An unfortunate side effect of COVID19 has been ugly political debates over the best way to tackle the pandemic. Often politicians will claim because country X does this, the UK should be doing it as well. I decided it was time to do a proper comparison of the UK with other countries to see what extent the UK is an outlier and whether there are some countries we should be using as templates.
Last updated on 27th September 2020 but downloadable spreadsheet in section 3a was updated on 19th October 2020. I will update the post when I get the time!
The latest data for COVID19 (Coronavirus) cases in England as of Saturday 26th September 2020 shows the number of people testing positive for COVID19 is up 60% from a week ago but this masks extreme regional disparities that make the national trend meaningless. The North is in the grip of a second wave unlike the South which is not. Unless recent trends in the North abate, the scenario of 50k positive tests per day by the end of October recently postulated by the Chief Scientific Officer remains feasible.
During the first wave of the COVID19 epidemic, the daily number of deaths published by Public Health England (PHE) has been the main headline in the news. On 17th July, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, called for a review of this time series after a blog published by Yoon Loke & Carl Heneghan of Oxford University questioned whether definition used by this time series was appropriate. I myself had noticed a change in the PHEr time series in my tracker of COVID19 deaths in England but I hadn’t understood why this might have been the case. After looking at the data again in more detail, I have concluded that this time series is overestimating the number of deaths by 42 +/- 13 per day since the 23rd May and it needs to be revised otherwise it will create confusion should a second wave come.
Last updated on 25th July 2020 – future updates will be infrequent.
The latest data for deaths due to COVID19 (Coronavirus) in England as of Friday 24th July 2020 show that the first wave of the pandemic is now over when one looks as excess deaths. People will still be dying of COVID19 for weeks yet but the overall number of excess deaths is now negative.
In many countries across the world, the total effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is now being measured using the concept of Excess Deaths. However, publication of such data by the Office of National Statistics for England is up to 2 weeks slower than the daily deaths published by Public Health England. In this post, I update my model which uses the PHE series to estimate what the ONS will publish for excess deaths in England on Tuesday 30th June.
In many countries across the world, the total effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is now being measured using the concept of Excess Deaths. However, publication of such data by the Office of National Statistics for England is up to 2 weeks slower than the daily deaths published by Public Health England. In this post, I update my model which uses the PHE series to estimate what the ONS will publish for excess deaths in England on Tuesday 23rd June.
After 3 general elections with severe polling errors, the UK opinion pollsters redeemed themselves in the 2019 UK General Election with their most accurate performance since 1955. I base this statement on data provided by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. The challenge now for the industry is to maintain this level of performance for the next election which may be easier said than done given that 5 out of the last 8 elections have experienced a major polling error.
At 2200 on Thursday 12th December 2019, the BBC/ITV/Sky Exit Poll was revealed to the nation and pointed to a large majority for the Conservatives. Unlike 2017, I was able to turn to my wife and say “it looks like I will be right this time!” By the end of the night, Gavin Freeguard from the Institute of Government was tweeting that not only was I the most accurate election forecaster of 2019, I was more accurate than the Exit Poll.
My forecast for the 2019 UK General Election this Thursday is that the Conservatives will win a majority of 72 seats. The margin of error in this forecast is very wide though due to the fact that 5 of of the last 7 general elections have seen a major polling error. If there is a repeat of the GE2017 underestimate of Labour, then there will be another hung Parliament.
England will take on South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final this weekend and I am predicting a win for England by 1 to 6 points. In other words, it will be close and exciting!