Compare and contrast

A couple of weeks ago someone sent me a link to a “poll” in the Tab (which, one understands, is some form of newspaper for students) that claimed to show Conservatives were in the lead amongst students. Nonsense of course, it was an open access voodoo poll with no attempt to get a meaningful or representative sample (hell, 10% of the sample were Cambridge students!). Of course, it was only a poll in a campus newspaper so I didn’t bother writing rude things about it, the only other media I found foolish enough to cite it were Vice and Breitbart.

Just for the record though, today’s Independent has a properly conducted poll of students by YouthSight (we’ve met them here before, under the name of Opinionpanel). This was a panel based survey amongst undergraduate full-time students, recruited via UCAS and validated through an ac.uk email address, weighted by type of university (Russell, pre-1992, post-1992, specialist), year of study and gender. In contrast to the voodoo poll above, it shows Labour with a solid lead amongst students who say they are likely to vote – Labour 43%, Conservatives 24%, Lib Dems 6%, Greens 14%, UKIP 5%. Compare and contrast.


310 Responses to “Compare and contrast”

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  1. “Happy hour is no more…”

    And very happy indeed it was carfrew – plus we have a new chum to email and drunk hour to look forward to when all the old codger come out.

    I shall be back around midnight to enjoy that.

    skippy: Some people [pas moi] like to watch MOTD as though the matches are live.

  2. @Amber

    “BTW, It’s a proven fact that the women who do get sent to prison have received a harsher sentence regarding the crime for which they’ve been convicted than men receive for similar crimes.”

    Sorry, but you’ll have to back that up with some sources from modern times. A glib statement of ‘x’ is a proven fact, does not make it so. I have no knowledge of the subject, and do not accept ‘proven facts’ without a little backup information.

  3. Graham,
    I think you will find that the Greens are strong supporters of positive discrimination. So good luck to you getting them more support!

  4. @steve

    Can you post the source of that (i.e. give a context to the data)?

    Picking two random stats from your list:

    “Over half of women in prison report having suffered domestic violence.

    One in three women in prison report having suffered sexual abuse.”

    Do we have comparative male data? Is the abuse in the latter statement from other women prisoners, or male staff or some other factor?

    What percentage of male prisoners have suffered sexual abuse (note that your statement might read as ‘abuse in general’ such as before prison, rather than abuse in prison itself).

    I’m just keen to see if these female stats are well away from the male stats. A bit of context, if you like.

  5. “Can anyone think of a female MP/MEP/MSP/AM who has been convicted of a crime?”

    Margaret Moran.

  6. “I’m just keen to see if these female stats are well away from the male stats.”

    So – you want segregated stats now statty. What would Missis Statty say about that?

  7. @R&D

    If claims are being made that one section of society is hard done by, lets see the stats on it, and then we can all disseminate the information to others.

    If we’re going to make a statement, then take a pop at folk requesting a source on said statement, then we might as well shift to Twitter and give AW less reading of naff comments.

  8. I’m not taking a “pop” at anyone. Apologies for making a light-hearted comment on a non-polling weekend.

  9. @Statgeek,

    I suspect Steve probably got the list of stats from the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefing report. (i.e from people campaigning against the use of imprisonment – not that this necessarily invalidates the stats themselves, they mostly come from official statistics or from surveys of one sort or another).

    The one “fact” that doesn’t appear to have any statistical basis is the “women get harsher sentences than men” thing. This seems to be based on a comment by Kenny McAskill, and in part based on the fact that the rate of violent crime amongst female prisoners is lower than amongst males. There is perhaps an argument for saying that violence can be a marker for seriousness, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Is a punch from a Prescott more worthy of imprisonment than a lie from an Archer?

