Consensus-smensus: 97% of UK voters hiding in the deep ocean

Josh writes: One of the main things we learned from the recent UK General Election was that the forecasters got it catastrophically wrong – catastrophic in that the pollsters reputations are now in shreds. The collective narrative was that it had to be a hung parliament, nothing else was possible – even Nate Silver agreed so it had to be true.

Yet how wrong they were.

Not everyone was wrong – the Telegraph’s Dan Hodges got it about right, as did Janet Daley, also at the Telegraph, and I am sure there were others.

It is horriblly like that other consensus – the one that always has to be 97% and which we all know is also catastrophically wrong.

Consensus_scr

H/t to Paul Matthews whose excellent blog post about the election results has the reference to voters hiding in the deep ocean.

Cartoons by Josh

Advertisements

83 thoughts on “Consensus-smensus: 97% of UK voters hiding in the deep ocean

  1. And then David Cameron goes and spoils it all by appointing a cagw disciple to head the Department of energy and climate change.

    • David Cameron is in thick with the UN global governance/sustainability crowd. He was on Ban Ki-Moon’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
      To get an idea of ’eminence’, John Podesta was also a member. So were rich people from poor countries.

    • Yes, the Guardian is delighted with the appointment and no doubt so is his Father in Law, who makes a ‘modest’ income of over £330k p.a. from wind turbines on his land.

      • Paw In Law jhas a Lot of Land.
        Me – glad the Tories have won {or the watermelons lost . . . } = but no Apologist-Because of-Cameron.
        ABC
        Auto

      • Left or right, in first world countries our rulers are all BUDDIES. They pretend to hate each other during elections, make promises they fully intend to not keep and the cycle rolls effortlessly onwards.
        The media giants hate upstarts so UKIP, for example, was ruthlessly attacked by both left and right media owners. The Tea Party was suckered into the GOP and neutered, too.

      • £330k pa is not so much for an immensely rich and important person like what he is.

  2. Has to protect the family “jewels” and their “rotating crucifixes”. Why would you expect anything different. “How do you tell a politician is lying?” “Their lips are moving”.
    I may be becoming cynical.
    Best of luck from an old colony.

  3. Yogi Berra and Niels Bohr agree – Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future!

  4. Actually, the comparison is even more accurate – as like the AGW types, the pollsters buried data that didn’t agree with the “consensus.” This sure caught my eye this morning:
    “In Britain’s election last week, we see another troubling instance of “herding.” The polling firm Survation admitted that its final poll showed the Conservatives with a lead of 37 percent to 31 percent over the Labor Party — almost the exact final result. The company’s CEO explained why he failed to publish the poll: “The results seemed so ‘out of line’ with all the polling conducted by ourselves and our peers — what poll commentators would term an ‘outlier’ — that I ‘chickened out’ of publishing the figures — something I’m sure I’ll always regret.””
    http://www.nationalreview.com/node/418172/print
    Funny how “consensus” is just a nice-word rendition of “herding.”

    • ” … why he failed to publish the poll:”
      This is a weak-kneed cop-out: had the poll been published and proved wrong, a mea culpa from Survation would not have been life threatening. But Survation has admitted that it is untrustworthy, just one of the herd with neither credibility nor courage. Pathetic.

  5. It could be that the media companies want more ad money from the elections – so they’ll say it’s a close election to try to keep those policitcal ad dollars rolling in. (at least that is the suspicion from the no agenda show…: http://www.noagendashow.com )

  6. Do I have a suspicion that all the other pollsters also guessed at figures close to 37 to 31, but refrained from publishing because these were so different from all the other published figures?

    • This is called BBC consensus pressure, where the BBC will ridicule and try to destroy anything and anyone who goes against their world-view narrative. The BBC must be the most subversive organisation in the history of man, and it is about time it got a gladius in the gut.

      • The BBC represents the opinion of Middle England, it has to in order to maintain its income 🙂
        Middle England in it turn forms its opinions from information given by what they perceive as trusted sources, enter the gentlemen from East Anglia 🙂

      • Fanakapan 12:38 pm, I think you make it overly complicated.
        The BBC represents the opinion of Middle England, it has to in order to maintain its income 🙂
        Middle England in it turn forms its opinions from information given by the BBC.
        Will it go round in circles ??

