My UK Government Petition Tracker was a tool I created in the wake of the “Brexit” referendum to track the growth of UK Government petitions over time. It was built in about 6 hours using the PHP Laravel Frameworkand chart.js and was a side project intended to help me get to grips with Laravel Queues and the charting library.
In June 2016, the UK Government held their “Brexit” referendum. There was a major UK government petition asking for rules to be set up to trigger a second referendum under certain conditions.
This petition get a lot of press. It was subject to hacking and fraudulent signatures (greatly increasing the volume of signatures), and I was intrigued at the rate of increase of the thing. It seemed incredibly steady to the point of mechanical. I was curious.
I noticed that the data was available in a format that was easy to process, and subject to an open license that allowed me to to re-use it. I was also curious about how Queues (that enable you to run scheduled background tasks) worked in Laravel, and wanted a bit of Laravel practice, so I created Petition Tracker.
Petition Tracker was built in a small amount of spare time just to learn and prove a few things. It doesn’t track every petition – you have to request it track a petition – and it’s had no design work done on it, so it’s pretty simple and functional. But it does work, and results in some pretty interesting data.