Interestingly, we learn from the Government e-petitions site that around one in five of the e-petitions submitted attract fewer than three signatures, and as many as 42% fewer than six.

E-petition News

In May 2014, the UK House of Commons adopted a motion supporting the establishment, at the start of the next Parliament, of a collaborative e-petitions system, which enables members of the public to petition the House of Commons and press for action from Government. The motion called on the Procedure Committee to work with the Government and other interested parties on the development of detailed proposals. On 26 November 2014, the Procedure Committee released its report outlining an e-petitions system for the House of Commons. The Committee proposed that joint system be based on the existing Government e-petition site: redesigned and rebranded to show that it is owned by the House and the Government. To emphasise the Parliamentary oversight of […]

E-petition misconceptions persist

From the BBC, we learn that 99.9% of e-petitions on the UK Government’s e-petitions website fail to reach the magic 1000,000 signatures target needed to have the petition referred to the Backbench Business Committee, according to a research team from Oxford University: Nearly all e-petitions are doomed to become “digital dust”, they write. “After 24 hours, a petition’s fate is virtually set,” the team concludes. While the article itself is interesting as it explains the research’s team methodology, I did spot a few errors. I have written a number of posts trying to clarify certain misconceptions surrounding how the UK e-petitions scheme works. The biggest misconception that persists to this day is that if a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it […]

E-petitions with 10,000 signatures will now get a response

In a written ministerial statement, Leader of the House, the Rt. Hon. Andrew Lansley announced that any e-petition which received 10,000 or more signatures would receive a response from the Government: Once an e-petition has passed 10 000 signatures, departments will provide a  response  that will appear on the website and  be e-mailed to all signatories who opted-in to receive updates on that petition.  Responses will include a statement of the Government’s policy on the issue, and details of any relevant Parliamentary processes that are ongoing. All e-petitions currently open for signature on the site, which  have more than 10 000 signatures, will receive a response from departments; we expect most of these to be published before the House returns […]

E-petitions prove to be popular in their first year

A year after the launch of its e-petition site, the UK Government has released some interesting data which gives some idea of the popularity of e-petitions. Over the past twelve months, 36,000 petitions have been launched, attracting 6.4 million signatures. This of course doesn’t meant that 6.4 million different people have signed them – some people have probably signed multiple petitions. According to the Government, that averages out to 12 people signing a petition every minute. The e-petitions website averages 46,500 visits a day, for a total of over 17 million visits over the course of its first year. While those numbers are impressive, they are also a bit misleading. It seems that the popularity (or at least, the novelty) […]

Why there won’t be a debate on the Drop the Health Bill e-petition

On 28 February 2012, the UK House of Commons Backbench Business Committee declined an application to hold a debate on an e-petition calling on Parliament to drop the Government’s bill to reform the National Health Service (NHS). The e-petition had received over 100,000 signatures, and the request for a debate was brought to the Committee by Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. The reasons why the debate was refused centred primarily on two important considerations: the bill had received, and would continue to receive, debate in Parliament, and the request for a debate on dropping the bill would be better suited to an Opposition day debate rather than a Backbench business debate. As explained on the […]