Euroskeptics Cry Wolf, Allege Attempt to Rig Referendum

Outers would rather half a million young Britons didn’t vote than extend registration by a couple of days.

A woman enters a polling station in London, England, May 22, 2014
A woman enters a polling station in London, England, May 22, 2014 (European Parliament)

Speaking of sore losers. Yesterday we had Austria’s Freedom Party launching a legal challenge against the presidential election result because their candidate lost by a whisker. Today some of the campaigners for Britain to exit the European Union say they might ask for a judicial review of a last-minute decision to extend voter registration by two days.

Arron Banks, co-chairman of the non-official Leave.EU campaign that is affiliated with Nigel Farage’s United Kingdom Independence Party, called the extension “a desperate attempt by the establishment to register as many likely remain voters as possible before polling day.”

“For the government to alter election law during an election period is absolutely unprecedented and unconstitutional,” he said.

This is coming from the people who want to liberate British democracy from the joke of Brussels. But when half a million of their compatriots may accidentally be disenfranchised — they don’t care?


Late on Tuesday, the original deadline, 214,000 people tried to register online to vote in this month’s EU referendum. The website processing the requests couldn’t handle such a high volume and crashed.

Another 242,000 Britons applied to vote on Wednesday morning. More than half were under the age of 35.

The reason Banks and Leave.EU would rather these hundreds of thousands of late deciders didn’t vote is that young Britons tend to support staying in the EU whereas seniors disproportionately favor an exit.


Banks alleged that extending the deadline by a couple of days is “a clear attempt to rig the referendum.”

Which is not only preposterous; it’s another example of leavers disparaging British institutions — the very institutions they want to return power to.

It all makes little sense until you realize that to fanatics like Banks and his outfit, everything that doesn’t help their cause must be part of a conspiracy to keep Britain in the EU.

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