More Americans are pro-life and more believe abortion should be legal. (Not a typo)

A strange finding by pollsters Gallup.

A rather odd trio of findings by the American pollsters Gallup. The proportion of Americans describing themselves as "pro-choice" has fallen to a record low of 41 per cent:

Yet the proportion who think abortion should be illegal under all circumstances has fallen, while the proportion who think it should be legal under some or all circumstances has stayed flat (though it should be pointed out that the opposite framing is also true; "legal under certain circumstances" is obviously synonymous with "illegal under certain circumstances"):

And the proportion who think abortion is morally wrong hasn't changed:

It's hard to know what to make of the findings. It seems like the most likely reading is that there is a growing proportion of Americans who describe themselves as "pro-life", but are ambivalent about the morality of abortion and think that it should be legal in some circumstances. More conflicting views have been held in the past...

American pro-choice campaigners. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo: Getty
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Labour slumps to fourth place in North Hykeham and Sleaford by-election

Conservative candidate Caroline Johnson eased to victory as Labour tumbled from second to fourth place.

Caroline Johnson was elected as the Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, while Labour slumped from second to fourth behind Ukip and the Liberal Democrats, who finished second and third respectively. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Stephen Philips.

The seat, which has been safely Conservative since its creation, backed Brexit by a 20-point margin on 23 June. The Tory victory, with 53.5 per cent of the vote, is one of the party’s all-time best by-election performances while in government. 

Johnson won with 17,570 votes. In second was Ukip's Victoria Ayling, with 4,426 votes. Ross Pepper recieved 3,606 votes, while Labour's Jim Clarke got 3,363 votes.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.