UK elections 2019 – Odds, Polls, Google buzz

Based on Google Trends data  the Conservative party will beat the Labour party by about 7 percentage points in terms of the popular vote while the LibDems will trail the Conservatives by about 35 points.

The pollsters have the Conservatives leading Labour by anywhere between 6 and 15 percentage points in 14 polls in December with the average prediction at 9.5 pct points.

The bookies have the odds at 1/33 for a Conservative victory and 2/5 for an overall Conservative majority.

In Google search the footprints of Labour, Conservative and LibDems in the last seven days average to 42, 30 and 20 points respectively.

Labour always leads the Conservatives in Google buzz most likely due to demographics

 

We can still use the elections of 2015 and 2017 to take out party composition fixed effects from the Google data. When we do so we project that Labour will fall 5.4 to 8.5 percentage points behind the Conservatives in the popular vote while the LibDems will trail by 33.3 to 36.4 points.

Toll Index October 2019

Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkeht introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data the come out of this process which is used for computing the Toll Index. The change expanded the network of roads in which toll is due by adding all bundesstraßen to it.

While in the long run this is bound to make the Toll Index more accurate in these past twelve months it made it useless for nowcasting. Even the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely. September 2019 is now comparable to September 2018 values. Of course we have a missing value for September 2018 since it is not comparable to “September 2017” due to the policy change.

The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which ws published in the Journal of Forecasting. It has been widely covered in national and international media (selection):

The German statistical office, in cooperation with the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr,  has taken the MAUT data in its portfolio of data products and their efforts can be found here. The Destatis document describing the data is here and here is their publication calendar for 2019.

Toll Index September 2019: inbound -1.8% | outbound -4.3%

For the first time after the Great Recession we are measuring a September-to-September drop in German border crossing lorries: -1.8% for inbound and -4.3% for outbound.

Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkeht introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data the come out of this process which is used for computing the Toll Index. The change expanded the network of roads in which toll is due by adding all bundesstraßen to it.

While in the long run this is bound to make the Toll Index more accurate in these past twelve months it made it useless for nowcasting. Even the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely. September 2019 is now comparable to September 2018 values. Of course we have a missing value for September 2018 since it is not comparable to “September 2017” due to the policy change.

The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which ws published in the Journal of Forecasting. It has been widely covered in national and international media (selection):

The German statistical office, in cooperation with the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr,  has taken the MAUT data in its portfolio of data products and their efforts can be found here. The Destatis document describing the data is here and here is their publication calendar for 2019.

Toll Index August 2019

Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkeht introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data the come out of this process which is used for computing the Toll Index. The change expanded the network of roads in which toll is due by adding all bundesstraßen to it.

While in the long run this is bound to make the Toll Index more accurate in these past twelve months it made it useless for nowcasting. Even the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely. August 2019 is now comparable to August 2018 values. Of course we have a missing value for August 2018 since it is not comparable to “August 2017” due to the policy change.

The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which ws published in the Journal of Forecasting. It has been widely covered in national and international media (selection):

The German statistical office, in cooperation with the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr,  has taken the MAUT data in its portfolio of data products and their efforts can be found here. The Destatis document describing the data is here and here is their publication calendar for 2019.

“European way of life” damaged by opinion copula

Ursula von der Leyen will be the next president of the European Commission and she is already drawing a shit storm of criticism, among other things, because she was never a “Spitzenkandidat”, something which, as some say, creates issues with democratic transparency.

 

One of Von der Leyen’s top team appointments, announced on Tuesday, included responsibility for migration in the remit of Greece’s commissioner-designate, Margaritis Schinas, under a newly created “Protecting the European Way of Life” portfolio. Because the phrase “protecting the European way of life” is considered a “dog-whistle” phrase used by the far right a new shit storm broke out.

Is Von der Leyen’s understanding of our “European ways” one that excludes migration? Is it a right wing one? It remains to be seen. What this incident is however is an instant of “opinion copula” which I studied here.

In principle the desire to protect your ways is not necessarily wrong if they are virtuous. Also what your ways include is not affected by your desire to protect them or not. The phrase “protect the European way of life” however is being used by those who think of “our ways” differently than others, in a way that excludes migrants etc. and hence as soon as Von der Leyen wants to protect our ways she is also assigned a particular understanding of our European values. Why? Because the phrase is copulated with far right opinions.

The open question, besides what Von der Leyen really believes, is: how would you express your desire to protect our European ways if your version of these “ways” includes compassion, migration, protection of human rights of refugees etc. If the bad guys hijacked the sequence of words “protecting the European way of life” what would we say to mean the same thing if your and my version includes migration?

Askitas N (2017) Explaining opinion polarisation with opinion copulas. PLoS ONE 12(8):
e0183277.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183277

Toll Index July 2019 (we are back) – a slow down

Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkeht introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data the come out of this process which is used for computing the Toll Index. The change expanded the network of roads in which toll is due by adding all bundesstraßen to it.

While in the long run this is bound to make the Toll Index more accurate in these past twelve months it made it useless for nowcasting. Even the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely. Today for the first time after a year we seem to be back to the old rhythm and we can compare the July 2019 to July 2018 values. Of course we have a missing value for July 2018 since it is not comparable to “July 2017” due to policy change.

After five years of uninterrupted July-to-July growth in border crossing lorry activity we have a slightly negative data point which is in line with current fears of an approaching “technical recession” in Germany.

The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which ws published in the Journal of Forecasting. It has been widely covered in national and international media (selection):

The German statistical office, in cooperation with the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr,  has taken the MAUT data in its portfolio of data products and their efforts can be found here. The Destatis document describing the data is here and here is their publication calendar for 2019.