On Friday, Alex Salmond, the former Scottish National Party Leader and First Minister of Scotland, announced that he was launching a new pro-independence political party, to be called the Alba Party (“Alba” being the Gaelic word for Scotland). The announcement comes just weeks ahead of a general election to the Scottish Parliament, and days after a long-running row between Mr. Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, his successor as SNP Leader and First Minister, came to its climax.

If this new party is driven by the row between the two leaders, it’s not showing on the new party’s website. Rather, the party…


Given that it took 4½ days between the polls closing and Joe Biden reaching 270 electoral votes, you would think that this was a close election. But it wasn’t. It appears that Biden will win by the same electoral vote margin as Trump did four years ago, and in 2016, Trump reached 270 electoral votes in the early hours of the following morning, not four days hence as has happened this year.

I understand why one would not want to count postal votes before the polls close. But I see no reason not to get postal votes to a state…


With all of the discussion going on about polling, postal voting, legal battles, and various other things, it’s easy to lose track of one pretty straightforward question: what states do Joe Biden and Donald Trump need to win on Tuesday if they want to be President of the United States when we go to bed on January 20?

To put this into context, let’s start by reminding ourselves what happened in 2016. When the faithless electors are put back to where they should have gone, Donald Trump finished with a relatively modest majority in the Electoral College. …


The 2016 election was the fifth time in American history that the candidate who received the most votes in the election didn’t win the Electoral College. This year, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, there is a range where Joe Biden can win the popular vote, while Donald Trump wins the election.

I wanted to explore whether there is a baked-in advantage that the Electoral College brings to one party or the other. I looked at the last half-century of presidential elections, and I’ve compared the nationwide popular vote with the result in the tipping point state. The tipping point…


It’s being called “Super Saturday” here in the UK. Pubs, hotels, hairdressers, and other hospitality industries are being allowed to re-open. The Foreign Office has dropped its advice against non-essential travel to a long list of countries who seem to have dealt with the virus as well as (or better than) we have. It’s not fully back to normal yet, but it’s quite a bit closer today than it was yesterday.

This is possible because we’ve come a long way in suppressing the virus since the peak of the pandemic. 20 April was the most deadly day in the UK…


Earlier this week, New York State conducted a study in an attempt to determine how much of its population has been infected with COVID-19. Around 3000 people from 19 counties across the state were tested to see if they had developed antibodies designed to attack the virus, which the body will usually develop once it has been infected.

The study estimates that in New York City, the epicenter of the virus in the US, around 1 in 5 people had antibodies in their systems, with this estimate being nearly 1 in 7 across the state. This would imply around 2.6…


As we begin to see the first countries in Europe slowly ease lockdown restrictions, the broad European trend continues to be a slight reduction of cases and deaths from COVID-19. In the last week, the death toll across Europe has dropped around 6% compared to the week before. The number of confirmed cases is down around 20%, and even though the low number of cases reported on the 14th (representing those diagnosed on Easter Monday) is cause for suspicion of this being the true figure, the daily average is still around 13% lower when that date is excluded.

It is…


One month ago today, Italy became the first country in Europe to order a lockdown. Now, with much of Europe ordered to stay home, there are signs that the peak has been making its way across the continent.

While the day-on-day numbers have been jumping around over the last few days, the seven-day moving average has been staying relatively constant, at around 37,000 new cases a day. This comes as we see countries with an earlier outbreak starting to come down, while countries with a later outbreak still rising.

The pan-European death toll has nearly flattened, with nearly 4,000 people…


It’s been over two months since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Europe. Since then, more and more countries have implemented lockdown measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. But how well are they working, and how close are we to a peak?

Across Europe, the number of confirmed cases has flattened considerably, averaging around 34,500 a day over the past week. …

Joe C

I am Joe. I am a techy at heart, a self-taught psephologist (political number cruncher), a pleasure cyclist, and someone who just calls things as he sees them.

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