Donald Trump has won, so we have another round of stories about polling shortcomings, though thankfully it’s someone else’s country this time round (this is very much a personal take from across an ocean – the Yougov American and British teams are quite separate, so I have no insider angle on the YouGov American polls to offer).

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about whether there was potential for the US polls to suffer the same sort of polling mishap as Britain had experienced in 2015. It now looks as if they have. The US polling industry actually has a very good record of accuracy – they obviously have a lot more contests to poll, a lot more information to hand (and probably a lot more money!), but nevertheless – if you put aside the 2000 exit poll, you have to go back to 1948 to find a complete polling catastrophe in the US. That expectation of accuracy means they’ll probably face a lot of flak in the days ahead.

We in Britain have, shall I say, more recent experience of the art of being wrong, so here’s what insight I can offer. First the Brexit comparison. I fear this will be almost universal over the next few weeks, but when it comes to polling it is questionable:

  • In the case of Brexit, the polling picture was mixed. Put crudely, telephone polls showed a clear lead for Remain, online polls showed a tight race, with leave often ahead. Our media expected Remain to win and wrongly focused only on those polls that agreed with them, leading to a false narrative of a clear Remain lead, rather than a close run thing. Some polls were wrong, but the perception that they were all off is wrong – it was a failure of interpretation.
  • In the case of the USA, the polling picture was not really mixed. With the exception of the outlying USC Dornslife/LA Times poll all the polls tended to show a picture of Clinton leading, backed up by state polls also showing Clinton leads consistent with the national polls. People were quite right to interpret the polls as showing Clinton heading towards victory… it was the polls themselves that were wrong.

How wrong were they? As I write, it looks as if Hillary Clinton will actually get the most votes, but lose in the Electoral College. In that sense, the national polls were not wrong when they showed Clinton ahead, she really was. It’s one of the most fustrating situations to be in as a pollster, those times when statistically you are correct… but your figures have told the wrong narrative, so everyone thinks you are wrong. That doesn’t get the American pollsters off the hook though: the final polls were clustered around a 4 point lead for Clinton, when in reality it looks about 1 point. More importantly, the state polls were often way out, polls had Ohio as a tight race when Trump stomped it by 8 points. All the polls in Wisconsin had Clinton clearly ahead; Trump won. Polls in Minnesota were showing Clinton leads of 5-10 points, it ended up on a knife edge. Clearly something went deeply wrong here.

Putting aside exactly how comparable the Brexit polls and the Trump polls are, there are some potential lessons in terms of polling methodology. I am no expert in US polling, so I’ll leave it to others more knowledgable than I to dig through the entrails of the election polls. However, based on my experiences of recent mishaps in British polling, there are a couple of places I would certainly start looking.

One is turnout modelling – US pollsters often approach turnout in a very different way how British pollsters traditionally did it. We’ve always relied on weighting to the profile of the whole population and asking people if they are likely to vote. US pollsters have access to far more information on which people actually do vote, allowing they to weight their samples to the profile of actual voters in a state. This has helped the normally good record of US pollsters… but carries a potential risk if the type of people who vote changes, if there is an unexpected increase in turnout among demographics who don’t usually vote. This was one of the ways British pollsters did get burnt over Brexit. After getting the 2015 election wrong lots of British companies experimented with a more US-style approach, modelling turnout on the basis of people’s demographics. Those companies then faced problems when there was unexpectedly high turnout from more working-class, less well-educated voters at the referendum. Luckily for US pollsters, the relatively easy availability of data on who voted means they should be able to rule this in or out quite easily.

The second is sampling. The inquiry into our general election polling error in 2015 found that unrepresentative samples were the core of the problem, and I can well imagine that this is a problem that risks affecting pollsters anywhere. Across the world landline penetration is falling, response rates are falling and it seems likely that the dwindling number of people still willing to take part in polls are ever more unrepresentative. In this country our samples seemed to be skewed towards people who were too educated, who paid too much attention to politics, followed the news agenda and the political media too closely. We under-represented those with little interest in politics, and several UK pollsters have since started sampling and weighting by that to try and address the issue. Were the US pollsters to suffer a similar problem one can easily imagine how it could result in polls under-representing Donald Trump’s support. If that does end up being the case, the question will be what US pollsters do to address the issue.


1,352 Responses to “Why were the US polls wrong?”

