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Power maths

Fair Votes Now demonstrators
More or Less
Friday, 21 May 2010
BBC Radio 4, 1330 BST

The general election result - and the agreement that followed - has put electoral reform firmly on the agenda.

But what are the fundamental mathematics of voting systems?

And can we use mathematics to make democracy fairer?

We explore the Banzhaf power index, Arrow's theorem and the Borda Count.

Tax Payers' Alliance Debt Clock
The UK deficit is expected to hit 163bn this year

Debt redux

The new government says it will put PFI and unfunded pensions commitments on the national balance sheet.

How much difference will that make to the UK's official debt figures? We cut the numbers down to size.

Poll post mortem

Polls showed modest Lib Dem support at the start of the election.

Nick Clegg
Cleggmania did not translate into more Liberal Democrat seats

But after the first leaders' debate, they showed that the nation had been gripped by Cleggstacy.

Some pollsters even dared to suggest that the Lib Dems might outpoll Labour.

So why did the number-crunchers get it wrong?

We speak to Andrew Cooper of Populus and Ben Page of Ipsos Mori.

Statistical bounty hunters

ABBA after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with the song 'Waterloo'
More or Less has a go at predicting the Eurovision result

A new website has been set up to invite professionals or amateurs to tackle statistical problems on behalf of companies who offer prize money for the best solution to their problem.

To get the ball rolling Kaggle is asking people to forecast the results of Eurovision.

So we asked Dr Derek Gatherer, a data analyst with a serious Eurovision hobby, to enter on our behalf.

Tax Payers' Alliance Debt Clock
The UK deficit is expected to hit 163bn this year

BBC Radio 4's More or Less was broadcast on Friday, 21 May 2010 at 1330 BST and repeated on Sunday, 23 May at 2000 BST.

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