‘Shy’ Tories Actually Just Busy, Labour Voters Home More

It is often said half-teasingly that canvassers and pollsters are more likely to meet Labour voters than Tories because Tory voters are still at work. Now there is empirical evidence for the claim. Professor John Curtice, perhaps the only pollster with his reputation intact after he called the 2015 election, says there is no such thing as “shy” Tories skewing polls, they are just “busy“. Curtice’s study found that if polls were based on people who answered the door on a first visit, Labour would be six points ahead. If polls were based on those who needed three to six visits before answering, the Tories had an 11 point lead. His conclusion: Labour voters were more likely to be at home rather than out at work.

“Conservatives are just simply more difficult to get hold of. There is an availability bias. People who you can get hold of first time round, who say, ‘oh yes come in’ are disproportionately Labour voters. The people you can easily get hold of are not representative.”

As the old joke goes, the Tory voters really were still at work…

Cabinet in Numbers: Just 7 Brexiters

may cabinet data

Guido has been crunching the numbers for May’s new Cabinet. There are only seven Brexiters, one more than in Cameron’s last Cabinet. There are only eight female members, one more than previously, hardly a march of the women. Most of the key Cameron and Osborne allies have gone though there remain nine Cabinet members who could be described as Friends of George. And there are just two ethnic minorities (half the number of Davids), though that is representative of the wider population. It’s still a heavily male, Remain Cabinet…

How Carter Ruck’s Attempt to Gag Google Failed

elton

In his judgement Lord Justice Jackson effectively ruled that injunctions cannot remain in place once knowledge of the injucted information is widespread:

“The court should not make orders which are ineffective. It is inappropriate – some may used a stronger term – for the court to ban people from saying that which is common knowledge… Knowledge of the relevant matters is now so widespread that confidentiality has probably been lost”

Google search trends show that searches for “David Furnish” in the UK have increased to a trend score of 100 in the last few days, the maximum possible score relative to previous searches for his name:

furnish

Searches for “Daniel Laurence”, the man who claims he had an olive oil paddling pool threesome with Furnish, have also increased to a score of 100:

WWWW

This data shows just those who already knew to search those specific names. Several times as many people will have discovered the identities simply by searching “celebrity injunction”:

INJ

Carter Ruck’s attempts to threaten Google into taking down search results revealing the identities failed completely. As Lord Justice Jackson says, knowledge has become widespread…

MP Referendum List: Latest Update

Penny Mordaunt is set to campaign to leave the EU, reports the Sunsomething readers of Guido’s MP referendum list already knew. (The Speccie’s list had her down as an Inner.) This morning the BBC are claiming as an exclusive the news that new Tory backbencher Will Quince will vote to Leave. He was of course down as an Outer on Guido’s list days ago.

Click here to view the entire spreadsheet.

Since Guido published his crowd-sourced list of how MPs will be voting, several have been in touch to emphasise that they have not declared. We expect the down-tick of Tory MPs for Out to continue as past Leavers change their minds. You can get in touch with amendments by using this form

No, Britain Has Not Accepted Just 216 Syrian Refugees

The claim that Britain has accepted a mere 216 Syrian refugees has gone viral on social media, being shared thousands and thousands of times by worthy types who retweet without fact-checking. Just one problem: it’s nonsense.

Official government figures show that we had 1,688 asylum applications from Syrians in 2014, and a further 2,204 in 2015. The grant rate of 87% suggests some 3,400 Syrian refugees have come to Britain in the last two years, with around another 2,000 being accepted in 2011 and 2012. Whether you think that is enough is another question, but the true figure is more than is being claimed…

H/T @mjhsinclair/@FullFact

Truth About MP’s Online Adultery Account

ashley madison michelle

Following the revelation that an email address belonging to SNP MP Michelle Thomson was used by somebody to sign up to adultery website Ashley Madison, Guido asked a highly trained data monkey – Jeremy Bullock from Centrix Software – to take a forensic look at all the available information related to the account. Here’s what he found…

1. The email address is flagged as invalid
2. The account was last updated on 30/04/2015 19:06:57
3. The postcode given was EH12 7AF
4. Date of Birth 01/01/1978
5. Her nickname was stated as ‘michsnp’ rather than the usual prosaic variety
6. The sign up ip address was 81.98.177.38
7. There is no data in the am_am.member table. This records preferences, looking for, etc etc and is the definitive record for signup
8. There are no credit card transactions recorded for her

From the data it seems evident that someone other than Michelle Thomson signed up for the account. Definitely a prank…

No, Corbynmania is Not “Sweeping the Nation”

“A movement is born,” claimed Jezza’s unofficial PR man Owen Jones last week: “across the nation, in every village and town and city you can see this movement emerging”. The hyperbole is even more generous in Owen’s interview with the man himself today: “in the last few weeks Corybnmania has swept across the country”. Well, has it?

The latest figures show there are around 270,000 Labour members.

