David Cameron misreads statistics again

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David Cameron the mask slips

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No way. Just… no way. There are many things I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages; things that are not David Cameron. But do I ever catch a break?

Turns out Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has issued a letter refuting the Prime Minister’s claims yet again. This time, it is over his affirmation, in his Conservative Party conference speech, that Britain “is paying down its debts”.

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Thank you to Dr. Eoin Clarke for sharing!

On leading/ loaded questions and response bias (or: David Cameron wants to know my views on immigration)

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I swear, I stated this blog to write about the practice of research, about how we can sociologically understand the world and to promote the latest interesting studies. NOT to pick on David Cameron.

Yet, just a week after writing about Voodoo Polls, while I was peacefully checking my Facebook…

facebook feedBlimey, so David Cameron wants me to click on his survey and tell him how I feel about immigration.

Now, kids, what was I saying last time?

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A quick recap for David Cameron

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David Cameron the mask slips

(via)

So, glancing at the paper on my way to work yesterday, I came across this :

“Cameron also joked about taking legal action against pollsters who suggested the two campaigns were neck and neck, when the final result saw 55% vote no to independence and 45% yes.

“I’ve said I want to find these polling companies and I want to sue them for my stomach ulcers because of what they put me through. It was very nervous moments,” he said.”

Now, now… see what that statistical margin of error can do? The moral, gentle readers, is that learning about statistics can save you a stomach ache.

Also, do learn how to read demographic stats, too.

What can official employment statistics tell us? UK Statistics Authority Chair rebukes David Cameron

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So, David Cameron claimed in a Daily Telegraph  article that “while most new jobs used to go to foreign workers, in the past year more than three quarters have gone to British workers”, presumably due to the Coalition’s immigration policy.

Except no, not really. All that the figures from the Office for National Statistics (that Cameron is basing his claims on) are telling us is that UK nationals  made up 76% of the increase in the number of people in work last year. Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, offered a detailed rebuttal of the PM’s use of data; which I believe anyone using official stats to make use of data to make a public policy point would benefit from reading.

So, let’s see:

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