The puzzle in politics and polling It’s debatable whether the midterm elections delivered a demonstrably better night for Democrats than Republicans. But it was inarguably a big win for pollsters, said FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver at Harvard’s Political Analytics Conference.“The narrative after 2016 was that polls are full of it,” he said during a discussion Friday with Lynn Vavreck, professor of American Politics and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Silver’s website was one of many that forecast a likely win for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election (though by a smaller margin than most), and the conference explored how polling has been further refined since then.“This was the best year for polling since 2008,” he said. “Not only is polling not broken, but I think that the media should be writing that story. Everyone who wrote the ‘polling is broken’ stories in 2016 is being irresponsible by not writing about how polls have nailed it in 2018.” As he pointed out, FiveThirtyEight never claimed that Clinton would win, only that the odds were in her favor.“What we do is extremely analogous to reporting,” he said. “I still design all our elections models. I am still running the code. Keeping track of the polls is a full-time job, in the same category as vigorous reporting. Any good journalism requires hard work. I think life is a battle between lazy people and people who work hard.”Vavreck pressed Silver about a Twitter post he made that criticized multilevel regression and post-stratification, or MRP, a popular research method based on state-level opinions and demographic attitudes. “We have a lot of ways to get 80 percent toward an answer, and MRP is one way to get the other 20 percent. I would say that MRP can be good, but it’s overrated too. It’s the Carmelo Anthony of election polling,” he said, invoking his roots as a sports handicapper. “As political figures, specifically those on the right, question the veracity of the returns, it becomes more important to show the way the votes come in.” — Nate Cohn Analyst Nate Silver says media assumptions, not data, led to surprise over 2016 election results Related Sponsored by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies and its Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Friday’s all-day conference included expert panels and hackathon results, for which student teams spent the previous day analyzing midterm data.The morning’s first panel, “Measuring & Mapping the Midterms,” included Nate Cohn and Amanda Cox of The New York Times. During the election, their column The Upshot introduced live polling, displaying results in real time — an innovation that moderator Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN and FiveThirtyEight credited with “changing the very experience of polling.”Live polling, Cox and Cohn said, was partly a response to increasing demand for accurate poll data, from public and politicians alike. “As political figures, specifically those on the right, question the veracity of the returns, it becomes more important to show the way the votes come in. If something unexpected happens, it’s important to show how the process works,” Cohn said. Yet he noted that sometimes the polls are more sophisticated than the elections themselves. “We live in a decentralized country where [some] elections are being administered by underfunded counties. That’s true of some big ones in Florida, let alone rural Mississippi. That’s not a problem that is going to solve itself.”Cox added that live polling reflects the fluid nature of elections. “If you see a poll with one candidate being one point ahead, that doesn’t mean more than the other candidate being one point ahead. You may know that’s true, but you don’t really feel it in your heart.” Live polling, she said, makes the fluctuations easier to take in. Still, Cohn noted, some political realities are difficult to convey in polls — particularly gerrymandering, which frustrates attempts to create a readable map.In a panel later that day, gerrymandering was examined as an example of applied data analytics. Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice traced the history of North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, which was drawn in the early ’90s so that the area’s African-American population would be reflected in elections. The district was redrawn following a Supreme Court decision in 2016, prompting more debate and making the district friendlier to Republican candidates.Tufts University mathematics professor and Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute this year, Moon Duchin said that Massachusetts, where the practice began, is largely gerrymander-proof: However you slice it, the state’s Republican population is still not strong enough to create a Republican congressional district. “There are several trillion ways you could do it, more than there are particles in the galaxy,” she said. “And none of them sends a Republican to Congress.”
The €375bn asset manager and pensions provider APG has appointed Philip Neyt as senior public affairs adviser on its strategy and policy team.Alongside Theo Timmermans, head of APG’s international public affairs, Neyt is to focus on international stakeholder management.Neyt has been chief executive at the country’s largest pension fund – the €5bn scheme of telecommunications provider Belgacom – for 15 years, and acted as an adviser on pensions for several Belgian governments.He received numerous awards for pension fund management as well as for his personal contribution to the development of the pensions sector in Europe. Neyt is also chairman of the Belgian Association of Pension Institutions and a member of the Belgian Corporate Governance Committee, as well as the Orientation Council of Euronext.Dick Sluimers, chief executive at APG, said: “We are delighted Philip is joining APG, given his high profile and extensive knowledge.“His broad network will strengthen our stakeholder management in Brussels and abroad.”Neyt resigned as chief executive at the Belgacom scheme in June 2013 after 20 years of service.At the time, local media reported that the departure of Neyt, who was named head of communications at Belgacom in 2011, was due to “internal political reasons” and disagreements with Didier Bellens, chief executive at the company.The move came alongside the dismissal of Steven Van Casteren, managing director of Scarlet, the real estate branch of Belgacom, the same week.Bellens was dismissed by the Belgian government months later.