    • Yes but he is a Tory so what would you expect? Oh dear, I don’t think we can win?

  7. Having read the Hodges piece, he did get the 6% Tory lead right, but his reasoning was clearly wrong. He found they had about a 3% lead but he felt the UKIP percentage (then about 14%) would fall due to late switching and that would give another “2 or 3%”. Instead, the UKIP percentage ROSE to 16%, so the Tory edge of 6% clearly came from somewhere else.

    • The Tories got a lot more of the Lib-Dem defectors than Labour, more than making up for the loss of votes to UKIP. One theory is that the Lib-Dems tanked and the Tories moved a bit more to the centre, while labour just chugged on towards the left and UKIP picked up the right. Another theory is the “we don’t want to be told what to do by the SNP” group went to the Tories as a tactical switch, but I think that is giving the electorate a bit more nouse than is usually seen. If that had been the case, I expect there would have been a lower vote for UKIP There were a good number of seats where even a quarter of the UKIP votes would have given the Tories a win so I am leaning towards the first one. However, other reports have noted a surge in Lib-Dem party membership since the election (can you measure a surge in three days?) so maybe they were tactical votes and now there is some assuaging of guilt going on.

    • My understanding is that there was a lot of tactical voting by UKIP supporters, ie. voting Tory. So maybe the real level of UKIP support was indeed 2-3 percentage points above the recorded vote and the Tories did indeed get those extra votes (but by tactical voting rather than switching).

      • The Tory leaders mouthed various lies to UKIP voters who then voted for them. This is going to make for a HUGE backlash just like the votes by Scots for Labour infuriated them when Labour did nothing it promised. So they all hiked off to the SNP.

  8. Janet Daley wrote a very thoughtful piece suggesting that the British voters were quietly converting to Toryism in response to SNP boasting about holding a Labour government hostage. Could be. But she also made the following misprediction:
    “Maybe even the SNP will get a mild surprise on its home turf.”
    Yet they swept to an overwhelming victory.

  9. I’ve got a slightly different take. All the social media bulling that the left engages in has caused the vast moderate middle to go into “opinion hiding”. When a pollster asks questions for which there can be only one politically correct answer, the moderate middles gives the pollster the politically correct answer while hiding their true beliefs. So when a pollster asks a Californian if they support releasing 146,307,099,000 gallons of drinking water from reservoirs into the Delta (in the middle of a drought) in a futile attempt to manage the libido of 5,000 delta smelt (of course, they phrase the question slightly differently), there can be only one politically correct answer. “Yes, course, we must do everything we can, even if it doesn’t work — we must show our support”. Should you answer otherwise, then they will put the video of you answering “incorrectly” on the news so as to direct the online mob to begin the character assassination.
    In a similar way, when a pollster asks, who did you vote for? Many moderates will say the Liberal candidate, even if they voted otherwise.

    • Yes. It’s quite obvious which side will do/say nasty things if you don’t toe the party line in public and most people prefer to not make a target of themselves. Reminds me of how Soviet life was portrayed in so many films.

    • Correct. Someone on my FB page lamented after the election “But how on earth can that have happened, when FB was so filled with hated of the Tories for the last few weeks?”

      • Fæcebook is jam-packed with hateful, divisive comments gleefully forwarded by leftists.

      • I was absolutely astounded by the amount of left-wing hate filling my Facebook pages, to the point were I un-followed a number of my ‘friends’. It was poisonous and vicious and bordering on illegal (portraying Cameron and Osbourne as Nazis complete with photoshopped pictures) accusing Osbourne of being on coke and complete lies about ‘starving children’ and the end of the NHS. Social media is becoming a dangerous and unregulated system. Thankfully, the British public saw through it in enough numbers.

  10. There’s a better chance of a bit of common sense with Cameron in charge than with Millipede or Gleggy. He is reputed to have said that he wanted to ‘get rid of the green cr*p’. How that works out in practice we’ll have to wait and see. I am hopeful but not optimistic, but early rumors are of removing all subsidies for on-shore windmills and giving local people the final say.

