The Spectator

Barometer | 13 June 2019

Barometer | 13 June 2019
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What’s in a name?

If Jeremy Hunt wins the Conservative leadership election both prime minister and leader of the opposition will have the same forename. Has this happened before?

— Between 18 July 1992 and 12 May 1994, John Major was PM and John Smith leader of the opposition.

— Between 14 February 1963 and 18 October 1963, Harold Macmillan was PM and Harold Wilson leader of the opposition.

— Jeremy would become one of only three forenames which have been held by leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties. The other two are William (Hague/Adamson/Gladstone) and John (Major/Smith/Russell, 1st Earl of Russell).

Life choices

Jeremy Hunt said he personally believed that the abortion limit should be reduced to 12 weeks. How many people agree with him? A YouGov poll in 2013 found that:

40% believe the 24-week limit should be kept as it is.

28% believe, like Hunt, that the limit should be lowered.

7% believe that abortion should be banned entirely.

6% believe we should have a limit higher than 24 weeks.

19% don’t know.

High times

Michael Gove admitted to taking cocaine. How many people have tried illicit drugs?

Any illicit drug


Any class A drug






Powder cocaine




Magic mushrooms




Crack cocaine




Source: Home Office (2013)

Sinking feeling

The M25 was closed after the appearance of a ‘sinkhole’ — where the ground suddenly collapses due to geological action below the surface. Some more disappearing roads:

— The M2 in Kent was closed in February 2014 after a sinkhole about ten feet across appeared in the central reservation. It was blamed on old mining work.

— Magdalen’s Close in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was afflicted by a sinkhole in the same month – caused by heavy rain dissolving gypsum deposits. A house had to be demolished. Two years later, neighbouring Magdalen’s Road was closed after another sinkhole opened up.