The Spectator

How many countries have conscription?

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Halfway points

Rishi Sunak told us we would have an election in the second half of the year, and we will have one on 4 July. When, exactly, is the halfway point of 2024?

– There are 366 days in 2024, so we will be halfway through after 183 of them. That brings us to midnight at the end of 1 July, a day later than many might assume. – However, there is also the effect of daylight saving, which takes a hour away from March and puts it in October, shifting the halfway point of the year forwards by an hour to 1 a.m. on 2 July. Only two days of campaigning plus the voting itself will therefore fall in the second half of the year. – In 2019, 21% of people had a postal vote; if this is repeated a fifth of the population will be voting in the first half of 2024.

There to serve

How many countries have conscription? Compulsory military service for men 47. Compulsory military service for men and women 13.

Selective conscription (only a small proportion are called to serve) 20 Legal provisions for conscription exist but are not currently enforced 14.

No provisions for conscription 80.

Source: CIA

Boat people

In the year to March the number of irregular migrants was 38,546, a fall of 28% on the previous year. The number of small boats was down 41%, from 1,054 to 625. But the boatloads keep getting larger.

Average number of arrivals per boat for the year ending:

March 2019                                                  8

March 2020                                               12

March 2021                                               14

March 2022                                               29

March 2023                                               43

March 2024                                               50

Source: Home Office

New school of thought

Which parts of the country will be most affected by Labour’s private schools policy?

– More than 12% of pupils in private sector: Oxfordshire, Surrey, Bath and North East Somerset, Bedford, Rutland, Richmond on Thames, Kingston, Merton, Wandsworth, Southwark, Hackney, Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Salford

9-12% of pupils in private sector: Dorset, Somerset, West Sussex, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Shropshire, Croydon, Harrow, Barnet, Stockport, Monmouthshire

Source: Independent Schools Council