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:55Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:55 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenChanges to Negative Gearing01:55EXPERTS are hailing Queensland’s Sunshine Coast as the hottest place in the nation to invest in property right now.A lack of housing, a tight rental market and a rapidly growing population mean supply is failing to keep up with demand in the region — creating perfect conditions for investors.Leading real estate industry figure John McGrath said the Sunshine Coast presented one of the best opportunities for capital growth because of its liveability, affordability and future economic prospects.GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREMain Beach at Noosa is a popular attraction with both locals and tourists.“From an investment point of view, where in Australia right now can you invest your dollar and get better returns than the Sunshine Coast or southeast Queensland?” Mr McGrath said.“ I don’t think there is a location that’s going to offer better investment growth in the future.”His views are echoed by prestige property agent Tom Offermann of Tom Offermann Real Estate, who claims the Sunshine Coast “is on the cusp of the highest growth period in its history”.“This is being driven by a raft of infrastructure projects that are delivering exceptional lifestyles, which in the past required some compromises for people coming from big cities,” Mr Offermann said.The region is in the midst of an infrastructure boom, with billions of dollars being invested in upgrading and creating new facilities.Work is underway on a new runway at the local airport, which is set to become international by 2020, and a new hospital and health precinct has recently been established.“These are game changers,” Mr Offermann said.“Astute property investors who recognise what is happening, and take action to secure the best located property they can afford, will reap the rewards of their foresight.”Local agents say the region is crying out for more investment properties to cater to the needs of the increasing population.According to demographer Bernard Salt, the Sunshine Coast’s population of around 298,000 residents is set to rise to 550,000 in 23 years, which will require more than 100,000 new homes to be built.The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures show the rental vacancy rate on the Sunshine Coast is just 1 per cent, with Caloundra having the tightest vacancy rate in the state at just 0.5 per cent.71 BRISBANE HOMES UP FOR AUCTIONCanal front homes on Noosa Sound. Photo: Lachie Millard.It’s good news for investors, who are currently achieving healthy rental returns of around 5 per cent.In its recent report, Herron Todd White noted an increase in investor activity in the Sunshine Coast market, with the sub $350,000 unit and townhouse sector particularly popular.THE BACHELOR’S QUEENSLAND CRASH PAD“It’s not uncommon to see townhouses selling for $220,000 attracting a rental of $280 per week — over 6.5 per cent gross return,” the report said.For investors looking to capitalise on the growth in the region, McGrath Real Estate founder John McGrath said now was the time to get into the market.“I think there is a great opportunity, in particular right now, because we’ve seen Sydney and Melbourne have shown unprecedented growth over the last five or six years,” he said.“Now those markets have come to a plateau and a lot of people are going to be saying; ‘Do we take our profits and reinvest them, or, in fact, do we move up north and get better value for money?’“So, I think right now there’s a terrific window of opportunity where people can capitalise on the immense growth we’ve seen in the southern states.”John McGrath, founder of McGrath Estate Agents.Reed & Co director Adrian Reed the increased international access the new airport would provide would likely change the profile of buyers in the Noosa region.“We’re currently seeing an increase in Australian expats buying back into the market, but if accessibility becomes easier, we’re expecting a more aggressive upward trend in high-end premium property,” Mr Reed said.BRISBANE DEFIES PROPERTY DOWNTURNAerial image over Sunshine Coast Airport. Photo: Lachie Millard.An artist’s impression of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project.He said that lending restrictions and the impact of the banking royal commission had had little impact on the region’s prestige market.“The vast majority of deals I’m doing at the top end of the market are cash,” he said.“They’re self funded retirees who’ve already sold their principal place of residence.”Owner/builder Paul Saunderson, who is selling his home in Noosa Heads through Peter TeWhata of Tom Offermann Real Estate, said the local market was “out of control at the moment”.“There are houses getting knocked down and new dwellings being built everywhere,” Mr Saunderson said.INFAMOUS BIKIE’S UNIT SELLSMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoHe said the contemporary, four-bedroom, three-bathroom property at 20 Sanctuary Ave, Noosa Heads, which he lived in with his wife and two children, was attracting strong interest from interstate and overseas investors.This home at 20 Sanctuary Ave, Noosa Heads, is for sale.“It’s a good investment opportunity because it’s been valued as holiday letting, which is anywhere from $6000 to $10,000 a week during peak season,” Mr Saunderson said.Jamie Smith of Century 21 On Duporth in Maroochydore said he’d never seen so much activity in the Sunshine Coast property market, with strong interest from both local and interstate investors.Mr Smith said many investors were looking to buy in the less expensive suburbs, where new housing developments were popping up, such as Caloundra, Sippy Downs, Birtinya and Mountain Creek.“It’s definitely unprecedented in terms of what we’re seeing on the Coast,” he said.The Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s emergency department. Picture: Jono Searle.But Mr Smith said investors who were not already in the market needed to act fast.“If you were here three years ago, you could have bought between $400,000 and $500,000,” he said.“Now you’re looking at anywhere from $600,000 plus, so it’s definitely changed a little bit.”SUNSHINE COAST SUBURBS FOR BEST CAPITAL GROWTHSuburb Property type Median price 12 month change in priceMinyama House $1.31m 45.8%Kenilworth House $399,000 40%Yandina Creek House $820,000 32.3%Beerwah Unit $375,000 25%Mount Coolum House $676,200 23.2%Mapleton House $543,250 21.3%Mudjimba House $739,500 20.7%Peregian Springs Unit $475,200 18.8%Battery Hill House $579,500 18.4%Montville House $707,500 17.9%(Source: CoreLogic)Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:43Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:43 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFemale Property Investors 01:43