World

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

Spain lead the Financial Times' predictions for Euro 2016, just ahead of Germany and then hosts FranceThe European Football Championships are upon us, and with them an eclectic mix of prediction models from media organisations, financial institutions and independent statisticians. To assuage our FOMO (fear of missing out, for the non-Millennials), the FT has joined in with one of our own.

Spain are favourites to lift the trophy, narrowly ahead of Germany and hosts France, based on our method which uses Champions League appearances and players’ market values to determine each team’s strength. This trio of teams comes in well ahead of the other 21 countries taking part.

Read on for details of the model and how it compares to the betting markets. 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

London’s population overtook New York’s in 2014 and last year surpassed its pre-World War II peak for the first time ever. Yet there are increasingly news stories about how the UK’s capital is becoming a place where people work but don’t live, or how sharply rising house prices are forcing out the poor, the young or those with families.

What is actually happening? How to square the anecdotal evidence with the fact that London adds as many people as the entire city of Bath (>100,000) to its population every single year?

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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


Leicester were bottom of the Premier League on April 10 2015, but a year later had climbed to the top, winning 91 points along the way. No team beginning at the foot of the top flight has ever won that many points* over the subsequent year since English league football began Read more

Valentina Romei

This week the European Commission let Italy off the hook, granting the country extra flexibility – to the tune of 14 billion euros – in its debt reduction targets for 2016.

The extra “flexibility” includes allowances for investments (0.25 per cent of GDP), for the refugees crisis (0.04 per cent of GDP) and for extra security measures (0.06 per cent of GDP). In return the Commission wants a ‘clear and credible commitment’ from Italy that the country will respect its budget targets in 2017. Read more

Valentina Romei

Last year things were looking up in Italy. Employment, a sore subject after the international crisis, was growing and the unemployment rate began to fall in 2015 .

But in the last few months this progress flattened. What’s happened? Read more

Valentina Romei

As the world faces a slowdown in economic growth, we look at what is happening in France and it’s not looking good.

France is one of the worst performing economies in Europe Read more

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John Burn-Murdoch

The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.

Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more

Valentina Romei

Some 77 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland reports high or very high happiness levels, 4 percentage points higher than the national average. A smaller proportion is happy in London and the north of England

Valentina Romei

Commodities prices are generally falling but lithium spot price tripled in the past year, driven by demand for batteries used in electric cars and devices. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

PSG are so far ahead of their domestic rivals that manager Laurent Blanc has been able to field weakened sides ahead of big Champions League matches at a rate unmatched by any other quarter-finalist, ensuring that his strongest side has been as well-rested as possible. Read more

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John Burn-Murdoch

Hosts India squeezed into the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup largely thanks to a sensational innings from their star batsman Virat Kohli, who hit 82 off 51 balls, without losing his wicket, to take India past Australia and eliminate their opponents in the process.

In doing so he scored more than half of all India’s runs for the match — having almost managed the same two games earlier, scoring 46 per cent of the team’s total in another crucial win, this time against Pakistan. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

England’s Premier League is enjoying one of its most competitive seasons for years, but at the same time the league is without a club in Europe’s top 10 for the first time in 20 years.

The interplay between competitive balance and outright quality of football is a complex one, and depending on who you talk to, different levels of importance are placed on each when it comes to talk of which league is the bestRead more

Valentina Romei

If the UK were to leave the European Union, it will mean that it will also be outside the Capital Markets Union (CMU), when completed. The CMU is a set of measures designed to clear obstacles between companies and potential investors. The idea – in the words of the European Commission that created it – is “to mobilise capital and channel it to all companies, including SMEs, and infrastructure projects that need it to expand and create jobs”.

The EU economy is slightly bigger than that of the US, but its capital market is very different. Its equity market is about half the size of that of the US and its securitisation market is less than a quarter of the US. Read more

Valentina Romei

The value of cross border merger and acquisition deals in Italy reached a new high in 2015 at over $50bn. Italian companies were the most targeted by foreign acquisitions in the European Union after the UK, along with France. Read more