Ukip leader Nigel Farage (left) and Conservative MP for Clacton-on-Sea Douglas Carswell who has announced he is defecting to the eurosceptic party
A “seaside strategy” is being deployed by the UK Independence party in the run-up to next year’s general election which will see the eurosceptic party target seven seats in faded coastal areas of the UK.
Of the leaked list of 12“most wanted” seats where Ukip will concentrate its campaigning, half include seaside resorts, including South Thanet – where party leader Nigel Farage is standing – plus Skegness and Great Yarmouth. The addition of Clacton-on-Sea, whose Tory MP Douglas Carswell announced his surprise defection to Ukip last week, makes seven.
All seven constituencies produced impressive victories for the Conservative party in the 2010 general election – on average, the Tories achieved a 23 per cent majority and a 49 per cent share of the vote. Where Ukip fielded a candidate, its average share was just 6.3 per cent.
However, the deprived demographics of Britain’s coastal towns mean that Ukip is finding increasing support beside the seaside. Fast forward four years, and the eurosceptic party took the greatest share of the vote in May’s European elections in all seven of the seaside towns where it has pledged to fight the Tories on the beaches. Read more
Our new unemployment tracker shows the latest jobs data across the European Union, including top-line figures for each country’s constituent regions.
You can also download the latest data using the link beneath the graphic. Read more
It’s impossible to know just how seriously to take the polling for the Scottish independence referendum. Pollsters haven’t had the same opportunity to calibrate their forecasts through trial and error while observers don’t have a past record to go on, and as we reported yesterday, there’s a lot of disagreement between them. Read more
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With housing never off the front pages, you’d expect housing statistics to be an area Britain would excel.
It turns out that isn’t quite the case.
Last November, in response to demands for a measure of inflation which included the costs of housing services associated with owning, maintaining and living in one’s own home, the ONS introduced a new index called the CPIH.
It used a measure called rental equivalence – the rent someone could expect to pay to live in an equivalent home – as a proxy for the costs faced by the owner.
But today, less than a year later, the UK Statistics Agency announced it has stripped the CPIH of status as an national statistic (the top rank of official statistics)* due to methodological concerns (PDF). Read more
The cover feature of this week’s Economist – bearing the headline “More bang for your buck” – explores how new technology is shaking up the world’s oldest profession.
Noting how specialist websites and apps are allowing “information to flow between buyer and seller”, the magazine has conducted an economic analysis of what this “wealth of data” reveals.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has crunched data on prostitutes’ prices, services and personal characteristics gleaned from an [anonymous] international website which hosts 190,000 profiles of female sex workers operating from 84 cities in 12 countries:
[Prostitution] turns out to be surprisingly similar to other service industries. Prostitutes’ personal characteristics and the services they offer influence the prices they charge; niche services attract a premium; and the internet is making it easier to work flexible hours and to forgo a middleman.
So what does this reveal? Read more
The One North report proposes to upgrade infrastructure in the north of England, focusing on links between five cities: Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. One way of showing how well linked the five cities are is to look at commuter flows. This interactive graphic shows total flows between the five cities, based on data from the 2011 UK census. Read more