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…

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…

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! 

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.

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…

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.

#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…

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 […]

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Government of the Etonians, by the Etonians for the Etonians

tory-etonian-manifesto

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

[…]

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Labour’s Women Problem

Miliband has been up in Leeds today talking about his favourite subject of late: the Tories’ apparent ‘women problem’. Yet as Hazel Blears announces that she too is standing down, how true is it that the Tories are proportionally losing […]

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Are Food Markets Really Failing?

One of the key demands in today’s divine intervention is that the government “act to investigate food markets that are failing.” Well, if you look at inflation-adjusted prices of corn, wheat and soybean over the last hundred years…

…it […]

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