Friday, July 11, 2008

Davis and Dale: Libertarian to a Fault With The Actualite

David Davis and the close supporter of his nationally famous 28-days pre-trial, general hanging and flogging, and anti-Section 28 agenda Iain Dale have both used a rationale for the moderate turn out at Haltemprice and Howden involving "nine thousand students" that they both say were "missing".

My thanks to "Left Field" in comments on the last post for pointing to the fascinating UK Polling Report file on the constituency. This has almost 500 comments on the vexed question of this spurious, foolish and disgraceful by-election. Orchestrated by an egotistical loon as it is.

The page also has some demographics for the constituency. It turns out that 4.7% or some 3,200 of those on the electoral roll are full time students. So, on the face of it, Davis and Dale are exaggerating three-fold in this spurious excuse of theirs.

A few further points:

Given the nation's geographical dispersal of Higher Education Institutions very few of these constituents would be based in the constituency during term time;
Whereas any part-time students in FE or HE probably would be based in the constituency as would any full time students in FE;
But it is not now term time and a good few of the 3000 full timers are likely to be back home;
In non-critical elections, and for many this includes General Elections, students are fairly unlikely to vote;
Research using marked registers has shown turnouts as low as 1% for identifiable students in an electoral area where they are in the majority and where the poll is fairly close and three-way;
IN CONCLUSION: the 9,000 figure is a bit of a fib exaggerating the true figure by a factor of three.


Anthony said...

I do hope you mean an egotistical loon orchestrated the by-election, rather than an egotistical loon orchestrates the comments on UKpolling Report ;)

The 9000 sounds way too high anyway. The Halls of Residence for Hull University are in Cottingham (well, all of them apart from the posh apartments for foriegn students!) in the H&H constituency, but the capacity of the 9 halls is only 1380 between them.

The halls are an annoying bus ride away from the campus though, so not that many students in other accommodation live in Cottingham - they are all around Newland Ave, Bev Road and the Avenues... all outside of the H&H constituency.

Chris Paul said...

Yes, the loon is the loon is the loon. I'll check the punctuation. Very likely that many of the students in these halls are registered to vote elsewhere as well or instead and that they are matched with long term residents studying away.

tory boys never grow up said...

I check the weather reports as well - the one I saw said scattered showers - so the rian wasn't much of an excuse either. Looks to me like a bit of rather ppor spinning is going on.