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  1. Fascinating – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/15/angela-merkel-suggests-she-is-willing-to-compromise-on-free-move/

    Apparently Merkel has signaled a willingness to compromise of free movement. Hard to gauge what she is thinking from a newspaper report, but the quotes suggest she doesn’t want to make the UK a special case, but may be prepared to look at definitions around some of the exclusions within the free movement regime.

    Brexiters are, or course, delighted. However, caution is needed. If reforms are offered that are significant enough to enable the UK to remain in the single market, and if these are applied to everyone, the question of ‘why bother leaving’ could arise.

    Lots of water still to flow under many bridges, and I suspect we are in for a number of surprises, in many different ways.

  2. Alec

    “I did have to smile just a wee bit when reading the above, from a poster with ‘SNP’ in his moniker. ”

    Why?

  3. “…recent democratic events such as Brexit and Trump have shown an ugly side to the illiberal left. I don’t recall those on the left who were on the losing side of the Scottish referendum taking strops and trying to frustrate the result. Maybe other countries should take a leaf out of the Scottish electorates book…..”

    Would you be fine with a second EU referendum along the lines of Indyref 2, as advocated by many of the supporters of the 2014 Scottish ‘Yes’ campaign?

  4. @Alec

    I’d certainly consider supporting Remain if a deal on free movement could be worked out. Like you I am extremely cautious about this. It feels like something’s been lost in translation.

  5. ALEC
    “Brexiters are, or course, delighted. However, caution is needed. If reforms are offered that are significant enough to enable the UK to remain in the single market, and if these are applied to everyone, the question of ‘why bother leaving’ could arise.”

    I suspect the concessions are aimed at trying to keep us in the EEA, not EU. I’m sure even Merkel realises UK’s days in EU are drawing to a close!

  6. @AC

    “I don’t mind the left and there are many principles and values the left hold which I agree with. It just seems that some on the liberal left who shout from the roof tops in the name of democracy turn to mega-phone diplomacy when they don’t like the outcome.”

    ————

    Yes, if you actually read my post you will see that I agree that you will indeed find SOME like that.

    The bits you are missing, from my post, are the following…

    1) That there are also some on the right and indeed in other political groupings

    2) but there are plenty who aren’t,

    3) …especially on this board…

    4) …and blanket condemnations are therefore not helpful. They waste our precious time Allan!! You don’t wanna be a party to that do ya?…

    (Regarding NPD, came across some research in the past to suggest a greater preponderance of it online, along with sociopathy. Which shouldn’t entirely surprise, given the net provides an audience for the narcissists and the cloak of anonymity for the socios. Tends to be the glib, serial misrepresenters apparently…)

  7. James E

    ” Indyref 2, as advocated by many of the supporters of the 2014 Scottish ‘Yes’ campaign?”

    That is based on there being a “material change of circumstances” since indyref1.

    If such a “material change” occurs in terms of EU membership, that would seem reasonable.

    However, if tabling of Article 50 is actually irrevocable, then such an EUref2 would have to take place prior to it being tabled – otherwise it would have to be a very different referendum – eg advising the UK Government to minimise the degree of leaving the EU.

  8. ON
    “eg advising the UK Government to minimise the degree of leaving the EU”

    Or maximising it?

  9. @ Alec and @ NeilA

    What the story in the DT reveals is more the depleted state of British journalism than any great shift in Merkel’s position.

    The Telegraph have decided to pick up and splash (almost verbatim) an agency piece from earlier today, that the Indy had, incidentally, already covered prominently online.

    Here’s the original from Reuters:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-germany-idUSKBN13A1PL?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=582b241f04d30110fcada7a4&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

    It’s not so much that something has been ‘lost in translation’, rather that it has been intentionally lost in the DT’s rather careful editing. Merkel is essentially talking about social security benefit rights:

    “I personally am of the view that we will have to discuss further with the (European) Commission when this freedom of movement applies from.”

    “Merkel said that if, for example, someone came to Germany from eastern Europe and worked only for a short time but acquired a life-long claim on welfare benefits, “then I see a question about which we must talk again.”

    “Free movement applies to me in the sense that the employee himself earns the money he needs for himself and his family in the other member state,” she said.

    As I recall the referendum debate in the UK, though Cameron’s ‘deal’ was generally viewed as unsatisfactory, the notion that he had got some kind of agreement on curbing access to benefits for EU nationals did register.

    However, the issue appeared to be more fundamental than that for most of those that voted for leave – opinion seemed to be inclined towards an end to ‘uncontrolled migration’ rather ‘reduced access to benefits for EU nationals’.

    No wide-ranging exceptions to freedom of movement are on the table as far as I can tell on the basis of this speech –

    “Were we to make an exception for the free movement of people with Britain, this would mean we would endanger principles of the whole internal market in the European Union, because everyone else will then want these exceptions”

    I’m having a look to see if I can find the full text in English or German. But my guess is the journalist may even have taken the quotes out of context – the comments on Brexit being separate from the more nuanced remarks about social security access, with the latter aimed at a German audience that does have concerns in this sphere due to the contributory nature of their model.

  10. This has got VERY boring. Can we have some new polls please?

  11. Pete B

    “Or maximising it?”

    Well, if you really want an EUref2 to decide what EUref1 actually meant, then that would be a possibility – though it would simply demonstrate that EUref1 was stupidly worded in the first place.

    Mind you, that is so self-evident that it doesn’t need another referendum to tell us that the first one was incompetently worded, and provided no definition of what the damn thing actually meant.

    However, my comment was in terms of those arguing for an EUref2 as confirmatory of (or overturning) EUref1.

  12. Im totally and absolutely bored of brexit

  13. CR

    “Im totally and absolutely bored of brexit”

    Maybe SLab agree with you, and that’s why they abstained on the motion at Holyrood?

    It’s an interesting idea to surge to power on the votes of the bored and apathetic. :-)

  14. @Old Nat

    The problem comes because it is the European Food Safety Authority and The European Medicines Agency that employ the inspectors, and the legislation refers to them.

    In the case of hard Brexit, the EFSA and EMA will have nothing to do with the UK any more, so no inspections will take place.

    Economics of scale and centralisation also mean that it’s going to cost a lot more to replace the various EU bodies than we actually spend on EU membership.

  15. I’m bored too – that’s why I’ve been silent recently.

  16. Assiduosity,
    ” That numbers far too nice and round!”

    Wasn’t the Leave camaipign roundly criticised for claiming numbers which were far too precise?

    S Thomas,
    ” the second referendum will have to not only set out the brexit agreement but also what remaining then means ie uncontrolled immigration”

    Certainly someone needs to set out that EU membership has never meant uncontrolled immigration. The number of immigrants in the Uk matches the demand for labour, and indeed is significantly due to active recruitment by companies and indeed state organisations elsewhere in the EU, because there is a UK labour shortage. In reality the system has beautifully matched demand with supply. The current plan for Brexit, at least on paper, is to create a labour shortage within the UK, with the implied negative consequences of restricted growth, wage increases and general inflation.

  17. Candy,
    “What’s your excuse for believing said claptrap? Look at the screeds that have been written about this piece of nonsense today!”

    There has been a mixed reaction to this from conservatives. They seem to agree it does not originate within government, but that is completely different to whether it is true. There was a bit of debate earlier over whether the spate of leaks is due to agrieved individuals or whether it is a concerted government information campaign. This particular example is ideal leak material because it doe not originate within government, and thus no one can be blamed peronally for writing it. Nonetheless it gets across the important issues that the UK will need a lot more permanent civil servants, the matter is far more complicated than previously thought and so will take longer. It broaches the subject that ministers cannot reach a decision what to do, which is very likely to become entirely apparent to everyone if parliament insists on holding a debate as it should.

    It benefits the government to get all these facts into the national consciousness more gently than having to admit them formally. Managing bad news. If you follow the detective logic of means, motive and opportunity, then the government is the most likely suspect to have originated this leak.

  18. @TANCRED

    I have been wondering how to respond to your earlier post to me that in effect says TRUMP won the Electoral College vote “get over it and move on”.

    Actually if you do the math it is not going to be that simple if Donald Trump is sworn in as next President in January 2017.

    There are after the election 47 Democratic Senators, one Independent Bernie Sanders and 52 Republicans, except that eleven of the Republican Senators said they would not vote for Trump. Two of those lost their Senate seats to Democrats, so that leads nine including at least John McCain who voted for Clinton over Trump.

    In the House of Representatives I have now counted fourteen Republican congressmen and women who said they would not vote for Trump, one Richard Hanna of New York who voted for Clinton, but he is retiring.

