News / Record-breaking EU 2nd referendum petition hits 3.9 million signatures and rising; most popular Parliament petition ever

posted on: June 28, 2016

The ‘EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum’ petition has now received 3,900,000 signatures from members of the public on the government Petitions site, breaking the previous record of 823,346, to become the most popular Parliament petition ever.

EU referendum petition

Built in partnership with GDS, (Government Digital Service), Petitions enables members of the public to create or sign petitions that ask for a change to the law or to government policy. Petitions that receive 10,000 signatures get a response from the government, and those that receive 100,000 signatures are considered for debate in Parliament.

Following the EU referendum result, this petition was started by a ‘Leave’ campaigner who anticipated a ‘Remain’ result but later adopted by ‘Remain’ voters, and received over 2.5 million signatures over the weekend. It has now crossed the 3.9 million mark, with more signatures being added all the time.

A statement has been released by the Petitions Committee regarding the concern of invalid signatures in the system:

Petition Committee statement

That’s the story - but what about the technology behind this unprecedented petition signing?

The site peaked at 98,000 resolutions per minute with 100,000 active users - a dramatic increase from the previous record of 45,000 resolutions per minute, hitting 62,000 concurrent users and processing 2,000 signatures per minute.

“The response to this petition has been bigger than anything we’ve ever seen before. Originally designed to process 12,000 signatures per hour, the system peaked at over 150,000 signatures per hour on Saturday - a record we couldn’t even have imagined. Thanks to AWS, we were able to scale the system to handle this huge number of requests.”

- Andrew White, CTO & Rails Core Team Member, Unboxed

Helen Jones MP, The Chair of the House of Commons Procedure Committee, has confirmed the Petitions Committee will consider the petition at its meeting next week and decide whether to schedule a debate on it.

Using the signature data to better understand geographical trends Petition Map, a visual heat map showing the number of signatures per each constituency, hit a record number of 1,632,760 sessions across the 48 hours following the referendum result.

The interactive heat map was shared in The Independent, Mail Online and Mashable as part of their commentary on this story.

Petition Map

Any petition signature data can be viewed geographically in the same way. The last time a heat map of a petition was shared widely was Block Donald J Trump from UK entry.

See Petition Map here.