    • I suspect that there are enough Tory members who know that the jig is up on the “climate crisis” scam and Cameron has such a small majority he will need their votes to do anything phony “climate crisis”-related.

      • Cameron can and will rely on votes from other parties if needed, and his friends in the left-liberal media will vilify any Tory rebels as extremists.

      • You are probably right, if he chooses to go there. Time will tell if he does or not. Even predatory animals are smart enough to know when the likely damages sustained would outweigh any potential gain.

  11. When the CAGW hypothesis finally crashes and burns in about 5~7 years, the blowback against the Left will be profound.
    The Left has devoted so much time, energy, taxpayer money and propaganda in pushing CAGW hypothesis that it will be by far the biggest and most expensive global political scandal in human history. $trillions have already been wasted on this leftist political agenda and the left owns it.
    Once CAGW implodes, there will be a massive political shift towards the right as the Left will lose a tremendous amount of trust, legitimacy and integrity.
    The Left doesn’t seem to appreciate they’re digging their own grave and the more untenable CAGW is becoming, the faster the Left seems to be digging…
    It’s hilarious to watch.

    • Well, what about if GISS continues 30 year climatic trend upwards abt 0.01°C/year?
      Is it hilarious or boring? I’m kinda not seeing how this could be hilarious in five-seven years. I think it might be hilarious in 2050 or 2080 (I’ll be dead), if temperatures are stablish at that point.
      Nobody will think about the science, it is the temperature history that will either ridicule the Hansenites, or not.

      • Hugh– The temperature trend for the past 18 years has been 0.00C/decade, not 0.01C/yr….
        Global temps are comprised of various sinusoidal patterns of various durations, and CO2 forcing is logarithmic, not exponential as CAGW dogmatist have tried so desperately to advocate (see Algore ride the cherry picker for effect and be awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts in “The Cause”; that’s hilarious).
        Since the Holocene Maxiumum 9000~5000 years ago, global temps have actually fallen, punctuated by Warming Periods which occur approximately every 1,000 years: Minoan, Roman, Medeival and Modern.
        The Mother of All Ironies is that we’re likely entering a new cooling cycle, and the tiny amount of CO2 induced warming will actually help mitigate some of the negative effects of a cooling planet; that’s also hilarious…

    • It wont Implode, but like an Old Soldier, it will fade away 🙂
      Too many reputations involved for the Implosion scenario to be viable.

    • Having watched the tottering and fall of Grand Apartheid I assure you that after the collapse of the AG warming meme there will be narry a leftist to be found who ever supported the errant ideology. The Grauniad will be leading the charge against the toxic effects of desalination of sea water irreversibly polluted with heavy metals that large corporations and swilling to the coastal masses. The Toronto Globe and Mail will be claiming the water isn’t really salt free and there are dark hints it causes Autism but no one really believes it.
      In other words those who would save us all from our enviro-heathen selves will be hard at it manufacturing the next crisis in the echo chamber of newsprint. Plus ça change…

    • The left will be dug in by then and in charge of the one world government.
      They don’t need your permission to give everything to the UN.
      Once they turn over full control to the UN you can try to get it back.

    • You seem to be a natural optimist. I am not and I will be astonished if the Warmists don’t control the agenda for decades to come. In this world you don’t have to be right to win a debate, and you don’t have to make life better to retain power.

  12. This letting your hopes and fears compromise your statistics had its precedent in consensus climatology. I’m surprised that in the ‘debate’ for lack of a Post Normal term for it, that skeptics haven’t asked this question of CAGW proponents:
    “You were all confident (what?95%?) before the ‘pause’ that anthropoCO2 IS the control knob in terms of overpowering effect. Has your position changed in the least since the pause has been recognized? How do your beliefs differ from then?”
    It would be interesting to see this answer. They would probably just be outraged and dismissive and avoid answering like they were in the Bishop Hill thread where it was asked if they were prepared to sacrifice the lives and health of African poor to save the planet by opposition to Africans getting cheap fossil fuel energy. The latter question was proper to ask since the story was about US and European refusal to allow financing for fossil fuel electrical plants. This of course puts all of Africa south of the Sahara into the hands of the Chinese with their new Asian monetary fund which they will use to do exactly this. It was bad enough that the US pres was (unwittingly) humiliated by a silly agreement with the Chinese to shut off CO2. That his advisers seem to have been unaware of what was already happening in Africa with the Chinese is even worse.