    This could leave the Republicans in the Senate in a minority situation and reduced to a majority of 8 in the House of Representatives.

    Then you have three Mayors in New York, Seattle and one other large city publicly declaring that their police forces will be directed to not participate in deportation of illegal aliens, the Mayor of New York going so far as to say the City is thinking of shredding certain documents before Trump is sworn in.

    Unlike Canada and the UK there is no “hardline” whip system and Republicans and Democrats vote against their respective Presidents all the time.

    Suffice it to say I think the US is as divided and as much of a tinderbox as Northern Ireland was, possibly more so, before the “Troubles” began in 1969.

    The US has a long history of resorting to violence to resolve political differences:

    Assassination of President John F Kennedy November 1963
    Assassination of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King April 1968
    Assassination of former Attorney General and Democrat Nominee Robert Kennedy June 1968
    Killing of four and wounding of nine students Kent State Ohio by National Guard May 1970

    …and there is a very long list political individuals who were murdered going back to the assassination of Lincoln at the end of the Civil War.

    My political preference is to favour demonstrations against the legitimacy of Trump and some of his ideas rather than see an all out shooting war start in the US.

    In a situation in which the very institutions of US democracy, including the Electoral College, are being challenged…your remarks are quite frankly, and I am not either a Hilary or Bernie Sanders supporter, flippant.

    For some in my generation, I was a British Conservative at the time, John Kennedy was a hero for standing up to Soviet authoritarianism and military adventurism.

    By the early 1970’s with the overthrow of the democratically elected President Allende, albeit a self-described marxist, we were again watching the Americans and others overthrowing democratically elected reformists (as they had Arbenz in Guatamala and Mossadegh in Iran in the 1950’s), who were no more radical in their ideas than Atlee in the UK after WW II.

    Like Winston Churchill (my original political mentor) in the 1930’s I do not believe in appeasement towards the authoritarian and radical right like Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain.

    Those who fail to learn from political history are doomed to repeat it, and the last time conservative and liberal politicians miscalculated some 50 million people died during the struggle to end the Third Reich political experiment.

  19. Referring back to AW’s ” the question will be what US pollsters do to address the issue” – and looking at that question through the spectrum of politicians’ interest in reading the polls, there is, I think, too much attention paid to how do they repond in order to win elections – or the referendum – and too little to how do they address them in policy making. In that respect the EU has behaved too much like a bank and too little like a government, in which its parliament and civil service should both – in common with the UK and other governments – have paid more attention to the areas and demographics being disadvantaged by policies – notably migration as an economic instrument – and to the information process that requires. In that regard the finding that not sufficient attention was paid by the pollsters to the poorly informed and disinterested but so should have governments, both addressing the effectiveness, to take the prime example, of the Social Chapter, and making sure that the people protected or benefited by it most – people in deprived or exposed areas and occupations – were aware of this safeguard element of economic strategy. They should also have made sure that it had the research and consultation which would provide investment where it was needed, particularly, for example, of areas of the UK where elementary less well paid occupations needed to be manned by immigration and by education, social measures and investment to support local population. Similarly, rather than bunging regional funds at communities, LGAs and regional governments with traditional well established but low income economies in the Greek or Scottish highlands and islands, there continues to be a need to provide extra educational measures and investment to permit their awareness of and participation in national and regional economic development and mobility.

  20. Oldnat,
    “even more difficult if people aren’t taught/encouraged to think, and evaluate evidence.”

    Ah, we have moved on to the deplorable state of education in the UK. Notwithstanding degrees flying like confetti.

    Allan Christie,
    ” I don’t recall those on the left who were on the losing side of the Scottish referendum taking strops and trying to frustrate the result. Maybe other countries should take a leaf out of the Scottish electorates book”

    A vote to leave the Uk in the Scottish referendum would have been just as problematic as the Brexit result. A narrow result for a major change will never be accepted, because it simply does not have sufficent support compared to the consequences it will have for those who disagree. There will be another referendum on being part of the EU, it is only a question of when. Unless politicians just skip that bit because of the divisiveness it causes and decide on their own authority.

    If you ask people to take sides on a very important issue and then tell them you do not respect their decision, they will be very upset. I mean both sides, of course. There was no convincing victory of Leave over Remain and so Remain will not accept the result. Why would they? Precisely the same would have applied in Scotland, and does apply there with regard to the losing side determined to hold further votes. Leave need another vote to try to get Brexit accepted and demonstrate a fixed decision, but they fear losing it.

