We’ve all seen the brutal polling that cornered the Conservatives into replacing their leader just a few weeks into her tenure. Some showed losses of more than 200 seats during Liz Truss’s brief premiership.

But polls provide a snapshot rather than a prediction. They show you what would happen if an election were held tomorrow rather than what will happen at the next election in a few years time. Paul Whiteley has sought to go a step further, crunching 70 years of data to see how accurately we can predict the results of an election held in May 2024 – widely seen as a likely date for the next vote.

The seats-votes model he uses in this analysis has proved remarkably accurate at predicting election results over the decades – though Sunak may wish it were otherwise once he reads the results.

BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, the latest omicron variants, are spreading quickly. But how worried should we be? We put the three most essential questions to an expert. And some heartwarming research from the animal kingdom shows friendship runs deep for chimps and gorillas.

Laura Hood

Politics Editor, Assistant Editor


70 years of data suggest the Conservatives will suffer a big defeat at the next election – here’s how I worked it out

Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

Polling only provides a snapshot of the current moment but modelling across decades can help us predict the next election result.

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

Omicron BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 – an expert answers three key questions about these new COVID variants

Manal Mohammed, University of Westminster

Two new omicron subvariants, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 could lead to another COVID surge. Here’s what we know so far.

Chimpanzees are highly social but recent research suggests they can be with gorillas too. apple2499/Shutterstock

Wild chimpanzees and gorillas can form long friendly associations that last decades – new research

Chris Young, Nottingham Trent University

Friendships between these two very different primates likely outlasted your promise to be best buds forever with your school classmates.

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