free range statistics

I write about applications of data and analytical techniques like statistical modelling and simulation to real-world situations. I show how to access and use data, and provide examples of analytical products and the code that produced them.

Recent posts


Using svglite with web fonts

07 April 2019

svglite is a great way for producing good graphics for the web but there's a small hack needed if you want to use web fonts with it.


Website with Australian federal election forecasts

31 March 2019

I've put up a page with my current Australian federal election forecasts for the House of Representatives, which I'll keep up to date until the election comes.


Better predictions for AFL from adjusted Elo ratings

30 March 2019

I improve my AFL predictions by adjusting Elo ratings for home team advantage (varying by home team) and with a more data-driven approach to parameters for the actual ratings.


AFL teams Elo ratings and footy-tipping

23 March 2019

I use Elo ratings from 12 months or from 120 years of AFL results to predict the results in the next round. Predictions based on just the past 12 months do better than those using the full history.


Exploring swings in Australian federal elections

11 March 2019

I explore the data on two-party-preferred voting swings in Australian federal elections and tentatively introduce the ozfedelect R package.


Bayesian state space modelling of the Australian 2019 election

02 March 2019

I tidy up Australian polling data back to 2007 and produce a statistical model of two-party-preferred vote for the coming election.


Seasonality in NZ voting preference?

20 February 2019

I update the nzelect R package with the latest New Zealand polling data, and use a generalized additive model to look for a seasonal impact on support for the current government.


What the world agrees with

26 January 2019

I load wave 6 of the World Values Survey into a database so it's possible to analyse more questions and countries at once, and find some interesting variations in what people agree with in different parts of the world.


Simulating Persian Monarchs gameplay

23 December 2018

Persian Monarchs described by P. G. Wodehouse in one of his funniest novels is an extremely simple fictional card game, but the gambling makes it a game of skill, and we can even construct plausible different strategies for winning. A good strategy involving card-counting beats a non-counting alternative by about 4% and random wagering by 36%.


Number of births in the twentieth century

01 December 2018

It turns out that about 10 billion people were born in total in the twentieth century.