  13. I love the Edmund Burke quote in the linked blog. Quite possibly his second best ever:
    “Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

  14. I watched part of Fahrenheit 9/11 last night or part of it. How could Georgy Bush be president? David C is an angel in comparison. All those conspiracy theories, but one thing for why stand down your defense planes. Too far away. Cum off it they travel damn fast when needed.

  15. As an ex-patriot the promise to hold an EU referendum won him that election. Brits don’t like the influx of foreign workers who work cheaper than then, well that is one excuse, and if they are out of work, their families back home get welfare!

    • He’ll do everything he can to weasel out of a referendum, as the other side of his mouth will be urging the BBC et al. to exhort to the plebs that they should stay in the European Union of Germany. Why waste the time, effort and money on a bogus referendum.
      … and, as another ex-patriot (from a diehard Labour stronghold), I think of all phony socialists, rich Oxbridge Miliband was just too phony to be considered a serious blue collar champion, even amongst rich phony socialist do-gooder voters.

    • Its likely that most of the EU workers are not Immigrants inasmuch as 7/8ths of them will at some point go back home.
      As for the rest (non EU) who may wish to come, the answer would be to adopt the same system as the Yanks have, which would mean a minimum of 5 years wait for even the closest relatives who are over 18 🙂
      I’ve just cut immigration (permanent) to the UK by probably 80%, Simples 🙂

  16. The public gets what the public wants. The UK electorate through a valid democratic process has voted for a government that has undertaken to continue underfunding the NHS. This service which is the most efficient healthcare service in the world took 50 years to set up and involved countless hours of free effort by clinicians. And now, to ensure taxes are kept low the whole thing will be defunct in five years. A tragedy of monumental proportions, but that is what we in the UK have voted for. No doubt the city slickers and financiers are even now circling the NHS, well aware that there are rich pickings to be made. They will strip the carcass and move on, leaving the remnants to those who have the cash to pay for decent healthcare. And who will be blamed for its demise? Well, it’s likely to be the very the healthcare professionals who have done so much to keep a grossly underfunded service afloat for the last five years. But there we are, the public gets what the public wants, and the next time they need critical care and the ambulances are backed up in Casualty, they can reassure themselves that at least they have a few more pennies in the pound saved on income tax.

    • Fair point. When they sold off British rail the “investors” asset stripped all the land it had acquired over the years and the trains are still rubbish.
      The West Coast mainline improved when it was accidentally renationalised but… that won’t last.
      Short-term private investors do not need to factor in the externalities (positive impacts) of improved infrastructure. So they don’t invest enough for the Nation’s needs.
      A healthy workforce is as much a national requirement as a mobile workforce.
      The asset strippers can afford private healthcare for themselves and can isolate themselves form an outbreak of disease among the poor.

      • Fair point. When they sold off British rail the “investors” asset stripped all the land it had acquired over the years and the trains are still rubbish.
        I've usually got a lot of time for your comments but this one is complete nonsense. As your father can speak with authority on the coal industry since he was there, so I can do the same for the railway industry. I worked for the BRB, Eurostar and Railtrack/Network Rail during the time.
        When BR was being prepared for splitting up and privatizing, what happened was that ALL the operational land was vested in Railtrack and all the non-operational land (i.e. redundant track beds, tunnels, station sites etc.) in an organisation named BRB (Residuary). That organisation was finally wound up in around 2011 (from memory).
        Apart from a few very large stations, principally London termini, all stations and train depots were leased to the train operating company (TOC). The 1993 Act prevented "asset stripping" by the simple expedient of requiring disposals to gain regulatory approval from the Office of Rail Regulation (formerly run by the Labour supporting Tom Winsor). Ha! I worked there too.
        Oh and the trains where you are may be rubbish but in many parts of the country, they most certainly are not. Since privatization every single slam-door train (bar the HST fleet and the minute other Mk. 3 stock) has been replaced by modern rolling stock. This is particularly evident on the former Southern Region lines. There aren't enough of them, that's true. This is due partly to the parsimony of the TOCs, partly due to the inability of the Department for Transport to specify services properly and partly due to the inability of anyone to see how train usage was going to increase.

