Barometer

Do ‘Workington Man’ and ‘Worcester Woman’ decide elections?

9 November 2019 9:00 am

National characters How useful is it to characterise an election with a single anthropological specimen such as ‘Workington Man’? ‘Worcester…

How unusual is a December general election?

2 November 2019 9:00 am

A December election How unusual is a December general election? Of the 56 elections held since 1800, 5 essentially took…

How violent are our jails?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Big Ben protests An Extinction Rebellion protestor climbed to the top of the Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, with…

How violent are our jails?

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Parliamentary days Could one of parliament’s longest sessions be followed by one of its shortest? — The shortest was between…

A slice of history: how did Britain’s pizza industry begin?

12 October 2019 9:00 am

A slice of history Pizza Express is to undergo financial restructuring, leading to fears that it could go under. How…

Are childhood vaccination rates dropping?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Who speaks what The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, included a little Punjabi in his speech to the Tory conference. How many…

How many people have swum the Channel?

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Journey’s end Holidaymakers are being flown home after travel company Thomas Cook failed. The idea might have horrified the company’s…

How many Britons now vape?

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Talking Turkey David Cameron again accused the Leave campaign of ‘lying’ about the prospect of Turkey joining the EU. A…

Does the outcome of the Ashes dictate who wins a general election?

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Party speak Should the next Speaker of the House of Commons be a Labour MP on the basis that John…

How often has a general election been held on a Monday?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

A Monday poll? The government was considering a general election on 14 October — a Monday. This raised eyebrows because…

Is Trump’s suggestion to bomb hurricanes really that stupid?

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Blowing against the wind President Trump was ridiculed for suggesting that hurricanes could be impeded on their passage across the…

How did Richard Braine become Dick Braine?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Name calling Richard Braine was appointed leader of Ukip, leading to jokes about the party being led by a ‘Dick…

Which country locks up the most people?

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Girls only Polish village Miejsce Odrzanskie was reported not to have had a single boy born in the past decade,…

A Chinook helicopter prepares to drop sandbags onto the dam wall at the Toddbrook reservoir last week (Getty)

Dams, lives and statistics: the worst dam collapses in Britain

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Dams, lives and statistics The town of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, was evacuated after heavy rainfall caused the partial collapse of…

Hot topic: How many of us own fans?

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Growing fanbase A photograph of the Queen meeting Boris Johnson revealed that she uses a Dyson electric fan. How many…

What kills more people in the UK: hot or cold weather?

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Losing confidence The government may soon face a vote of no confidence, the second this year. How often do these…

When will man make it to Mars?

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Mars missions When will there be a manned Mars mission? — As early as 1962, Nasa studied the practicalities of…

Is women’s football really that popular?

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Ode to all sorts Brexit party MPs were likened to Nazis for turning their backs on a recital of ‘Ode to…

How many dogs are there in Britain?

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Model hobbies Asked what he did to relax, Boris Johnson claimed that he liked to make model buses. Some others…

How many 999 calls are genuine emergencies?

29 June 2019 9:00 am

To debate or not to debate Is Boris Johnson wise to shun TV debates? — Prior to the 2015 Labour…

Why are hustings called hustings?

22 June 2019 9:00 am

History of hustings Why are hustings called by that name? — The word ‘hustings’ is derived from an old Norse…

How many people have tried illicit drugs?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

What’s in a name? If Jeremy Hunt wins the Conservative leadership election both prime minister and leader of the opposition…

What are the perks of being Jean-Claude Juncker?

8 June 2019 8:00 am

Juncker’s perks The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker complained that he doesn’t have an official residence, unlike the ambassadors who…

How many people make it up Everest?

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Tears for fears Theresa May welled up while announcing her resignation in Downing Street. How often do leaders cry? —…

What punishment can you expect for throwing a milkshake at a politician?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Milkshakes and other missiles What can the man who threw a milkshake over Nigel Farage in Newcastle expect as a…