It seems Guido has a challenger in the statistical excellence stakes. We suggest that Ally McCoist and Rangers FC nominate themselves for a Royal Statistical Society award next year:
Even the LibDems would be proud of that one.
Guido is honoured to have been commended by the Royal Statistical Society at the Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards today. Commenting on this blog’s data journalism over the last year, specifically our exposé on gender inequality at the patriarchal CLASS think tank and how the Guardian uses the word “scrounger” more than any other paper, the Royal Statistical Society praised our:
“commitment to using statistics to question, analyse and investigate the issues that affect society at large”
Guido looks forward to providing his readers with a similarly high standard of data journalism in the year ahead…
Press Gazette has crunched the numbers and worked out that the BBC pays more money to publicity-seeking MPs for vanity appearances than every national newspaper combined. Rory Stewart trousered £8,000 for his documentary, Alan Johnson pocketed £5,317, while part-time MP and TV personality Diane Abbott has been paid £2,800. Tim Loughton got £1,500 for appearing on Have I Got News For You, as did wannabe London mayor Sadiq Khan, who probably now regrets that ill-fated idea to boost his profile.
It all adds up to £20,000 of licence fee payers’ money paid to MPs so far this year, well ahead of the £17,905.40 the entirety of Fleet Street has stumped up. If ever there was a reason for scrapping the licence fee…
For years the BBC has explained its disproportionate consumption of the Guardian newspaper compared with public market share by arguing that it needs to buy more broadsheet papers than popular ones to best provide news for licence fee payers. It is not an issue of left-right bias, they claim, rather a distinction along broadsheet-popular press lines. Guido has analysed new figures released by the BBC to see whether this excuse stands up to scrutiny.
Methodology: By dividing a) each paper’s percentage share of the total papers purchased by the BBC , with b) each paper’s percentage share of the public market, we get c) the BBC mind share / public market share ratio. This tells us how greater or smaller BBC consumption is proportionally compared to public consumption.
Results: As the graph above shows, BBC consumption of the Independent is proportionally over 11 times that of the public market share. Next follows the Guardian at almost 5 times. BBC consumption of the Telegraph is proportionally just 1.7 times that of the public, and consumption of the Tory establishment’s Times newspaper is proportionally just 2.5 times as much as the public. The left-wing broadsheets have a far higher BBC consumption ratio than their right-wing rivals.
However, the popular press is where the BBC really gives the game away. Proportionally its consumption of the Mail is half that of the public and its consumption of the Sun is just a third that of the public. These are by some distance the two best-selling newspapers among the general population. Yet BBC consumption of the Mirror is proportionally double that of the Sun and 1.5 times that of the Mail.
Conclusion: This analysis shows that while the BBC is right that it makes a distinction between low circulation broadsheets and the popular press, there is a left-wing bias that extends to all papers. Among broadsheets, the BBC’s consumption of the Guardian and Independent is proportionally considerably higher that of the right-wing broadsheets (Times and Telegraph). Among the popular press, the BBC’s consumption of the Mirror is proportionally considerably higher than the Mail and the Sun. The numbers clearly show that the BBC’s newspaper purchasing patterns are not determined along a broadsheet-popular divide, they are determined on a left-right political bias.
As the economy grows, Labour’s poll lead disappears…
UPDATE: Note the 4% of Tories who think unemployment and economic growth are going to get worse are more pessimistic than their LibDem colleagues.
If you read the pundits, for example Jonathan Freedland and Polly Toynbee, the budget was aimed at older voters to counteract UKIP’s attraction to older more traditional small ‘c’ conservative voters. This is the pundit’s explanation for the poll lead collapse by Labour – now down to just 1%. Pundits claim Osborne has cunningly found granny’s political g-spot.
Has he really? Here is the move post budget in Tory support:
Younger voters up 5%, middle years up 3%, grey-haired support unchanged for the Tories. Whereas for Ed Miliband:
Labour has actually gained older voters perhaps nostalgic for the Kinnock type socialism now offered by Miliband. Weird Ed has lost 6% support from young voters, slightly less from middle age voters and gained 2% more support from aging lefties. Don’t think this is a random poll error – the YouGov results above are based on combining 8 polls to give some good sample sizes. Pundits will no doubt mull this over and recalibrate their musings. Guido has a working hypothesis, backed up by some data: Ed just isn’t cool. He’s an uncool weirdo that younger voters don’t want to be associated with, he has loser written all over him. 51 per cent of 18-24 year olds describe Ed Miliband as weird, the percentage of the Shadow Cabinet that agrees is even higher…
Today’s award for brass-neck goes to Quango Street star Jane Frost. The former director of DirectGov and the Department of Constitutional Affairs has popped up in her latest incarnation – Chief Executive of the Market Research Society – to have go at the Tories over data protection. Frost told the Sindy that she will be reporting them to the Information Commissioner for not replying to her letters about data harvesting, though it looks a lot like she is playing outrider for a Labour coordinated attack. It’s all rather tedious, but you have to give it to Frost – she is completely lacking in any self-awareness. Regular readers will remember Frost was “Individual Customer Director” at HMRC when they lost the financial records of 25 million child benefit recipients in 2007. And now she lectures others about handling data…
After four years as leader the British public still thinks Ed Miliband is a weirdo who was the unpopular bed-wetting swot that got bullied at school and picked last for sport teams.
All vote winning qualities…
Buzzfeed’s YouGov poll today shows Ed is seen as by far the weirdest party leader, with 51% of 18-24 year olds describing him as weird. That’s 50% weirder than Cameron. YouGov find that 29% think Ed Miliband is doing well as Labour leader, 60% badly, a negative net score of minus 31% compared to David Cameron’s minus 9%. As Guido wrote last week, these are not the numbers for a Prime Minister in Waiting, and the public literally laugh at Labour’s ideas.
The weirdo evidence is compelling…
The FT has a great spot this morning:
“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.
The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!
Using figures from landlords We Are Pop Up, Guido has ground the numbers and calculated how many coffees the Guardian has to sell a day to break even:
- Rent for one unit at BoxPark Shoreditch is £5,000 for every three months. Guardian Coffee has knocked three units together, making the cost for a year plus VAT £72,000.
- There is a one off service charge for each box of £1,250, and electricity for each box is £150 a month. That makes £9,150 for the year.
- Fitting the shop itself is valued at £25,000.
- Business rates for Hackney Council are calculated as 47.1% of the annual rent, totalling £33,912.
- A shop manager and four staff (based on witness reports of staff numbers) would together cost a minimum of around £100,000.
- That is an estimated total cost per year of £240,062.
- Each coffee is sold for £2.50.
- At an estimated whosesale price of £10 per kilo from Nude Espresso, at 7 grams a cup that makes a fair trade gross profit of £2.43 per coffee.
Meaning they have to sell 98,791 coffees to break even. That’s 8,233 coffees a month, 1,900 a week, or 270 a day – basically one every 2 minutes...
At the time of going to pixel, before Guardian Coffee sadly removed their data infographic from the internet, on their big opening day they had sold just 60 coffees. Another Guardian financial success…
What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester
George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:
“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.