The Spectator

Barometer | 28 February 2019

Barometer | 28 February 2019
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Success of the SDP

The breakaway Labour MPs would have an uphill task emulating the SDP’s early success. It fought its first by-election in the July 1981 — losing by 1,700 votes in Warrington. Yet that autumn it reached 50 per cent in the opinion polls, with by-election triumphs following in Crosby, in November 1981, and Glasgow Hillhead in March 1982. Eventually, 28 MPs defected from the Labour party but only one from the Conservatives. Early success, however, failed to translate into a breakthrough in general elections. In 1983 it won six seats (out of 23 won by the Liberal-SDP Alliance); that fell to five seats in 1987.

Unfair fares

Rail companies called for a simpler ticketing system. Some of the different fares being quoted this week for the same journey: Euston to Manchester Piccadilly on the 9.20 on Friday 22 March.

£28.50 advance standard-class ticket from London to Milton Keynes, then another ticket from Milton Keynes to Manchester

£29 advance standard-class ticket from London to Manchester

£58 advance first-class ticket

£132 advance first-class ticket

£175 ‘anytime’ standard-class ticket

£242 ‘anytime’ first-class ticket

Expensive to fly

Airbus is to stop making the A380 ‘superjumbo’ because of falling demand from airlines, which find it too expensive to run. Which airlines make the most efficient use of fuel on transatlantic flights?

BEST

Passenger-km/litre of fuel

Norwegian

44

WOW Air

39

Swiss

37

KLM

36

Turkish/Air France/Virgin

35

WORST

Passenger-km/litre of fuel

American/Austrian/Alitalia/Aeroflot

33

United

31

Lufthansa

30

BA

27

International Council on Clean Transportation

Victims of Isis

Shamima Begum said people should feel sympathy for her after what she has been through. A reminder of victims of the civil war in Syria: There are 5.68 million registered refugees according to the UNHCR. 15.7% are aged under four, 17% aged 5-11 and 12% 12-18. 362,888 refugees are living in camps. As well as atrocities in Syria and Iraq, Isis has carried out or inspired 140 terror attacks in 29 countries (according to CNN), killing 2,043 people.