    Peter Cairns,
    ” it wasn’t’ helped by Osborne’s attempts at “Project Fear 2!”.”
    I posted above about a complaint here that the 30,000 civil servants mentioned in the memo was too round a number. The opposite complaint that Osborne’s figures were too exact. I think the real complaint is that the numbers were too big, but in neither case has this been demonstrated by events. Both were attacks at attempts to provide detail, with the intent of rubbishing the general point. As things stand I see no evidence either estimate was wrong: both are supported by the general evidence available to us.

  21. @Assiduosity

    “The Immigration Act of 1924 was an expressly racist piece of legislation, it sought to restrict immigration to the United States on the basis of nationality as a proxy for race. It did this as opposed to using academic qualification, economic activity, literacy, ability to speak English, need, fear or risk of oppression or any other criteria.

    It did so in order to protect the ethnic ‘homogeneity’ of the US which itself was a construct, as it was (a) the USA of 1890 it sought to replicate not that of 1924 (b) based on highly flawed census data that excluded black, Hispanic and native Americans and (c) failed to take account properly of the fact that much of the land of the US had been appropriated from native Americans or Spanish speaking peoples in the first place.

    Defence of the Act is to my mind as unconscionable as defending the pass and property laws which lay the foundation for apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia.

    However, this should come as little surprise given that the USA had a system of racial segregation and oppression in place well into the 1960s that was, in regions of the country, absolutely comparable to that in operation in Southern Africa.”

    Thank you. I appreciate that. I really do.

    I’ll just note that prior to the 1965 Act, we did have a good deal of immigration of people here who did live and contribute to society but were denied the right to become citizens. It’s not for no reason that there’s a constitutional right to vote on a non-English language ballot.

    I thought about a world today in which the brown-skinned people in my life all disappeared. It made me get emotional actually.

    I hope people understand that these street protests and student walkouts are activism not from some embittered elites or party activists. This is from people who are legitimately afraid and from people who have been marginalized.

  22. “This has got VERY boring…”

    ———-

    But I was just getting into it…

  23. @JAYBLANC

    “In the case of hard Brexit, the EFSA and EMA will have nothing to do with the UK any more, so no inspections will take place.
    Economics of scale and centralisation also mean that it’s going to cost a lot more to replace the various EU bodies than we actually spend on EU membership.”

    It is true that a lot of responsibility will return to the UK, but that was the democratic decision.

    The rules and regulations will be there at day 1, it will be up to us how these then evolve and are administered in the future. A good scenario in my , even if somewhat daunting.

  24. oldnat,
    “Could a right wing xenophobic party in Scotland have exploited grievances a la Trump or Farage and secured a pro-indy vote?”

    Interesting point, because I believe that exactly the same forces applied in the Scots debate as in England or the US. So how come the SNP failed whereas the others succeeded? I would suggest two reasons, one that devolution really did relieve some of the tension over this and allowed the Scots some self expression, two that the funding and Westminster representation of Scotland remains generous compared with most of the rest of the UK. It was therefore much harder to make convincing arguments of being financially better of with Scots independence. Both Leave and Trump have promised voters they will be better off with their plan.

    If Brexit now leads to economic armageddon then we might expect these same forces to arise and insist upon escaping the Uk. Would that be in your mind as a nationalist?

    Alec,
    ” if these are applied to everyone, the question of ‘why bother leaving’ could arise. ”
    Wasn’t this the Stanley Johnson solution? The times may well be right that the whole EU would wish to reconsider aspects of free movement.

    The entire process leading to the Brexit vote is full of ironies. It only happened at all becaus of the US banking fraud precipitating a world recession, but leaving into the teeth of such turbulent economic weather is bad timing all together. The same forces which caused Brexit now caused Trump, who threatens to undermine much of the (already flakey) economic rationale for brexit.

    I didnt post then, but some people touted the idea of a Uk sovereign wealth fund. This would simply be another way of fuelling the economy with more debt, dressed up as savings. What we are seeing is credit lines all over the globe reaching their end, with the natural consequences for the economy.

    jonesin bangor,
    “I suspect the concessions are aimed at trying to keep us in the EEA, not EU.”
    Thta would avoid the pesky british having a vote in EU affairs.

