Tuesday, September 25, 2007

EXCLUSIVE: Was London Mayoral Hopefool Andrew Boff Just Staggeringly Unlucky with Web Clicks?

At the end of August Conservative Home contacted a stonking 300 or so London Tories and their question on the Mayoralty saw The Bozz dominating at 80% plus with The Boff in second just under 10%. We wonder if the situation remains the same now. What with Iain's Boris book being hyped, by Iain himself, as an Eats Shoots and Leaves sensation. Readers will no doubt not mind that all the best bits have been left out (and lefty bloggers are being advance scapegoated for that).

LOL have tried to be fair in our coverage but there are times when we do wonder about the London tories.

For just one example - why is Boris' head twice as big as any of the others on the top graphic. Is it just that he does have an exceptionally big head? And that he needs to be given more prominence in case Tory members overlook him?

At the foot of the Tories "London's Top Job" web page there is a panel which shows one or other of the four candidates each time the page is loaded or reloaded. I'd expected this might be alphabetical and always begin with Boff. But having been faced with the gurning visage of Mr Lightfoot, the last alphabetically, three times in a row LOL decided to conduct a scientifically controlled and peer reviewed experiment.

After ten clicks Lightfoot had been served up five times, double his quota, Johnson had two and Borwick three. But Boff had to wait until click 15 to get a look in.

After 50 clicks Mr Boff was still tailed off at just seven appearances. Borwick had 12, Johnson 14 - twice as many as poor Boff, and Lightfoot was still in the lead with a hefty 17.

After 100 clicks there was thankfully a little convergence. Lightfoot was still looking like the webmaster's friend at 32, Johnson was coasting on 26, with Boff just edging Borwick on 22 to her 20.

So, this is certainly bad design that is inherently likely to be unfair to some candidates or others on a typical number of visits for any potential voter. This will not be the 200 or so needed to make the shares fare.

But is it worse than that? Is there something about it that is systematically biased?

Perhaps the usual Tory kind of prejudices? The longer name with the more barrels the higher one reaches in society? Girls always at the feet of their betters? Women! Know your place!

Cricket stats (Small, squashed print)

All but Borwick had a hatrick - three wins in a row; Borwick like Boff had a maiden - ten clicks in a decile with no appearances; Borwick and Boff also led on singletons with three and two respectively, Johnson (2), Borwick (1) and Boff (1) enjoyed their Four Fors. But Mr Lightfoot had four four fors.

Mr Boff finally rose up the rankings with one Five For (five wins in a set of ten decile).

Naturally Lightfoot trumped this with two.

Boff and Borwick dominated the "longest streak of dot balls" at 14 and 13 respectively. Lighfoot 10, Johnson 9.

The best "Over" in the match came in the sixth decile as Boff scored on clicks 63, 64, 66, 67 and 68. Five scores from six balls.

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