In addition, around 70,000 have joined as affiliated supporters.

50,000 are so-called ‘registered supporters’.

A total of 390,000 people.

The voting age population of the UK is 50,780,423.

If we (generously) assume that around half of all those affiliated with the Labour Party support Corbyn – 195,000 people – then what proportion of the voting population is a Corbynista? Just 0.38%. 

Hardly sweeping the country…

Londoners Look to Driverless Tubes

The tube strike is over and, courtesy of Google Trends, Techno can provide some insight into what Londoners thought of the £50,000-a-year drivers who made them late for work. Searches for “driverless trains” rocketed over the last 24 hours…

driverless trains london

As Techno has revealed before, the only thing stopping the introduction of driverless tubes is the lack of political will to get tough on the trade unionists currently driving them. Robots don’t strike…

What the Welfare Budget Looks Like Minus Pensions

Counting pensions as an old age ‘benefit’ has provided lefties with data-based ammunition against small state conservatives who want to slash the welfare bill. Looking at the graph below, targeting proportionally tiny housing benefits or tax credits looks futile – superficially at least – when 42% of the ‘welfare’ budget is spent on pensions:

You can see why lefties love using this statistic – it grossly skews the welfare bill to make it look like we hardly spend anything on the things their opponents want to cut.

So what does the welfare budget look like if we take pensions out of the equation?

This truer reflection of the welfare budget sees the other slices of the pie double in size.

30% of the non-pensions budget is spent on family benefits, income support and tax credits, some £45 billion.

Housing makes up closer to 20%, £26 billion.

A much clearer illustration of what we spend on welfare than lefties and the ONS would have us believe…

No, 250,000 People Did Not Protest On Saturday

_83757829_de27-1

Numbers have never been a strong point for the left. Hence why Owen Jones and his new mate Charlotte Church were pushing the quarter of a million figure for Saturday’s march in London. It’s nonsense.

Even lefties are sceptical:

While the police will not publicly give a figure, a source tells Guido this morning that Parliament Square can hold around 20,000 people. With a bit of overflow, the working estimate is around 25,000…

250,000 would fill not only Parliament Square but Whitehall and Trafalgar Square too. Twice over.

In order for the comrades to have achieved 250,000 people on their march, 5,000 people would have to have left the starting point at Bank every minute – almost 100 per second – in the time they claimed to have achieved this fantasy number. “A tight military formation couldn’t even do that,” Guido’s public order numbers bod derides. 

Are the lefties really saying they had the same number of people who marched on Washington in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement – put at between 200,000 and 250,000:

Landscape

Is Owen Jones really saying he is a bigger draw than Martin Luther King?

250,000 was also the figure given for Obama’s famous speech in Berlin in 2008:

obama

Notice a difference in the size of the crowd?

This is what 250,000 people looked like when Paul McCartney played in Mexico in 2012.

Shall we look at Saturday’s picture again?

_83757829_de27-1

Looks about a tenth of the size… pretty shoddy journalism for the papers to just regurgitate the number given by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity without so much as a raised eyebrow. Continue reading

Official: Lazy Socialists Lost the Election

Most of the analysis of the pollsters’ collective nightmare has blamed the ‘Shy Tories’ – people who planned on voting Tory but didn’t tell the pollsters. Ipsos MORI have a different theory: that ‘Lazy Labour’ supporters not turning up to vote skewed the numbers.

The final MORI poll suggested 12.5 million people would vote Tory, just ahead of 12.2 million voting Labour.

They weren’t too far off on the Tory number – 11.3 million voted Tory on the day – but some 3 million Labour supporters went missing. Where did they go? MORI chief Ben Page says:

“we think not voted. Predicted turnout 82% day before. Was only 66%”

Their analysis suggests it was young left-wing voters not turning out on the day that explains the difference. The Russell Brand effect…

More BBC Website Bias: Food Bank Headline Claim Made Up

The BBC website lost all semblance of editorial impartiality yesterday, but how are they faring today? This headline makes their homepage this morning:

The claim comes from a report by the Trussell Trust, press released this morning as “Food bank use tops one million for first time”. It would be reasonable to assume from both that title and the BBC headline that, currently, one million people are using food banks. Is that the case?

Scroll down to the very bottom of the Trussell Trust press release, and of the “million” in the headline, they admit “on average 49 percent of foodbank users only needed one foodbank voucher in a year”.

In fact, “only 15 percent needed help more than three times in a year”. So it is misleading in the least to imply that a million people are currently using food banks.

What’s more, the Trussell Trust ‘fess up: “We cannot measure unique users on a national scale”. The “million” is not even a unique figure, it counts those who use foodbanks on more than once occassion twice.

But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good election story…

UPDATE: Full Fact also take issue with the headline:

“The claim that over a million people are using Trussell Trust food banks is inaccurate. It comes from confusing the number of different people using Trussell Trust food banks in a year with the number of times they use the food banks.

