Last week was a pretty dramatic week for UK politics. On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, the UK's chancellor and health secretary respectively, resigned from their cabinet posts within minutes of each other, citing the incompetency and impossibility of working with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as their motivation. Over the next couple of days, … Continue reading The Great Resignation of British Ministers
Next month, the UK is having a referendum on the question of whether it should remain in the European Union, or leave it. All us citizens are having the opportunity to pop down to the ballot box to register our views. And in the mean time we're subjected to a fairly horrendous mishmash of "facts" and arguments as … Continue reading The EU referendum: voting intention vs voting turnout
On March 16th 2016, our Chancellor George Osborne set out the cavalcade of new policies that contribute towards this year's UK budget. Each results in either a cost or saving to the public funds, which has to be forecast as part of the budget release. Given the constant focus on "austerity", seeing what this Government chooses to spend its money on and … Continue reading The 2016 UK Budget – what does the data say?
Yesterday, the UK Office of National Statistics, the institution that is "responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society", launched its new website. As well as a new look, they've concentrated on improving the search experience and making it accessible to mobile device users. The front page is a nice at-a-glance … Continue reading New website launch from the Office of National Statistics
Here in the UK we just had our general election, electing the government who will rule over us for the next 5 years. The results - a Conservative majority - were something of a surprise to most people, myself included. I'm sure I won't be able to hide my leanings for long, so to be clear, … Continue reading UK election 2015: Who actually voted for the Conservative party?
Coming up to the election, there's no shortage of misleading statistics, charts and downright quantitative lies being flung around. One even made it through our letterbox today. It's far from the worst available online, but such statistical slights always feel more personal when they get physically pushed into one's abode. Here goes the Liberal Democrats, being honest enough to admit that their … Continue reading Lib Dem leaflet chart fail
From some combination of the Office of National Statistics, the House of Commons and Durham library comes Constituency Explorer. Billing itself as "reliable evidence for politicians and journalists - data for everyone", it allows interactive visualisation of many interesting demographics/behavioural/political attributes by UK political constituency. It's easy to view distributions and compare between a specific contstituency, the region … Continue reading Free data: Constituency Explorer – UK demographics, politics, behaviour
Here in the UK we're about to go to the polls to elect some sort of government in just a few weeks. Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight team are naturally on the case in providing their famously accurate election forecasts. They were kind enough to explain again the methodology being used in this blog post by Ben Lauderdale. Go … Continue reading Behind the scenes of the FiveThirtyEight UK general election forecasting model
Data.gov.uk is the official portal that releases what the UK government deems of as open data. The government is opening up its data for other people to re-use. This is only about non-personal, non-sensitive data – information like the list of schools, crime rates or the performance of your council. At the time of writing it … Continue reading Free data: data.gov.uk – thousands of datasets from the UK government