UK Politics & Policy

John Burn-Murdoch

Projected results of future EU referendums, based on modelled population and age-structure. A Remain victory becomes probable in 2021

A week on from Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, some of the most frequently asked questions have concerned turnout levels across different age groups.

Early cries that the young had been betrayed by older voters were countered with claims that it’s young people’s own fault for not voting in sufficient numbers. Some have asked how the UK’s age-structure itself impacted the vote: is the population so top-heavy in age-terms that the odds were always stacked against the younger generation? And then there is the question of whether David Cameron missed a trick in not giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, who would have been expected to lean heavily towards Remain.

We have dug into the best available figures on turnout by age from the EU referendum, and combined them with various public datasets which allows us to answer these questions with the benefit of historical context, or even a glimpse into the future. Here’s what we found. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

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The chain of events that led to Brexit will be examined in great detail — and much anguish on the Remain side — for years to come. Rapid changes in the UK’s political climate undoubtedly played a part, and global events including the Great Recession and recent European migrant crisis have left their mark.

But for now we can focus on what we know in the immediate aftermath of the vote: the distinguishing characteristics of the areas of Britain that voted for either side. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Polling has dominated coverage of the UK’s EU referendum for the last month, with the focus shifting between the polls’ reliability following their 2015 misfire, the methodological challenges pollsters face, and the Remain vs Leave race itselfRead more

John Burn-Murdoch

Remain led by several points in late 2015, but saw its lead eroded at first gradually, and then quickly as 2016 wore on, before Leave went ahead over the last weekThe way our model calculates the average from the remaining five polls in its basket after outliers are removed is completely unchanged, but the polls in that basket should be more representative of where the ‘true’ opinion of the electorate lies.

After this change, our poll-of-polls has Leave on 45, two points ahead of Remain. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Two weeks out from from Britain’s historic EU referendum, opinion polls are dominating the debate. The question is: are they adding or removing clarity about the eventual outcome?

Today we published an overview of some of the challenges facing pollsters as they look to demonstrate that the 2015 general election mis-fire was a one-off. What follows here is a look at how some of these issues are affecting our own poll-of-polls — and how we might deal with them — as well as an exploration of some of the alternatives to pure polling when it comes to forecasting the result on June 23. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Earlier this month Londoners voted in Sadiq Khan as mayor. The Labour candidate won 59 per cent of the vote and in so doing became the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital. But beyond the top-line figures, what do we know about how the election was won, and who voted for whom?

To answer these questions, we downloaded 140 datasets from the 2011 census, describing the demographic and socioeconomic composition of each of London’s 570 electoral wards: the same units over which the mayoral election vote was tallied. Read more

Kate Allen

In the next four months Britain will be inundated with opinion polls. As the Leave and Remain camps gear up for Britain’s first referendum on its relationship with Europe for four decades, the stakes are high.

But this time last year the nation also pored over an array of polls during the general election campaign, and yet those polls proved unreliable.

How should a cautious FT reader know what to make of polling about the EU referendum? Here are five points to bear in mind …

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John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, gave a speech last week lamenting that the liberalising policies adopted by the Thatcher government in the 1980s never led to widespread share ownership:

The Tories promised a “shareholding democracy” would arrive through privatisation. A “trickle-down effect” would mean that, even if the rich got very rich indeed, everyone else would be a little better off.

But the promises of freedom and “popular capitalism” turned out to be illusory.

Today, share ownership by individuals is at the close to the lowest level ever recorded. Just 12 per cent of shares are owned by individuals in the UK, down from 28 per cent in 1982, and pension funds own only 3 per cent.

It would be fair to call these figures misleading and point out that people can own shares through insurance companies or they might have a stake in other kinds of funds as well as their pension. So if between them individuals and pension funds own just 15 per cent of shares who owns the rest? Read more

Sarah O'Connor

Here’s a simple question: which of Britain’s parliamentary constituencies have seen the biggest job market recoveries since the coalition government took office in 2010?

The answer, I thought, might well generate a news story in the week of the UK general election. So I downloaded a time-series of the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit claimants in each constituency. (I used JSA claimant data because, when you’re looking at small geographical areas, they’re far more accurate than survey-based measures of employment and unemployment.) Read more

Polls suggest that the UK general election on May 7 will result in a hung parliament. A coalition, or a minority government backed by a “confidence and supply” deal with other parties, is likely to come to power.

This interactive graphic shows the scenarios possible based on the current projection from ElectionForecast.co.uk. Read more

The chart below shows the 2010 general election result for every seat in Great Britain with the colour showing the party that won . Dots that are nearer the apex of the triangle had a higher vote share for Labour in 2010, those closer to the bottom left; for the conservatives while the bottom right corner shows the share for all other parties.

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The Electoral Commission keeps a record of every donation above £7,500 to Britain’s political parties. Although nominally transparent, the records are difficult to use: the only unique identifier for each donor is their name.

This is further complicated by the inconsistent use of titles and initials as well as addresses attached to the names of businesses and organisations.

The FT has cleaned the data to make it easier to use with this interactive graphic. Donations to individual members of parliament are included in their party’s totals. Read more

Shift from traditional two-party race means different ways of predicting vote result are being used Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Updated May 06 2015


Note: the five parties shown are those for which every polling company in our poll-of-polls provides individual figures.

UK voters will elect a new parliament in a general election on May 7. Our poll-of-polls tracks all national-level voting intention polling figures going back to the 2010 election – the dots on our chart – and then calculates a rolling score for each party adjusted for recency and different pollsters. Read more

Some have suggested the BBC should become like Netflix and fund itself through viewer subscriptions. If you were in charge, what TV channels and radio stations would you offer?

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The UK’s ‘two speed’ housing market is not a novel concept, but new figures highlight the regional and political split like never before.

Use our interactive graphic to explore how geography and politics divide fortunes in Britain’s property market. Read more

As an aid to debates about the referendum on whether Scotland should be independent from the UK, Britain’s Office for National Statistics has published a compendium that allows for comparisons to be made between the four countries of the UK.

Thanks, in part, to devolution, the UK has four organisations that produce official statistics: the Office for National Statistics, the Scottish Government, StatsWales and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency who all release different surveys that gather data in different ways.

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Voters will go to the polls in all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan authorities and handful of other councils on May 22. This interactive map and cartogram shows the current state of parties in the local authorities holding elections, and some of the possible scenarios for the elections’ outcomes.

In September, the Scottish people will vote in a referendum that could see the country break away from the rest of the UK.

Using polling data collated by the UK Polling Report and What Scotland Thinks, we have analysed all polls conducted in the past year that used the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

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The March 19 Budget will be delivered against a background of broad economic positivity, but that tone may not sit well with everyone. Since George Osborne’s speech this time last year, fortunes have been mixed: the labour market has been slow to pick up in the East Midlands, the north has been hit by job closures and production of transport equipment has fallen.