The Trussell Trust collect their data from the vouchers used by people referred to their food banks. If one voucher feeds a family of 4 people, that’s 4 instances. If the same family visit again next week, that’s another 4 instances. The Trussell Trust say that on average people needed two food bank vouchers annually, so the number of people using food banks is likely to be around half of the 1.1 million figure.”

The Graph That Ruins Miliband’s Argument

Even after Labour’s manifesto mea culpa about fiscal responsibility, Ed would still not say he thought Labour spent too much before the crisis. He had his audience cheering as he yelled “absolutely we were right to invest in those things”:

Miliband told the Labour manifesto launch:

“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…”

Really, Ed?

The financial crisis caused the deficit that Labour ran in 2002/3?

And grew in 2003/4?

And in 2004/5?

And in 2005/6?

“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…” in 2006/7?

And in 2007/8?

Really, Ed?

Public Wake Up to Election

After five years of the public ignoring politics, it seems the election is finally getting cut through. Though Labour will disappointed at how little the public noticed their non-dom hit:

Don’t you know there’s a war on?

Labour Losing the PPC/Oxbridge Social Mobility Battle

Well this is awkward for The People’s Party. Should Labour be the largest party in parliament, 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. However, that number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament. According to research and analysis by the Insight Consulting Group, more newly-elected MPs would be university educated in a Parliament where Labour has the largest party (158) as opposed to the Conservatives (139). So much for being the party of social mobility… 

No Natalie, Capitalism Has Delivered an 80% Decline in World Poverty

As newsrooms across the land stop what they are doing to read the Green Party’s response to Labour’s non-dom announcement, it is worth picking Natalie Bennett up on this:

“The last four decades have seen wealth accumulate at the top of society while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Now hold on just a darn prosperity-spreading cotton-picking second. Over the last four decades the world poverty rate – people living on a dollar a day or less – has plummetted. As this graph from CarpeDiem shows, in 1970 almost 30% of the globe was impoverished. 40 years later that number is as low as 5%:

Rather than more of “those at the bottom struggling to get by” over the last four decades, the world poverty rate has fallen 80%. For all the ideological socialist rhetoric, the cold hard facts show that capitalism has freed hundreds of millions from the clutches of poverty.

Are You Happier Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Depending on whether you believe the IFS or Ed Balls, the jury is out on Reagan’s question of “are you better off than you were four years ago”. One barometer that cannot be statistically disputed however is the question of whether or not we should, based on economic indicators, be more miserable than we were in 2010. There has been a clear decline in Guido’s Misery Index during this parliament and we should be happier today than we have ever been in the last five years.

Cameron and Osborne inherited an unemployment rate of 7.9% when they took office, a number which rose as high as 8.4% in March 2012 but has now fallen to a low of 5.7%, the lowest since 2008.

Falling inflation should make us happier. Though the Retail Price Index remained around 5% for the first year or so of this government, it then embarked on a steady decline reaching a current low of 1.1% in February.

Today’s very slightly revised GDP figures – up from 0.5% growth in the last quarter of last year to 0.6% – also contribute. While the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement – the individual monthly borrowing requirement – this month stands at zero. When we are borrowing less, we should all be much happier.

On all four measures of the Misery Index, there has been an improvement under this government, albeit small. Guido started our version of the traditional Misery Index – it is actually a variation on the Robert Barro version of the original Misery Index created by economist Arthur Okun – back before the last general election. Adding in the PSNR to the composite to give the deficit reduction objective of the government some weight. Are we happier than we were five years ago? Statistically the numbers say yes…

Another Shot Fox: IFS Say Yes To Reagan Question

Last year Ed Balls wrote:

‘”Are you better off than you were four years ago?” That was the question Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people in his first Presidential election campaign.

The answer back in 1980 was no — and his Democrat opponent Jimmy Carter was thrown out of the White House after just one term of office.

Thirty-five years on, it’s clear that Reagan’s famous question will be centre-stage in next year’s general election. Every previous British prime minister in my lifetime has always been able to answer it in the affirmative. But David Cameron is currently set to buck that trend…’

Today the IFS announce:

“Average household incomes have just about regained their pre-recession levels. They are finally rising and probably will be higher in 2015 than they were in 2010, and possibly higher than their 2009 peak.”

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Yes, probably.

GUIDO POLL: Foreign Nando’s V British Harvester

The PM has claimed that foreign food from Nando’s is better value than a good old British Harvester. He probably focus grouped his answers, but is he out of touch?

iPen Ain’t Gonna Happen

apple_haptic_stylus

Tech journalists have been lapping up a report by analysis firm KGI Securities that confidently predicts Apple will unveil a Stylus for its iPad in the second quarter of this year. It would be quite a change of philosophy for Apple whose entire empire is now built on screens you jab your finger at, so you would have thought KGI had some pretty explosive evidence upon which to base their prophecy.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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