LGBT rights in Europe- does religion influence gay rights policy?

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Recently I came accross this map by ILGA-Europe:

lgbtrightseuropemap16sep

The percentages you see on each country represent an aggregated score calculated by ILGA; 0% would mean the lowest score for LGBT rights and 100% the highest.

The East-West divide seems striking, but why is it so?

Freedom House’s Zselyke Csaky discusses  the idea that it may have to do with religion:

“A somewhat more plausible explanation emphasises the conservative-religious component in many of the region’s countries. Religion definitely plays a role in Poland’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, which has been in effect since 1997 and is strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Support from the church was essential to the success of Croatia’s referendum as well, with Catholic bishops urging Croatians to vote “yes” to the amendment outlawing gay marriage. In Romania, an Orthodox priest running on an antigay platform collected the 100,000 signatures necessary to stand as an independent candidate in the European Parliament elections in May. And Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been forging a conservative image for a country that had previously been the first in the region to allow the registration of same-sex partnerships, in 2007.”

Fair does, but let’s try to analyse the data a bit more closely:

So,the most gay-friendly countries: Continue reading

Monday Graph: UKIP Maths

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This Monday, I’m featuring a very interesting and witty resource I discovered on Twitter: UKIP Maths are debunking affirmation made by UKIP members in their campaigns, and fighting them with cold hard facts.

Let’s look first at this graph; column on the left shows the Government’s estimates of the percentage of the UK population born overseas; the column on the right is from a 2013 ONS poll and shows the percentage of the UK population that respondents intending to vote UKIP at the next elections believe was born overseas.

B0Ae9mpCcAA-n1V(via)

(In case you’re wondering, the general public estimated the number of foreign-born people in the UK as higher than the actual figure, at around 25%; but UKIP supporters overestimate it by a wider margin).

So, UKIP supporters tend to think there are much more immigrants in the country than there actually are. Fair enough.

But it gets more interesting…

Continue reading

Monday Graph: attitudes to immigration by political party

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Courtesy of British Future (via)

In a poll carried out by Ipsos Mori for British Future, people were asked: to give the contribution of immigration to Britain on a score of 0 (entirely negative) to 10 (entirely positive).

The results are below

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What we see:

-Roughly about 1 in 5 of all voters gave immigration a 0; about 1 in 4 gave it a score higher than 7

-UKIP voters quite unsurprisingly stand out in that 41% gave it a 0 and only 5% (so one in 20) 7 or higher.

-Conservative voters cover the anti-immigration side and middle ground quite evenly, but they are unlikely to give immigration a score higher than 7

Continue reading

The most pro-Europe and Euroskeptic constituencies; who takes most advantage of the ‘European Citizen’ experience?

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(via)

This post on Constituency Opinion reminded me, in many ways, of a personal research experience: doing the fieldwork for the EUCROSS survey; with Romanian immigrants living in London. The study looked at how we experience being European citizens (and members of a multicultural society) in everyday life: how likely we are, for instance, to have friends of a different nationality than others, to enjoy food and music not from our home country, to travel for work/study/leisure; and how this intersects with attitudes towards the EU and with variables such as class and nationality.

Now, let’s look first at the Constituency Opinion data:

The most pro-European constituencies are:

1. Hornsey and Wood Green; MP Lynne Featherstone- Lib Dem safe seat
2. Bristol West; MP Stephen Williams, Lib Dem safe seat
3. Edinburgh North and Leith, Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Mark Lazarowicz, Labour
4. Manchester Withington again Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP John Leech, Lib Dems
5. Edinburgh South again Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Ian Murray, Labour, elected with a majority of just 316 votes.
6. Islington North, MP Jeremy Corbyn, Labour safe seat
7. Battersea, Conservative/Labour marginal, MP Jane Ellison, Conservative
8. Islington South and Finsbury; Labour/Lib Dem marginal, current MP Emily Thornberry, Labour
9. Hackney North and Stoke Newington;
MP Diane Abbot, Labour safe seat.

10. Streatham; MP Chuka Umunna, Labour safe seat

So, let’s keep a tally:

Constituencies: 6 in London, 2 in Edinburgh, 1 Manchester, 1 Bristol; so overwhelmingly urban.

MP’s: 5 labour, 3 lib dems, 1 tory, no tory safe seats; (also, interestingly, 4 women, 6 men- which is better gender parity than the UK parliament ever had, and 2 MP’s are non-white/ethnic minority.) Trends are easily visible: pro European constituencies vote Lib Dem and Labor, but with the exception of Battersea, not Conservative.

Now let’s look at the opposite end- the most Euroskeptic constituencies.

Continue reading

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.

On “voodoo polls” and why we shouldn’t ever use them

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So, after writing about David Cameron’s shoddy use of statistics in the Telegraph and now the margin of error in one YouGov poll that might just have changed the fate of the referendum and what happens after, I found myself thinking a lot about how official statistics and opinion polls are being used and reported in the media, and what pitfalls lie there.

Today, for instance, i want to talk about the “voodoo poll”, so called because it’s about as scientific as voodoo (and presumably because for the serious researcher seeing it reported as a serious poll in the media feels like a stab in the heart from a distance).

voodoo-doll-miles-woods(via)

A “voodoo poll”, or open access poll, is one where a non-probability sample of participants self-select into participation.

In human language: sampling is the use of a subset of the population to represent the whole population. In probability sampling (random sampling), we have ways of calculating the probability of getting any particular sample, and therefore we can rigorously infer from the sample to the general population.In non-probability sampling, we do not; and therefore we need to use them with care.

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Monday Graph: Happiness and Human Development Accross the World

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In July this year, The Economist’s Graphic Detail blog has looked at the relation between Human Development Index (which ranks countries by life expectancy, education and income per person) and reported feelings of happiness /positive emotions, as reported in a Gallup poll.

happiness hdi

(click on the image to see the interactive map and read the original Economist article)

At first sight, there does not seem to be much of a link between HDI and experiencing feelings of happiness; apart from noting that people in Latin American/Carribean countries appear to experience positive feelings more often and in South, Central Asia and non-EU Europe less often, interesting patterns are not readily visible.

However, let’s look a bit more closely.

Continue reading