    Of course, it’s fairly safe to make these bland statements about the figures, because noone is about to invest the time and money that would be necessary to actually answer the question properly. Finding, say, 1,000 cases of imprisonment for the same crime in broadly similar circumstances (shoplifting would probably be the only crime that would be frequent enough to generate a useable sample) and then comparing like-with-like. Does a 23 year old female shoplifter with 4 previous convictions who steals £50 worth of goods get the same sentence as a 23 year old male shoplifter etc.

    Most of the rest of Steve’s stats can be taken either way. Obviously the PRT will bend them to the service of it’s agenda (they’d be a pretty rubbish lobby if they didn’t). But there’s also an argument for saying that if the aggravating features in the backgrounds of female convicts are more extreme than those for male convicts, that may suggest that more “normal” males get caught up in the prison system whereas “normal” females tend not to (which might partly explain the much lower levels of female incarceration – and back Wood up to some extent).

    Of course you can’t accurately analyze sentencing statistics without analyzing crime statistics alongside them. Are women ending up in prison in proportion to the crimes they commit? Are diversionary strategies used more or less often for males than females?

  10. “non-polling weekend?

    There are two out tomorrow. ICM for Scotland on Sunday, and another poll in the Sunday Post.

  11. People registering to vote under the new system (operational in 2015) will have to provide their national insurance number.

    I don’t think many people have thought through the consequences of this. A recent payslip would provide the NI number but many people will not have one to hand (e.g. students?).

    Yes in principle you can find out your NI number by writing to a government office and waiting for the reply. But how many people can be bothered to do that?

  12. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “And very happy indeed it was carfrew – plus we have a new chum to email and drunk hour to look forward to when all the old codger come out.”

    ————-

    Well, mine could have been happier… started out ok but got a bit lairy so came home again. Still, on the plus side, I discovered the wine/tapas bar round the corner is doing a bottle of Merlot for a fiver. Might not be up to Ken’s standards, but still…

  13. OLDNAT

    My Edinburgh contacts tell me that it is Survation in the Sunday Post and that it is “good” for YES.

    LOOKS LIKE MY VOODOO POLLING OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF NECK AND NECK MAY NOT BE TOO WIDE OF THE MARK

  14. We could do our own poll;

    a) Most helpful poster (vote statgeek)

    b) Most annoying poster (abstain)

    c) Most annoying non-Scottish poster (abstain)

    d) funniest poster (R et D)

    e) biggest flirt (abstain, until someone else plucks up courage)

    f) most off-topic

  15. L Hamilton

    Ta.

  16. @Statty

    “…then we might as well shift to Twitter and give AW less reading of naff comments.”

    ————

    Wouldn’t you miss the modding though?…

  17. You can only get an NI number in certain circumstances: starting to work , receiving benefits, applying for a student loan. However there will be many people who should be eligible to vote that don’t fall in any of these classes (or in some cases aren’t even eligible for any of these!). So how are they going to be able to register to vote?

    Interestingly, one class of disenfranchised will be the offspring of wealthy parents who no longer get child benefit, and thus will no longer be sent an NI number when they are 16.

  18. You can only get an NI number in certain circumstances: starting to work , receiving benefits, apply for a student loan. However there will be many people who should be eligible to vote that don’t fall in any of these classes (or in some cases aren’t even eligible for any of these!). So how are they going to be able to register to vote? Does anyone know how this system has been working in Northern Ireland?

    Interestingly, one class of disenfranchised will be the offspring of wealthy parents who no longer get child benefit, and thus will no longer be sent an NI number when they are 16.

  19. Survation tweet – “This weekend (Sat-Mon) we will publish a new Westminster seat poll, a Scottish poll and some new work on English devolution…”

  20. Neil A

    I’m so pleased that you’ve posted one of your well-considered and informed contributions to the thread. I’ve been aware of your absence and am glad to see that you’re OK.

  21. Wot no poll (Thursday evening to friday lunch is not what I call Good Friday. Mind i don;t call Good friday that either.

    Mr Beeswax

    I bag being c) Most annoying non-Scottish poster unless someone wishes to challenge.

