to Leave is something close to a suicide pact.
Nice Guy Dave’s Mistake
Michael Gove and his Brexit partners in crime have not yet been properly challenged on their economic case.
Thus far, David Cameron and George Osborne have been far too nice to the Tory Brexiteers. To allow ministers to campaign against the policy of the Cameron Government without first requiring them to hand in their seals of office and leave the government benches was the first mistake.
It is not impossible that in consequence the Prime Minister will be remembered by the next generation as the man who betrayed Britain’s economic security because he was far too nice to those he mistakenly thought were his friends.