Daily catch-up: 99 days until the election, which is also the average life of a web page

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1. A rather fine picture, above, via Tim Montgomerie.

2. A bit of catching up to do for the Catch-Up Service. My column for The Independent on Sunday was about how little normal people pay attention to politics, making the point that there can be quite large differences between the opinion polls 100 days before the election and the result, as many people don’t think much about the choice until the time comes. The average difference in previous 100-day pre-election periods offers little comfort to Labour.

I also collated four seats predictions for the election: the average prediction is that Labour would be the largest party in a hung parliament, just short of a majority even with the support of the Liberal Democrats.

For the next 99 days, The Independent’s online politics pages will feature a poll of polls, in partnership with May2015.com, the New Statesman’s election site. It’s a five-day weighted average, updated whenever a new poll is published. Coincidentally, the Conservatives have just moved into the lead, by a 0.2-point margin.

Finally, in 100-day business, I kicked off our series of “If I were prime minister ...” yesterday, by saying that I would do lots of geeky things that no real prime minister would do, because they would create winners and losers.

3. The Top 10 in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, was Misleading Translations. This was a popular list, and so I compiled a Top 50, with the next 40 here. Chris Jones has since added no 51: Per ardua ad astra. “Work hard, and you can buy a Vauxhall.

4. Still catching up, Andy McSmith had a good account of Britain’s part in the Iraq war in The Independent on Saturday, called “The Iraq Report”, published as a public service while we wait for the Chilcot report. I commented on it here. For The Independent on Sunday, Cole Moreton went back to four of the six Iraq experts who met Tony Blair four months before the invasion. The most striking comment, from Professor Michael Clarke and not picked up anywhere in the mass of Chilcot conspiracy coverage, was that Saddam himself thought he had chemical weapons. “Nobody would tell Saddam the truth.”

5. The “average life of a web page is about 100 days” according to Jill Lepore in The New Yorker (thanks to Andrew Sullivan). Web archiving is one of those things about which we ought to worry more than we do. Sullivan points us to the Wayback Machine, which has already archived 452 billion web pages. Anyone who wants to can preserve a web page by copying its address, going to archive.org/web and pasting in “Save Page Now”.

6. And finally, an urgent weather report from Roddy Campbell. “Two feet of snow expected in some places”: