More than half a million people in the UK registered to vote yesterday as the Brexit referendum nears

It’s a neck-and-neck race.
It’s a neck-and-neck race.
Image: Reuters/Toby Melvile
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June 7 was the deadline to register to vote in the UK’s referendum on staying in the EU. Such was the last-minute scramble to apply that the government registration website crashed due to what the Cabinet Office called “unprecedented demand.”

Even with the glitches, 525,000 people registered in a single day, in a dramatic last-minute spike. Not only is that more than double the 226,000 who registered the day prior, but it is greater than the record-breaking 469,000 people who registered to vote the day before the deadline for the general election last year.

In light of yesterday’s technical problems, the Electoral Commission is calling for the voter registration deadline to be extended. David Cameron has urged voters to continue trying to register.

It looks like it will be a tight race come June 23. According to the latest poll from YouGov, 43% of voters would choose to remain in the EU versus 42% opting to leave, and 11% are undecided. Opinion polls suggest the result could come down to voter turnout by age group, as younger voters are more likely than older voters to reject the idea of Brexit. The tipping point for being more likely to support a breakaway seems to happen at age 43. So it’s worth noting that more than half of yesterday’s registrants—302,000 of the 525,000 total—are under the age of 35.