  25. @ JAYBLANC

    I’m also aware that many of the European Directives and Regulations are a interpretation of International Treaty Obligations transposed into EU then UK law. It’s just the EU bit won’t be there anymore.

  26. Intereting BBC News Story.

    Seems that what I termed Absolutist is actually the Oxford English Dictionaries word of the year….”Post Truth”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37995600

    Peter.

  27. @Candy – “Exercise some scepticism. You are an old guy but you are acting like a babe in the woods.”

    From one of our more gullible and factually challenge regulars. I had to laugh.

  28. As I predicted the “memo for No10” turned out to be the nonsense I said it was. The individual involved had not been in No 10 or engaged with officials at No10. Delitte’s confirmed this later. Egg on faces for some Remainers here I think.

  29. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/16/brexit-britain-emperor-may-naked-strategy-eu-withdrawal

    Quite an interesting and well balanced article, if you can be bothered to go beyond the first paragraph.

    The point about this memo isn#’t whether or not it was written inside government, but rather the fact that it highlights what close government watchers are thinking.

    We have abundant energy that there are some highly divergent views inside government on Brexit, and equally we can see that there is no settled plan as yet. The question isn’t whether there is indecision, but rather how deep it runs and and whether it can be resolved.

  30. Somerjohn

    You forgot to mention that Germany only grew by 0.2% less than half the UK’s 0.5 %.

    Assiduosity, Ken, OLDNat

    Thanks for the good wishes. I see my oncologist next Tuesday and will know more then. Not holding my breath, this is the fifth such Scan I have had in the last three years. One has to be sanguine about these things

    Assiduosity

    Your post to me re inflation. We agree i think, the inflationary pressure of the devalued £ will not go away but retailers especially will be holding prices down as much as they can until at least after Christmas. Motoring costs and heating already going up. As I said to Alec part of the downside of Brexit vote, but there will be upsides in the longer term, IMO of course.

  31. Assiduosity

    Amusingly there was better reporting on the Merkel piece in the DM this morning. I quote “we cannot wobble n the basic principle of the free movement of people”

  32. ASSIDUOSITY

    I’m not sure as to why you think that I’ve either aimed my comment at you personally, nor why you think I was ‘irate’.

    Neither is the case, it’s merely a reply which points out a contradiction in a political group.

    It was written as a general criticism of those who do find other peoples views objectionable when there is no evidence that they really are.

    Let me ask you, given your comment, why is it that:

    “Unhappily the UK has supplied one of the more colourful celebrities of this ‘scene’ in the form of Milo Yiannopoulos.”

    If you say that you have a healthy respect for the views of others ?

    There are however plenty of views which should be banned, most of which involve causing physical or mental harm to other people.

  33. TOH: “You forgot to mention that Germany only grew by 0.2% less than half the UK’s 0.5 %.”

    No I didn’t. I specifically said that I was passing on good news, in the same spirit as your highlighting of UK inflation. You may well regard a drop in German growth as good news, but I don’t.

    I could have written in response to your point about UK inflation having fallen to 0.9% “You forgot to mention that that is still almost twice the eurozone rate of 0.5%” but I would have come across as someone too keen to highlight the cloud around every silver lining.

  34. For those that find all the Brexit debate a bit boring and negative, there is some good news on the horizon.

    Prof. Stephen Hawking has predicted that The Earth may only have limited lifespan left for humanity. The future is somewhere beyond our planet and we should be looking for another planet. Just hope that when Earthlings arrive, that aliens have a kindly attitude to migrants and have not constructed a giant wall or implemented a points system to decide on who has to make the long return journey.

  35. @Danny

    “that the funding and Westminster representation of Scotland remains generous compared with most of the rest of the UK.”

    Scotland`s representation at Westminstecr (9%) retty much in line with its population share of the UK especially taking account of the practicalities of representing the Western and Northern Isles in some sensible way. Funding is relatively generous but Scotland is one of six areas of the UK where funding per capita (identifiable expenditure) is above the UK average.

    Given the age profile of No voters it is probably just as likely that the sense of Britiishness amongst older voters was a key factor.

  36. THOUGHTFUL

    I understood your point well enough.

    But UKPR contributors do tend to signal their political affiliation pretty clearly, despite AW’s Comments Policy.