    Last, Neil A lives! Hooray. Bit off about JP though. He was never charged – and what would you do if someone splatted you with an egg (and sporting a mullet over a grinning fat face to boot).

  22. @Howard,

    Exactly. He was never charged. In my line of work, if I had reacted to being splatted with an egg by aiming a punch at someone, I suspect I would have been gripping the rail (to the general approval, no doubt, of most of the UKPR contingent).

    @Syzygy,

    I’ve been lurking around. The Ukraine/Putin commentary was boiling my blood a little too much for a man on two different medications for hypertension. Policing/crime/prison policy is a safer topic for me…

  23. (I’ve also been a little busy with a human trafficking case. I have a lazy Easter off, with the wife out working, so I have some time on my hands, but in the next few weeks I have meetings with the Home Office, Europol and the Czech Police in the pipeline so I may not be about so much).

  24. Neil A
    But with a mullet as well? There are limits.

  25. @NeilA

    Welcome back. You’re the most thoughtful and sane of the posters on the other side of the political fence to me.

    But as to “…boiling my blood a little too much for a man on two different medications for hypertension”, you must be a very young man. I’m now on 4 such meds!

  26. “and sporting a mullet over a grinning fat face to boot.”

    I don’t remember the face-booting bit Howard but I get your point.

    Am off to join twitter now if I can figure out what one does.

    mr beeswax [I keep wanting to say mr earwax but shall refrain]

    Anyway, I assume the nationality bit in C was to avoid an obvious winner.

    Re the pups – best not to say they are funny ‘cos you will annoy other posters.

    [and make the little rascals even smugger than they already are.]

  27. Mr B, I think I might get a couple of votes for C). Most helpful poster would be a fierce three-way battle between Alec, Statgeek and Neil A (who I’m glad to see has made a reappearance).

  28. From the US, so possibly not what people are seeking here – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2144002

    – this finds that men get longer sentences for comparable offences.

    From the UK – h ttp://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_crime.htm

    It quotes a self reported survey, so validity may be questionable, but again finds women less likely to get custodial sentences and that when they do they are shorter.

    Not conclusive, but I had read many times about the ‘fact’ that women got a raw deal on prison sentences, but these studies seem to suggest otherwise.

  29. @Howard,

    Had Prescott attacked him with scissors, it would have been more than justifiable…

  30. Oh, and we want a poll tonight do we? Survation have polled Eastleigh, and it’s a big one:

    LD 27 (-5)
    UKIP 32 (+4)
    LAB 12 (+2)
    CON 28 (+3)

  31. a) Most helpful poster (vote statgeek)
    ———–
    Nope; it has to be Roger Mexico – he seems to be able to post links to every poll there’s ever been. He’s the only one who can ever challenge Anthony about something & be taken seriously. And he’s only ever annoyed me once in the entire time I’ve been reading UKPR, so I reckon Roger Mexico definitely deserves the prize for being ‘helpful’ ;-)

  32. Neil A
    I lost weight (30 years ago now, I was 1m 80 and 89 kilos and smoked). I was ‘threatened’ with meds and thus stopped smoking (I’m sure you don’t do that anyway) and went Atkins. Weight came down rapidly to 82 kilos and BP to 140 /95. Still too high but got it under control (and have kept it there since, through an occasional weight foothill of 85 kilo but no more of those himalayan peaks).

    If none of this is relevant to you or other posters, my apologies. But I am very grateful that I took the advice. My Dutch GP simply told me I was on the way to an early demise. I am sure he was correct.

    I can hear Amber and Spearmint and Syzygy saying ‘men! Pah’.

  33. @Neil A,
    Just to be clear, although I ended up having to unexpectedly defend the statement that women get softer treatment by the police&judiciary, I originally bought up the whole topic as what I thought would be a simple example of how gender disparity is often mostly a result of different gender behaviours, rather than discrimination.

    Also ditto Syzygys’ statement.