      • Apologies, I screwed up the closure of the italics. Must try harder. If a mod is looking, could you correct my error please?

      • Mr Green Genes
        You say

        Oh and the trains where you are may be rubbish but in many parts of the country, they most certainly are not. Since privatization every single slam-door train (bar the HST fleet and the minute other Mk. 3 stock) has been replaced by modern rolling stock. This is particularly evident on the former Southern Region lines. There aren’t enough of them, that’s true. This is due partly to the parsimony of the TOCs, partly due to the inability of the Department for Transport to specify services properly and partly due to the inability of anyone to see how train usage was going to increase.

        OK, so according to you trains that are inadequate in number and underfunded are not “rubbish” because many of them have “been replaced by modern rolling stock”.
        I thought warmunists consider data with a Nelsonian eye, but your post suggests that Tories view facts even more selectively.
        You used an anecdote about ‘Mid Staffs.’ to condemn the entire NHS, so you cannot object to my using an anecdote to respond to your defence of the privatised railways.
        I live in Falmouth, Cornwall, and was to give a lecture in Newcastle. Another organisation asked me to provide another lecture on another subject in Sunderland on the day before: this would minimise costs. I agreed because there was a train from Truro direct to Newcastle that would get me to the Railway Hotel in Newcastle with time to book in, to change, and to be transported by car to the venue in Sunderland in time to set-up for the lecture.
        Before traveling, I learned by accident that the Falmouth Branch Line to Truro would not be working that week. Had I not fortunately learned this, then I would have not discovered it until I was at a Falmouth station and it was too late to drive to Truro to catch the train to Newcastle.
        I had booked a seat with a table and electricity socket on the modernised Truro train so I could operate my laptop while traveling to Newcastle.
        The train to Newcastle stopped for over an hour before reaching Exeter. This was said to be because of problems with the railway signals.
        The delay put the Newcastle express train behind a scheduled slow train that stopped at each station. This steadily increased the lateness of my train to Newcastle.
        When the train to Newcastle reached Birmingham its passengers were told the train would go no further and we would have to detrain. This was because a train company is fined for each time a train arrives late at a station but is not fined for not arriving.
        The ‘dumped’ passengers discovered that another train was coming from London about 2 hours later and it would progress to Newcastle, so we changed platforms and waited for it.
        When the train from London arrived it was already full but we ‘dumped’ passengers needed to reach Newcastle so we crowded on board and stood filling the carriages’ aisles. Those who could sat on their luggage.
        It became clear that I would arrive in Newcastle about 30 minutes before the scheduled start of my lecture in Sunderland. So, I took my case into the toilet that was filthy from hours of use by excess passengers, unpacked my case, changed for the lecture, and repacked my case.
        Arriving in Newcastle I raced to the Station Hotel, left my luggage at reception saying I would register when I returned, met the car driver who was greatly relieved that I had at last arrived and who raced me to the lecture venue in Sunderland.
        I arrived at the lecture hall ~4 minutes before I was scheduled to start, loaded the computer, put my notes on the lectern and started on time.
        I will never again undertake a journey for a needed arrival deadline by using the privatised railways.
        Richard

      • Richardscourtney says
        I will never again undertake a journey for a needed arrival deadline by using the privatised railways.
        I wonder whether you’d be more willing to undertake such a journey if the railways were to be re-nationalised? Where the new Minister of Railways would be able to blame such shortcomings on his predecessor for the whole of his 5-year term of office.
        Anyway, it does sound as though you suffered a chapter of accidents on your trip. In contrast, I took a similar journey a couple of years ago – frm Exeter to Newcastle – and everything was fine. I discovered that by buying my ticket in 2 parts I was able to travel more cheaply in First Class from Birmingham onwards, and beyond Sheffield I was the only person in the first-class carriage. Sadly, as I discovered, it’s not quite the same as flying first-class. A complete absence of free champagne and attentive hostesses. But at least we arrived exactly on time.
        To change the subject, I didn’t realise you lived in newly-Conservative Cornwall. Is it true they’re trying to resurrect the Cornish language?

