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…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ed’s PMQs Figures Out By 134%

Yesterday Ed botched his figures, today he’s botched his sums. During his comfort zone PMQs on the NHS, Miliband bleated:

“Let me give him the figures for his target: before his reorganisation, the number of people waiting more than four hours was 353,000. After his reorganisation, that has risen to 939,000, an increase of 300%. Is that better or worse?”

A Guido co-conspirator points out that 939,000 is, to be precise, 266% of 353,000.

That is not a 266% increase though, it’s an increase of 166%, which is 134% points away from 300%.

Even when they’re ignoring the economy, Labour still can’t get their sums right…

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Labour’s Westminster Bubble Bursts
Half of Party’s Key Marginal Candidates are Political Insiders 

Researched published in the Guardian today confirms Labour’s bubble problem: half of the party’s candidates selected to fight marginal seats come from jobs in politics. 54% of Labour candidates in marginal and inherited seats have previously worked in politics or wonk world, compared with 46% of LibDem candidates and 17% of Tories. Created in the image of their leader…

The research finds that former or current staff of Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Tessa Jowell, Ruth Kelly, Hazel Blears, Alistair Darling, Hilary Armstrong, Mary Creagh, Lord Foulkes, David Blunkett and Lord Sugar are all running, as are 15 ex-Labour MPs standing again, as readers will remember they include expenses piggies Joan Ryan and Andrew Dismore. They identified four Red Princes so far: Jack Straw’s son Will, Neil Kinnock’s son Stephen, former MP Colin Burgon’s son Richard and ex-MP Shona McIsaac’s husband Peter. They won’t be the last.

In 2012 Miliband championed a new Labour Party programme to find more working class MPs to try to address concerns that too many of the party’s candidates had backgrounds as researchers and SpAds, but as Bath University’s Dr Peter Allen says, “it is more a Labour problem” and it is not going away. An ICM poll finds 44% say they are fed up with careerist MPs who “look and sound the same“, indeed a Times/YouGov poll earlier this year found that not having had a “real” job outside of politics was the least attractive quality for candidates, with 55% saying it made them unsuitable for public office. Even Tony Blair said last year that there was a “problem” with MPs not working in normal jobs before entering politics. Might there possibly be a link between Ed Miliband spending his adult life in the bubble and the public’s perception of him as an out of touch weirdo?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ed Smashes His Negative Polling Record, Slumps Below Clegg
Osborne’s Shock Positive Approval Rating Grows

Ed Miliband has hit his lowest ever personal rating by gold-standard pollsters ICM for the Guardian. The Labour leader has dropped 14 points in the last month to -39, below even Nick Clegg, who has a rating of -37. Cameron has lost last month’s positive rating of +2, dropping to -5, though Osborne has seen an increase in his own rating from +5 to +6.

The force is strong in that one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Poll: Just 8.2% of Europeans Can Name Jean-Claude Juncker

Just 8.2% of EU nationals could name the lofty European Commission presidency candidate Jean-Claude Juncker, a poll conducted by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists has found. 91.8% haven’t got a clue who he is.

Having had the selection process explained to them - that political parties at the European level run candidates for the role - 89.9% said that this should not be the criteria for selection. Just 10.10% supported the process.

Now that’s what you call a mandate…

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ashcroft Newark Poll Has Tories 15 Points Clear

Lord Ashcroft reports:

“A by-election two weeks after the European election means that Newark’s electors have enjoyed the prolonged attention of the parties, a privilege for which they must surely be grateful. The evidence from my poll is that the Tories have had the better of an intense ground war and have by no means taken the seat for granted. More than nine out of ten voters say they have heard from the Conservatives locally, including 81 per cent who have had literature through the door; nearly half have received personally addressed mail. Eight in ten say they have heard from UKIP; the party is reported to be slightly more active than Labour in all elements of the local campaign.

The poll was conducted in the week before polling day, and just under a fifth of voters say they may yet change their mind. Despite this, it looks clear that the next MP for Newark will be Robert Jenrick.”

The full data is here.

It’s theirs to lose…

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cost of Taxation Crisis

Over the course of a year, the average British household pays more in tax than it spends on food, clothing, housing, fuel and power. As illustrated by this chart from the Taxpayers’ Alliance:

Click to enlarge.

Forget the cost of living crisis, Britain is facing a cost of taxation crisis…

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, May 14, 2014

Unemployment Rate Down to 6.8%

  • Unemployment rate down from 6.9% to 6.8%
  • Unemployment January-March down 133,000 to 2.2 million
  • Employment up 283,000 in quarter, biggest increase since records began in 1971
  • Claimant count at lowest since November 2008
  • Pay including bonuses for January-March 2014 was 1.7% higher than a year earlier, with pay excluding bonuses 1.3% higher
  • 140,000 Romanians and Bulgarians were in work in the UK in the three months after lifting of controls, down 4,000 on Q4 but up 28,000 on a year before

And the sun is even shining…

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tories Beat UKIP to First Place in Guardian/ICM Euros Poll

Tonight’s Guardian/ICM poll has the Tories in first place for the Euros on 27%, ahead of UKIP on 26%. Labour drop to third on 24%. In their state of the parties poll the Tories are also in first, this time two points clear of Labour, on 33% and 31% respectively. Things get even worse for Miliband in the leadership poll, he has a worse approval rating than Clegg:

UKIP will say this is an outlier for the Euros, though Labour will struggle for an excuse given the Ashcroft polling earlier. If it rings true it is devastating for both parties…


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP Will Make Miliband PM | Tele
Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed
Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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