How useful is it to characterise an election with a single anthropological specimen such as ‘Workington Man’? ‘Worcester Woman’ was identified by Tory strategists ahead of the 1997 election as a key voter who had helped John Major win, against expectations, in 1992. Worcester was then a Conservative seat. Has the city followed the national trend since?
1992: Con 46% of Worcester vote, Lab 36%
(Nationwide, Tory majority of 21)
1997: Lab 50%, Con 36%
(Labour majority of 178 seats nationwide)
2001: Lab 49%, Con 36%
(Labour majority of 166)
2005: Lab 42%, Con 35%
(Labour majority of 65)
2010: Con 40%, Lab 33%
(Hung parliament: Con/Lib Dem coalition)
2015 : Con 45%, Lab 34%
(Conservative majority of 15)
2017: Con 48%, Lab 43%
(Hung parliament: Tory minority government)
Questions of trust
Some surprising polling revelations:
1% of Brexit party voters would rather trust Jo Swinson on Brexit than Boris Johnson.
1% of Lib Dem voters would rather trust Boris Johnson on the NHS than either Jo Swinson or Jeremy Corbyn.
1% of Conservative voters would rather trust Jeremy Corbyn on the economy than Boris Johnson.
1% of Labour voters say that defence and security is the most important issue which has persuaded them to vote for the party.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was attacked for suggesting that there were ‘benefits and downsides’ to climate change, and that warmer winters would lead to fewer deaths. A group called Irish Doctors for the Environment demanded he retract his comments. But is he right?
— A 2013 study led by the Dublin Institute of Technology concluded that between 1981 and 2006 a total of 294 deaths in Ireland could be attributed to heatwaves, an average of 12 per year.
— A 2015 study led by Public Health England and published in the European Journal of Public Health concluded that in the nine winters between 2002/03 and 2010/11 a total of 11,219 deaths in Ireland could be attributed to ‘excess winter mortality’, an average of 1,246 per year.
— So there would seem to be far more scope for a warming trend in temperatures to reduce excess winter deaths than to increase excess summer deaths.