Scotland says no

This is a quick update to yesterday’s post on polling for the referendum on the independence of Scotland from the UK. The final result is 55.3% for No (i.e. staying in the union), 44.7% for Yes.  This is consistent with the opinion polls, which predicted a win for No, but the margin is certainly bigger  than predicted by the opinion polls, especially in the run-up to the referendum.

The image below from whatscotlandthinks.org shows a “poll of polls” – a running mean of opinion polls – which is a smoothed version of the figure I showed yesterday. The average of the last 6 polls on the day before the referendum gave a prediction of 52% for Yes – only a 4 percentage point difference compared with the 11 point difference seen in the referendum. This vindicates Stephen Fisher’s analysis showing that opinion polls tend to overestimate the desire for constitutional change.

Slide19If you ignore the narrowing in the gap that apparently occurred in the last two weeks, the polls seemed to give a pretty good prediction from April to August. So perhaps this wasn’t  a last minute surge for Yes, but a “patriotic spiral of silence” from No voters, as Martin Boon suggested. But I’ll leave that question to the psephologists.

The only poll that counts

chartThe people of Scotland are voting today in a referendum to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country (“Yes”) or remain in the United Kingdom (“No”), ending the 300 year old Treaty of Union. As shown by the poll tracker above (from the website whatscotlandthinks.org) opinion polls have consistently put the No vote ahead of Yes. In recent weeks the gap has narrowed but only two polls have put the Yes vote ahead. It looks like a narrow win for No, but can the polls be trusted? Continue reading

JAGS 3.4.0 for Mavericks

Thanks to Matt Denwood, we now have a binary distribution of JAGS 3.4.0 for Mac OS X Mavericks. There is a separate binary for older Mac OS X releases (Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion). Both binary packages can be downloaded from the files page.

[Update 2014-09-11] The rjags package for Mavericks is now available from CRAN. To make it work, you need to have the right combination of R and JAGS:

  1. If you installed the R-3.1.1-mavericks.pkg version of R then you need to install JAGS-Mavericks-3.4.0.dmg
  2. If you installed the R-3.1.1-snowleopard.pkg version of R then you need to install JAGS-SnowLeopard-3.4.0.dmg

If you get an error about a missing symbol then you have the wrong combination of R and JAGS.

If you are still having problems, come to the JAGS forums.

DSC 2014. Day 1

Peter Dalgaard, Deepayan Sarkar and Martin Maechler in Brixen

Peter Dalgaard, Deepayan Sarkar and Martin Maechler in Brixen

This is a report of the first day of the Directions in Statistical Computing (DSC) conference that took place in Brixen, Italy (See here for an introduction). Performance enhancements were the main theme of the day, covering not just improvements to R itself but alternate language implementations. Continue reading