Barometer

What kills more people in the UK: hot or cold weather?

27 July 2019

9:00 AM

27 July 2019

9:00 AM

Losing confidence

The government may soon face a vote of no confidence, the second this year. How often do these votes happen — and succeed?

— Since 1945, UK governments have faced votes of no confidence on 23 occasions. Only one of these has been successful — when Jim Callaghan lost by a single vote on 28 March 1979, precipitating the election which brought Margaret Thatcher to power.

— There have been 24 successful votes of no confidence in history, 13 of which were in the latter half of the 19th century.

— Since 1900 there have been only three — that in 1979, and two in 1924 which brought down Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald respectively.

— William Gladstone holds the ignominious record of having lost three such votes, in 1873, 1885 and 1886. But even the third defeat was not the end, and he returned as prime minister in 1892.

Cold comfort

What kills more people in the UK, hot or cold weather? Estimated deaths per 100,000 population during the 2000s:


Heat-related: 1-6
Cold-related: 59-82

And if temperatures climb in line with projections, estimated deaths in the 2080s:

Heat-related: 7-21
Cold-related: 28-56
Source: Public Health England

Prime numbers

With the departure of Theresa May there are now five living ex-prime ministers. Is this an unusually high number?

— Post-1945, we have only once had five living ex-prime ministers. Between the resignation of Margaret Thatcher on 28 November 1990 and the death of Harold Wilson on 24 May 1995, Thatcher, James Callaghan, Edward Heath, Wilson and Lord Home were all living.

— The lowest number of living ex-prime ministers in modern times was between the death of Edward Heath on 17 July 2005 and the resignation of Tony Blair on 27 June 2007, when only Margaret Thatcher and John Major were alive.

Rare delivery

An operation to separate a pair of Pakistani conjoined twins took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital. How common is the phenomenon?

1 in every 200,000 live births are conjoined twins.

— However, just as many are stillborn.

— Of the live births, only 35% survive for more than one day.

70% of conjoined twins are female.

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