Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Friday, 1 May 2009

"Gordon Brown resign" petition. Suspicious rate of increase?

I have been following with interest and posting about the "Please Go" petition on the Number 10 petitions website that asks Gordon Brown to resign. I have posted about it several times now.

Kalvis Jansons, the person who started the petition now has a dedicated Google Group to support the petition.

He also posted the following on another thread on my blog which I am happy to reproduce here:

This is a 6 month petition, rather than the more normal 12 month. So, it is harder to break the record for the largest petition ever on Number 10. However, we effective blogging and the very early article in with title "Go, Brown, Go!", we were off to a fast start. I am working on increasing the rate of growth in the near future, and others are doing it in their way as well.

So, we are still in with a good chance of making this break all the Number 10 petition records. Your blog also helps in this, so keep up the good work.

Others seeing this can help, if they have accounts, by digging anything on the "Please go" petition on digg. We will reach some new people when we get on the front page, which should be soon, with a little help.

Also, we have not been on the 10:00 TV news yet. This will provide a big boost, and I am working on that, though any help would be welcome. Note, I am not trying to get on the TV, I want the story and URL mentioned on the TV.

Anyone with ideas, please post them on 
10.kalvis.comThis is better than emailing me, as many others are helping and I can direct them to that site as well. Again this will speed things up a bit.

He has mentioned on his groups page that he would like to get to 2,000,000 before the petition runs out on the 22nd October (after 6 months) which would make it the largest petition to site had ever received. He has calculated that we will need an average of 11,000 signatures per day added in order to get this.

However, I am getting a little bit suspicious about the rate of increase. Since I started following the petition a week ago when it was at about 700 the rate of increase seems to have been pretty constant at about 6,000 per day. This is despite the fact that at first there was very little publicity and in the last 2 or 3 days there have been various mentions in newspapers and even on TV. I am confused as to how the rate of increase can be so steady in the face of this.

Is the website capable of handling more than about 6,000 signatures per day? Has anybody noticed any problems in trying to register their signature? I would be interested to know if there is a reason for this. Perhaps it is just a coincidence. It will be interesting to see if the rate goes up as the publicity it will get from the weekend and especially Sunday papers should surely cause a big spike? I will be happy to be proved wrong on my suspicions here and I will be watching the site closely!

UPDATE: Yesterday the growth was only about 3,000 which seems very odd given the exposure the petition had on national TV on Friday evening via the mention on "Have I Got News For You". There is a thread on Kalvis' Google Group for this too.


Kalvis Jansons said...

Email me a phone number, and I will tell you more.

Best wishes,


Use for filtering please.

Judy Jansons said...


The "Gordon Brown resign" petition is getting close to being in the top 10 petitions of all time by size on the Number 10 site. When it exceeds 70663 signatures then it will be in 10th place!

Could you possibly give this some publicity in your blog plaase, as this would help to keep up the interest?

It has been very interesting reading your comments on the progress of the petition. I particularly liked your comparison of the number of signatures on this petition with the votes that Gordon Brown got in the last election!

Best wishes,


Kalvis Jansons said...

Mark, can you email some of the press about our concerns regarding a slowing of the petition at a time when all other activity around this petition has increased. Also, the slowing was sudden, and not just the logistic curve slow down that we expect at some stage.

We are not at saturation, or even close. There is something strange here, and sorry to tell you otherwise before. I agree with you now, but needed more data to be sure.

This is a bit stick to hit Brown with already, but it looks like they do not want it any bigger (or not much at least).

Angus Ogg said...

Whilst the publicity for this e-petition is increasing by the day, the petition numbers have virtually stalled. Not suspicious - more downright dodgy looking.

Methinks it is time to run some test names, and if this provides the proof of what a lot of us suspect, then there should be a formal complaint to either the Commissioner for Standards in Public life to do an audit trail on the Downing Street Computer.

OR even more appropriate.....




Anonymous said...

I've just posted it on Twitter, get more people to do the same and we'll use all social media platforms to spread the word.

Although the numbers decreasing is downright dodgy. Someone fiddling eh? [shifty look]

Anonymous said...

The number of signatures on this petition has only increased by about 2000 in the last month. Given the total battering in the local & euro elections, the publicity on TV (Have I got news for you etc..) this is more than simply suspicious in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Any news on this? The numbers are looking more and more suspicious, when I signed it my name never appeared on the recent signatures even after refreshing multiple times. I suspect the real number of signatures is probably at least twice the figure shown? Did anyone complain to the commissioner?