      • Richard

        I thought warmunists consider data with a Nelsonian eye, but your post suggests that Tories view facts even more selectively.

        I’ll take most things from most people but I’ll never accept being called a Tory by anyone!

        This was because a train company is fined for each time a train arrives late at a station but is not fined for not arriving.

        Simply not true. I was one of the people who designed the performance regime so I know how it works. It’s all in Schedule 8 of the Track Access Contract.
        By the way, I sympathise with your train service in Cornwall. You are in the unfortunate position of having some extremely poor quality rolling stock. The Pacers you frequently have to put up with are now the worst trains in the country.

      • Richard Barraclough
        Thankyou for your interest.
        Firstly, I point out that I said to Mr Green Genes

        You used an anecdote about ‘Mid Staffs.’ to condemn the entire NHS, so you cannot object to my using an anecdote to respond to your defence of the privatised railways.

        Clearly, I was saying that “individual cases make bad law”. I do not dispute that others have had good individual experiences with the privatised railways but I attempted to illustrate the error of ‘generalising from the particular’, and I think your response supports that such generalisation is a logical fallacy.
        However, in common with every other person, my feelings are influenced by my personal experiences so I think it understandable that a result of my anecdote is

        I will never again undertake a journey for a needed arrival deadline by using the privatised railways.

        Secondly, you ask me

        Is it true they’re trying to resurrect the Cornish language?

        Yes, this is part of the tide of nationalism across the Celtic fringe of Britain. The effects are not as marked in Cornwall as shown by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales with Mebyon Kernow (MK) being a small and mostly inconsequential Cornish political party. (Wicki gives this good account of MK).
        The main demonstration of Cornish nationalism is the constant flying of the flag of St Pirran throughout the Duchy.
        And the main use of the Cornish language is the dual publication of town names in both English and Cornish on Cornwall’s town signs.
        Cornish cultural events take many forms including eisteddfod that are conducted in the Cornish language and encourage developments of Cornish literature and poetry.
        Several other cultural events are conducted with little use of the Cornish language. On Friday friends helped me to see this year’s Helston Flora (or Furry) Day despite my health issues. The Hal an Tow is a fun interruption to the dancing (150 couples danced in the main dance this year) that is conducted in a mixture of English and Cornish languages.
        WUWT readers would probably have most enjoyment from the annual Trevithick Day in Camborne. The steam enthusiasts don’t speak Cornish.
        People interested in Flora Day, Trevithick Day, and etc.can google for them.
        I hope this answer is sufficient and what you wanted.
        Richard

      • Mr Green Genes
        Please accept my abject apology for calling you a Tory. My misunderstanding was genuine, and my apology is sincere because I would also be offended at such an insult.
        I ask you to read the first part of my reply to Richard Barraclough because it addresses the ‘railway issue’.
        I stand corrected if what we were told when instructed to leave the train was untrue. But if it was not true then I fail to understand why the train was stopped in Birmingham when that would leave it far from where its next journey was intended to start.
        Richard

      • Richard
        Thank you for your gracious response.
        I can’t explain the reasoning behind the explanation you were given – one of the effects of privatization was to change excuses for foul-ups from the ubiquitous “operating difficulties” of the BR era to (in many instances) a desire to blame the other party involved. Neither method is good because neither is honest.
        As to the wider point about terminating late running trains short of their destination, there are 2 main reasons for doing this.
        Firstly, railway timetables are extremely complicated things to put together, especially on a network as densely filled as ours. This means that sending a wildly late train through a crowded part of the railway will have all sorts of adverse effects on many services and the entire industry is under a requirement to take decisions to limit the overall level of delay on the network as a whole. In addition, most regulating decisions would mean that the late train would automatically be the one to suffer more if any pathing conflict arose.
        Secondly, by terminating the late running service short, it can then pick up its correct train path on the return journey, thereby not inconveniencing all the passengers who would like to use that return journey. If you want to think that this is the result of the TOC not having sufficient spare rolling stock to cover for such circumstances, I, for one, wouldn’t argue. In the Virgin days, Cross Country used to stable a spare unit at Birmingham New Street precisely to attempt to minimise such problems; I don’t know if that is still the case.
        Many people think that operating decisions on train delays are done for commercial reasons. All I can say is that, while I had anything to do with it, I tried my hardest to make sure that that wasn’t the case. There was a time when it was hard work, as a result of delay penalties being catastrophically high during the Tom Winsor era. The reductions in penalties more recently made it a lot easier.
        Train delays, performance regimes, compensation etc. are all extremely complex and intertwined issues and I could bore for Britain on the subject. My lecture fees are quire reasonable though!