  34. @Howard,

    I don’t smoke (haven’t ever) or drink (gave up a few years ago on medical advice).

    Weight is definitely the killer. Like you I went Atkins (ish) and lost a couple of stone. BP came down nicely. Sadly I don’t have the discipline I need and most of the weight’s come back on. I know what I need to do. I just need to find the self-control to do it.

  35. I wish Mourinho would throw an egg at John Prescott. Sooner he leaves English football the better: he’s a bleedin’ disgrace.

  36. @Wood,

    There are areas where the wise tread softly. Gender politics is definitely one of them.

    For me the central objection to “Positive” discrimination is that it can compound the issues that minorities already face. If everyone thinks you only got your job/promotion/seat because of your gender/race/disability then it is harder to succeed in that position, and you are less likely to be be a confident and respected role model (which is essential if disparities are to be ironed out).

    I am all in favour of monitoring, so that we can spot when there is a problem, and I am all in favour of a forensic and ruthless identification and removal of the barriers that prevent recruitment and advancement of underrepresented groups. I can even see some some merit in a “balanced recruitment” model like PSNI have adopted, where the standards for recruitment are the same, but the appointments themselves are done on a proportional basis. That way, the “positive discrimination”, whilst certainly present (a Protestant recruit might have to wait months or even years longer for a post than a Catholic one) and still “unfair”, at least there is no question that it led to an inadequate candidate being selected.

  37. R and D
    Do you not mean that the other way around. I love this notion of ‘English’ football by the way.

  38. @Neil A
    Never have been accused of wisdom, me :)

    Agree with rest of post.

  39. Neil A
    Can one not be just non-believer in NI? I remember that NI born Jewish actor who told that he used to be beaten up by both sides as a boy because each thought (correctly) that he was not ‘on their side’. The notion that one could be anything other than one of the two tribes could not be comprehended.

  40. @ Howard

    I can hear Amber and Spearmint and Syzygy saying ‘men! Pah’.
    —————
    At the risk of raising your blood pressure, You’re letting your imagination run away with you.

    I don’t recall ever saying: ‘Men! Pah!’ I believe I’m usually pretty clear about which man (or men) I’m disagreeing with rather than writing off the entire gender.

  41. Neil A

    Does recruitment to PSNI still operate on that basis? I thought Westminster had stopped that in 2011.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/psni-5050-recruitment-policy-ends-28600138.html

  42. The Eastleigh poll is timely , as it seems to point up four party politics as being the future. The thing is will sufficient of the Labour vote go to UKIP , in order to dish both of the ugly sisters of the Coalition ?
    I seem to remember that in 1997 the ABT vote was mobilised behind Labour in Hastings and Rye because of a constituency poll taken a few months in advance, thus giving the electorate time to realise that they COULD break the FPTP mould in an interesting way.

  43. Neil A

    Welcome back btw. That’s an impressive meeting list that you have lined up!

  44. @ Neil A

    If everyone thinks you only got your job/promotion/seat because of your gender/race/disability then it is harder to succeed in that position, and you are less likely to be a confident and respected role model…
    —————
    Speak for yourself. I’d be terrific in any role I applied for; I wouldn’t put myself forward for something unless I knew I’d be good at it.

  45. Amber
    I am serenely content with your reply. (It’s not what most women think though, although I can cite no poll, Anthony may know of some sex-war questions that have been put).

  46. @Graham

    The Green Party uses women quotas for party lists, e.g. for the London Assembly elections. Also in 2012 two female deputy leader candidates had to stand down when a female leader was elected as leader and deputy can’t be same gender.

  47. If gurls do get let off with more things than blokes, its probably because, as Molesworth said, they’re regarded as soppy, weedy and wet, rather than actually dangerous.

  48. Mr N
    You cite the Survation ‘big’ poll, did you have a link? I mean how big? Do you mean a poll of a lot of people or a big poll due to its findings?

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