Monday, October 13, 2014

Have We Reached Peak Buzzfeed?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

DATA SPECIAL: Karen Danczuk Twitter Selfie Analysis

Guido’s favourite Labour councillor Karen Danczuk was given a tough time during her appearance on Loose Women, coming in for some particularly unfair criticism about her allegedly provocative Twitter selfies. This blog has always been at the cutting edge of agenda setting data journalism, so Guido decided to investigate and put Karen’s defence to the test. The evidence presented below shows that Mrs D is right, despite what the Loose Women said more often than not her selfies are just good, clean fun:

In light of this indisputable new evidence perhaps Karen’s critics should start talking about some of her other assets…

Today’s By-Elections: The Numbers

In 2010 UKIP decided not to run a candidate against Douglas Carswell, clearing the way for the Tories to beat Labour by 53% to 25% and hand Carswell a majority of 12,068. Some last minute jitters/expectation management in Clacton from a source close to Carswell suggest he is nowhere near the 32 point lead given to him by Lord Ashcroft’s most recent poll in the constituency. UK Polling Report‘s demographics show Clacton has a high proportion of over 65s, a high proportion not in work and very low numbers of ethnic minorities:

Meanwhile up in Heywood and Middleton:

Labour are on course for a comfortable hold despite a party aide today telling the Staggers Miliband’s attitude to the constituency has been “deeply frustrating” and that they are “completely out of touch” with the concerns of local voters. Even the uninspiring Liz McInnes should be able to defend the late Jim Dobbin’s 5,971 majority. Here are the demographics from UK Polling Report:

We should have the results in the early hours…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

There Has Been No Global Warming For Past 18 Years

Today is an inconvenient anniversary for greenies: as of 1 October there have been 18 years with no global warming. Weather satellite data collected by the Earth System Science Centre at the University of Alabama shows the earth’s temperature has “plateaued” since this day in 1996. Its director Dr John Christy says:

“The fact that no one predicted what’s happened in the past 18 years indicates we have a long way to go to understand the climate system. And that the way the predictions were wrong were all to one direction, which means the predictions or the science is biased in one direction, toward overcooking the atmosphere… Our ignorance is simply enormous when it comes to the climate system, and our understanding is certainly not strong and solid enough to make policy about climate because we don’t even know what it’s going to do”

The same climate activists who don’t want to talk about this data are moaning that Dave cut the green crap from his conference speech today…

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Evidence of Jonah Brown Cursing the Union

aw-gf-gb-sky

Last week Guido pointed out the negative impact that the former Prime Mentalist was having on the No campaign’s poll ratings after getting involved late in the referendum. Yesterday’s YouGov bombshell shows the Jonah effect with even greater clarity. While many may dismiss this a terrible coincidence, they should note it is Scottish Labour support that is haemorrhaging to the optimism of the Yes campaign.  These are precisely the people to whom the former Prime Mentalist is talking. 

The good news for fighters for Scottish freedom is that Better Together have decided to deploy Gordon and both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls this week. ALBA GU BRÀTH! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today’s Outstanding Contribution to Statistical Excellence

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.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guido Commended by Royal Statistical Society

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…

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Misery Index: Summer is Coming

A weekend heatwave, wall to wall sunshine and even a slight drop in unemployment – it’s no wonder we are all so happy. This is one of the most joyous months we have had under this government, with the Retail Prices Index staying at 2.5%, more people in work and a three day weekend awaiting us. There has however been a rise in the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement, meaning we are not quite as happy as our happiness peak in February this year. The clear trend of decline in misery since February 2011 remains…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#Nigel4Newark: the Pros and Cons of Running

The UKIP leader says he will “think very hard” about standing in Newark but appeared cautious last night, asking is it the right seat for me?” Guido gives you the pros and cons facing Farage.

Pros

  • CLICK TO ENLARGEAnalysis by the Election Data website (right, click to enlarge) looking at Mosaic demographic data, past voting behaviour and self-reported political affiliation suggests that Farage would be well received in Newark. The overwhelming majority of the constituency is seen as “receptive” or “fairly receptive” to UKIP, with some areas “very receptive”. Only the town centre are voters described as “unreceptive”.
  • UKIP’s support in the seat has multiplied in the last four years. In 2010 the UKIP candidate polled just 3.8%. As George Eaton notes in the 2013 county council elections the party won 17.1% in Newark and Sherwood. The by-election will come off the back of a Tory humiliation in Europe.
  • Mike Smithson makes a convincing point for the pro camp: the last Tory by-election hold while in government was William Hague at Richmond in 1989 – 25 years ago.
  • Farage has hinted that he wants to run in a by-election before 2015. How many more by-elections will there be in UKIP-friendly Tory seats in the next year?

Cons

  • Patrick Mercer had a majority of 16,152. It is a fairly safe Tory seat.
  • The Tory candidate Robert Jenrick has been putting in the groundwork over the last few weeks in anticipation of a by-election and the Tories are quietly confident their man is the real deal. Though his website needs some work.
  • Farage told BBC News last night his main reservation is that he is not a local candidate, admitting “I haven’t particularly got connections with the local area”. Given UKIP’s Tory opponent has been parachuted in, might UKIP gain from running a candidate from within the constituency instead?
  • The establishment media is with one voice telling Farage that if he does not run in Newark then he is a bottler. His enemies seem awfully keen on Nigel running. The Tory stooges at the Times have put it on their front page, as have the Telegraph. Are they setting a trap?

Or does he who dares win…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

GRAPH:  BBC Mind Share v Public Market Share

BBC-PAPER-CHARTFor 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.


Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


VOTER-RECALL
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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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