Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Pointless Graph of the Day

Whilst the rest of the blogosphere is spellbound by the fact that tweetminster may not have done their sums correctly, I've been doing serious poltical research.

There's a new report out, looking (amongst other things) the rates of smoking amongst teenagers (11-15 year olds). As usual I decided to get into the details. Luckily these statistics are provide by a Government Office Region, which is exactly how the European Elections are counted.

I've produced a graph with two lines. The Red line shows how the Labour share of the vote changes by region. The Blue line shows the same for the Tory share of the vote. Note how generally the Tory vote was higher than Labour in all regions except the North-East.
The R-squared for each line isn't great (0.25 for Labour, 0.5 for Conservative) but enough to suggest that there's a certain correlation between these two factors. As Labour's share of the vote increases, so does the percentage of teenagers smoking. The opposite is true for the Tories, as their share of vote increases, the percentage of teenagers smoking falls.
Can we conclude that people who vote Labour are more likely to allow their children to smoke? Or is it the case that people who smoke (so, their children are as well) are more likely to vote Labour? Or, seeing as the Tory line is a better fit, is it that right-wing voters more likely to stop their kids from smoking?
Pointless, but fun.

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