      • Damnit, now I’ve failed to close the bolding which was meant to apply to a single word – overall
        Sorry!

    • What the public didn’t want, and so rejected, was the party directly responsible for the catastrophe which was Mid Staffs. They rejected the party which was directly responsible for maybe up to 1000 deaths.
      It’s probably best if you don’t go on too much about the NHS.

      • Probably best if the Labour party took some leaves out of the Ernie Bevin book, rather than trying to emulate the Democrats in the USA, and become completely divorced form those who’s votes they seek 🙂

  17. Mr.Green Genes, did you read the report? The situation in Mid Staffs was largely to do with the management making savings in clinical areas to ensure they qualified for Foundation status. Now who do you think introduced the idea of Foundation status? The newly elected Conservative party are still bent on reducing nurse numbers so things are not likely to improve in the short term. It is however much to Labours shame that they did not dump the idea of foundation hospitals at the first opportunity. With regard to the railways, there is plenty of evidence to show we have the most expensive and least well run railways system in Europe if you care to check.

    • Yes, I did. Sorry, I should have made myself clear and I apologise for failing to do that. It’s all about perception. As a regular viewer of the Parliament channel, I’ve noticed that every time Andy Burnham got up to speak, some Tory would mention Mid Staffs. That is, of course, particularly unfair on him since he wasn’t Secretary of State for Health at the time but mud sticks. The same will happen if he goes for the leadership of his party. Politics is a dirty game, I’m afraid.

  18. The problem with the polls is in the questions. The respondents can reply: “don’t know”. But maybe they do but don’t want to tell you, none of your business. Add another question: “I do know what I’m voting but won’t tell”. You can at least ask a respondent to be honest with that. Then you would have a handle on a possible bias, for instance, left-leaning voters are more forthcoming than right-leaning ones. My estimate is that, given the UK election results, at least twice as many Conservative voters as Labour voters kept mum, schtumm, whatever.

  19. Actually “know it all” Dan Hodges was wrong in one of his assessments: “UKIP are currently polling 14% but on May the 7th they will get nothing like that.” He even boasted that he would run naked through the streets singing Land of Hope and glory if UKIP got more than 5%.
    In fact they polled 12.6% on the day, which just proves that if you throw enough predictions out there, one is likely to be close enough.

  20. Silly – The polls (and predictions) were exactly correct. They were accurate to the hundredth decimal point. It was the voter’s (deniers) that screwed up and voted incorrectly. The parallel with climate disaster projections is astounding! GK

    • G. Karst
      Actually, the polls WERE “correct” to within their measurement error. The polls showed that Labour and the Tories would have similar share of the national vote. In the event Labour won 31% and the Conservatives 37% of the national vote. These are very similar results to within the +/-3% margin of error. However, on this occasion the small difference provided a misleading indication of the coming election result.
      The indication was misleading because the polls were indicating national share of the vote and the UK’s First Past The Post electoral system provides seats to the largest share of the vote in each individual constituency.
      The effect of this was most clear in Scotland. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) obtained 6% of the national vote but won 56 seats because that 6% was all concentrated in the 59 Scottish seats and, therefore, in most of those individual Scottish seats the SNP obtained more than 50% of the vote.
      The Conservatives obtained an overall majority of seats in the Commons because the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) obtained 15% of the national vote but this share was distributed over the whole of England and Wales. Very importantly, UKIP took more votes from Labour than from the Conservatives especially in the North and Midlands of England. Thus, UKIP won only one seat but provided the Conservatives with many seats that were Labour seats in previous elections.
      UKIP is now saying it hopes to displace Labour as one of the two major parties.
      In previous recent General Elections the national share of the vote had been a useful proxy for the share of the vote in almost all seats, and it was assumed it would be in this election. This assumption was wrong because the SNP had a landslide in Scotland, the LibDems collapsed, and UKIP obtained 15% of the votes and took more votes from Labour than from the Tories.
      In summation, the polls WERE “correct” to within their measurement error but they were measuring the wrong thing to indicate the election result.
      Richard