    We all do it. The trick, as you say, is to try & be open minded & analytical.

    Had never heard a of “AltRight” & Mr Milo Yiannopoulos until ASSIDUOSITY posted about him/them/it ?

    Are they significant or relevant in any way?

  37. @ R Huckle

    “Or perhaps lack of knowkedge to respond or not a subject they want to get involved in a discussion.”

    That’s a fair point. The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act removed immigration quota limits on non-white immigrants to the United States. It allowed a great increase in immigration from Asia and Latin America (increased Middle Eastern and African immigration too). Prior laws restricted non-white immigration and were enacted in response to racist uprisings in the Pacific against immigration from overseas. The 1924 laws were designed to make the U.S. more white. Or keep it that way.

    There used to be a constitutional provision in the California Constitution that required that all voters had to pass an English literacy test before they could vote. It was struck down by the California Supreme Court and when it did so, it delved into the history of the provision. It was actually not designed to discriminate against hispanophone Mexican Americans but actually against the Chinese.

    It made me sad and emotional today when I thought about an all-white America as Trump, his voters, and apparently, some Brits hope for and envision. I thought all the people I wouldn’t know and all the benefits to my own life I would never have experienced. Just as a side note. When there is talk of rounding up and deporting 12 million people, I hope people understand that these individuals are just that, people. With friends, family, co-workers, often times children. When you see some of these protests of young people, many are those who are here legally and Trump, if successful, would break up their families.

  38. R HUCKLE

    @”The future is somewhere beyond our planet and we should be looking for another planet.”

    …………..to completely f**ck up.

  39. …but it seems to be a continuation of Obama policy. Just a change in definitions & emphasis??

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/15/sanctuary-cities-defy-trumps-pledge-to-defund-them-how-he-can-fight-back/

  40. The effect of Facebook news feeds in polarising opinion is interestingly discussed in this article:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/16/facebook-bias-bubble-us-election-conservative-liberal-news-feed

    It’s a pretty even-handed article which does seem to identify a real effect.

    Like, I suspect, many UKPR regulars, I don’t use a Facebook news feed at all so was only dimly aware of this phenomenon. It looks fertile ground for some polling research to try to identify any links between Facebook use and polarised views and voting intentions.

    I do tend to use news sources that aren’t aligned with views opposed to my own – so in my case, first ports of call are BBC and Guardian – but I must say that UKPR is a very healthy corrective to any self-selection of news sources. It’s very useful to see the thinking and emotions behind alternative points of view, and even the incoherent, visceral expressions of rage that sometimes emerge.

    Someone was recently bemoaning the loss of Hegelian dialectic, but I reckon we get a pretty good supply of thesis and antithesis on here, which may not always lead to synthesis but at least militates against tunnel vision. A good example would be SoCalLib vs Tancred.

  41. Nice to see some leaks from “the other side” for a change.

    Not looking pretty !!

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/eu-wants-up-to-60-billion-exit-fee-in-brexit-negotiations-article-50-2016-11

  42. SOMERJOHN

    I followed that with interest & noted Zuckerberg’s denial of the effect.

    The thing which made me realise how old I am in cultural terms was-I have Facebook for family stuff. I never pick news up from it. I hadn’t noticed that there are news links on my Facebook page!!!

    I just go to Google News & read a selection on any given topic to try & get a broad view.

    I think this instant , on the hoof, stuff applies to the young-doesn’t it?

  43. Somerjohn

    If you read my post on inflation only the most biased would not accept that i posted all the good and bad news wheras you left out the German bad news. It’s just a matter of b alance.

  44. Latest employment figures are interesting.

    “UK unemployment fell by 37,000 to 1.6 million in the three months to September, hitting an 11-year low.
    The jobless rate fell to 4.8% in the same period, while the number of people in work went up by 49,000, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
    Average weekly earnings grew by 2.3% in the year to October including bonuses and by 2.4% excluding bonuses.
    The Bank of England has forecast that unemployment is set to rise amid uncertainty over Brexit.
    However, the ONS said the latest figures brought the unemployment rate to its lowest level since the three months to September 2005.
    The total number of people in jobs remained at a record high of 31.8 million, the figures showed.
    ONS statistician David Freeman said: “Unemployment is at its lowest for more than 10 years and the employment rate remains at a record high. Nonetheless, there are signs that the labour market might be cooling, with employment growth slowing.”

