By Tom Lowenstein @stoopnik
As it emerges that the parliament petition was actually set up by a pro-leave right wing activist, huge numbers of votes from ineligible countries could undermine Remainers’ hopes of a second referendum
The petition demanding a second EU referendum has now passed three million signatures, but Parliament’s data suggests the vote may have been compromised.
It has also emerged that the poll was actually set up a month before the referendum by a right-wing activist and Brexit voter fearful of a remain vote.
While the petition’s creator Oliver Healey has complained on Facebook that the petition has been “hijacked” by remain supporters, there are also claims from supposed hackers that they have targeted the petition.
The petition demands that the government implement a rule that a second referendum should be held if turnout is less than 75% and the vote to leave or remain has a majority lower than 65%.
It has smashed the record for most signatures demanding a debate in Parliament, but a look at the open data through the petition’s .json file suggests that not all of the votes are legitimate.
The most obvious case is the Vatican City, which appears to have over 41,000 votes – despite having an official population of just 451. While writing this article the number of votes from the Papal city increased by over 600.
North Korea, the famous bastion of democracy which prides itself on free and open access to the internet, currently has nearly 25,000 votes.
Other effects from the apparent hack are highlighted in this Imgur post, which suggests that vote numbers may have been boosted across UK constituencies too.
This has not stopped Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, calling on Parliament to reject the referendum result.
“We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU,” he said on Twitter.
Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness through a vote in Parliament. My statement below pic.twitter.com/V8f9Yo1TZd
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) 25 June 2016