      • Richard
        Your explanation of the reasons why the polls leading up to the election were wide of the final result seems far more likely than the other theories being put about, mainly by the pollsters who got it so wrong.
        Are you aware that the British Polling Council (I hadn’t heard of it before either!), which I believe is headed by Professor John Curtice, the BBC exit poll man, is to hold an enquiry into what went wrong? Maybe you should contact them to see what they think.

      • Mr Green Genes
        I was not aware of the British Polling Council, thankyou.
        I posted a summation in this thread of a more detailed analysis I provided on WUWT here on the morning after the election.
        I will try to find out about the “enquiry into what went wrong”. I will submit to them if I can and I will post the submission to here.
        Richard

      • Mr Green Genes
        I have made the following submission to the enquiry by email
        Richard
        Subject: A submission to the BPC enquiry into apparent failure of Election predictions
        Dear Professor Curtice:
        I write to make a submission to British Polling Council (BPC) enquiry into apparent failure of recent General Election predictions by opinion polls.
        I submit that the error was in interpretation of the results.
        In previous recent General Elections the national share of the vote had been a useful proxy for the share of the vote in almost all seats, and it was assumed it would be in the 2015 General Election. This assumption was wrong because the SNP had a landslide in Scotland, the LibDems collapsed, and UKIP obtained 15% of the votes and took more votes from Labour than from the Tories in England.

        The polls WERE “correct” to within their measurement error. The polls showed that Labour and the Tories would have similar share of the national vote. In the event Labour won 31% and the Conservatives 37% of the national vote. These are very similar results to within +/-3% margin of error. However, on this occasion the small difference provided a misleading indication of the coming election result.
        The indication was misleading because the polls were indicating national share of the vote and the UK’s First Past The Post electoral system provides seats to the largest share of the vote in each individual constituency.
        The effect of this was most clear in Scotland. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) obtained 6% of the national vote but won 56 seats because that 6% was all concentrated in the 59 Scottish seats and, therefore, in most of those individual Scottish seats the SNP obtained more than 50% of the vote.
        Prior to the election, Labour had more seats in Scotland than the Conservatives so the SDP landslide increased the difference in number of Labour and Conservative seats.
        The Liberal Democrats (LD) lost many seats but the lost LD share of the vote seems to have been lost to both Labour and Conservatives with little net effect on.
        The Conservatives obtained an overall majority of seats in the Commons because the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) obtained 15% of the national vote but this share was distributed over the whole of England and Wales. Very importantly, UKIP took more votes from Labour than from the Conservatives especially in the North and Midlands of England. Thus, UKIP won only one seat but provided the Conservatives with many seats that were Labour seats in previous elections.
        UKIP is now saying it hopes to displace Labour as one of the two major parties.
        In summation, the polls WERE “correct” to within their measurement error but they were measuring the wrong thing to indicate the election result.
        I am providing a public record of this submission here
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/11/consensus-smensus-97-of-uk-voters-hiding-in-the-deep-ocean/#comment-1932953
        Richard S Courtney

  21. And the next step is to pay the bill to the masters in Brussels, the money sink of Europe.

  22. It is so frustrating that conventional terminology doesn’t allow one to accurately describe the likes of David Cameron. Applying the left-right spectrum to 21st century politicians is detached from current realities and accordingly is misleading and useless.
    It is impossible to express what unifies these three dreadful men and their non-British equlvalents when the terms available place misleading and inaccurate emphasis on the differences between them. In the absence of terms which reflect the world as it is, purposeful debate about how things are and how they should change cannot happen.

  23. pdxrod
    “Shy Tories” who don’t exist do not explain a polling error that did not occur.
    Please see my above post here.
    Richard

Comments are closed.