  45. @ Allan Christie

    “I can assure you that this poster ain’t a Brexiteer. He’s probably the most vocal anti Brexit poster on this website. So much so I put him into my own moderation filter (modexit) for a while.
    I will let him defend his own comment but please don’t assume anyone who you deemed to be “racist and abhorrent” as being a Brexit supporter…”

    I was just curious. That’s all.

    @ Danny

    “Soccal, I think you live in an island of californianisation, which has sheltered you from some of the realities of America. Hope that does not sound patronising, especially from a brit.”

    I don’t think you really understand the state that well or its reaction. The people in my state are apolitical. Notoriously so. Well at least in the southern half of the state. NorCal is a little bit different. It’s actually kinda weird being politically active in Southern California because these clubs and organizations and meetings almost take on this component of social life. We all kinda meet because we’re interested in this and no one else is. And I see it in some of the older folks who are less than pleasant folks to be with. If not this, they wouldn’t have any other outlet in life.

    And it’s not just true for Democrats. My Republican friend from Orange County (well he’s technically no longer a registered Republican) was telling me how he never attended any of the state GOP conventions because they were nothing but hookup opportunities for young GOP staffers. Political culture in Sacramento is interesting too. It’s a lot more wild and fun. A lot of elected officials seem to go to Sacramento with the hope of spending every night in session enjoying drinks at the steakhouses. There’s a social aspect to it all.

    There is great poverty here. In fact, one of the highest poverty rates in the country. Shocking when you consider the massive wealth here too. There is an affordable housing shortage that is putting the cuffs on young people. Increased gas prices hurt people with 2 hour commutes where they have no alternative means of transportation. Diversity exists even amongst people of the same socio-economic class. We have racial problems that are multi-dimensional (blacks vs. latinos, blacks vs. asians, asians vs. latinos).

    When elections happen here, regardless of outcome, they’re accepted and folks move on. There aren’t massive protests in the streets. You don’t see police chiefs coming out to claim resistance to the federal government. You don’t have leaders of the State Legislature issuing press statements that could have been written by Nicola Sturgeon. It’s just unheard of.

    It’s not simply some sort of “liberal intelligentsia” either who oppose Trump. Saw a friend of mine, who’s often kinda depresso and negative, last night at the LACDP monthly meeting. She was smiling and happy because she’s been one of the lone Democratic activists who lived on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Normally ruby red, it switched to voting for Hillary. “I don’t live with crazy people. I feel so relieved!”

  46. @Colin – I think I heard on the BBC last night that Google news or news stories on google (they may not be the same thing – shows my ignorance) are also far from reliable. For example, someone apparently posted on Google that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump and in such a close election it is thought that the likely effect, though marginal, may have been significant.

  47. TOH: “If you read my post on inflation only the most biased would not accept that i posted all the good and bad news wheras you left out the German bad news. It’s just a matter of b alance.”

    You left this out: “signs that the currency fall was ramping up costs for manufacturers, with the Producer Prices Index (PPI) showing total input prices rising 12.2% in October, compared to a 7.3% rise in September.”

    I noticed this omission at the time but didn’t want to rain on your parade.

    There are 28 countries in the EU and I couldn’t mention them all, which is why I chose to link to the full dataset for anyone interested in more than my clearly signposted cherry picking of the good news.

  48. CHARLES

    Definitions I suppose-what I mean by Google News is what you get when click on Google News-ie loads of topics & sources ( DT/FT/Huff Post/BBC/Indy/CNN/DM/G/WSJ………….you name it.

    All searchable.

  49. @ COLIN
    R HUCKLE
    @”The future is somewhere beyond our planet and we should be looking for another planet.”
    …………..to completely f**ck up.
    November 16th, 2016 at 10:32 am”

    There was a serious point to my post within the humour. We can’t rule out that some future event might happen, where British people become migrants looking for a new country to call home. The recent New Zealand Earthquake where Kaikoura has been completely cut off, is a lesson that overnight a whole community is reliant on outside help. It is going to cost billions to put right the damage and businesses are going to have to be supported by NZ taxpayers, because they won’t see a Summers tourist trade.

    There are so many good connections across Europe that i would hope that freedom of movement can be maintained. E.g Airbus, European Space Agency, many different scientific research bodies. Controlling migration will come with a whole lot of negatives that have not really been thought about.

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