Professor of Political Science and British Politics
Research interests: political accountability, understanding of political and economic and other policy shocks; survey measurement; British elections.
I am the Director of the Nuffield Politics Research Centre and Westminster Bridge, Co-Director of the British Election Study, President of the British Politics Group of the American Political Science Association, Elections Analyst for ITV News' twice BAFTA nominated live overnight election results programmes, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for British Politics at the University of Hull.
I am interested in supervising PhD students working on any analysis of British Election Study data, other related political/attitudinal/election study data, projects on political accountability, economics and voting - in particular economic insecurity and wealth - and also political attitudes, gender, and political representation and elections more broadly. I supervise comparative projects that fall into the above substantive areas. I'm particularly interested in good theory, good designs (including qualitative as well as quantitative) and research with a clear social benefit.
I am passionate about ensuring greater representation and providing mentoring for under-represented groups in academia.
I currently have space to supervise. Please get in touch if you have a good idea - I'll need to see a research proposal.
My research focuses on the link between what governments do (policy outcomes, the economy, political competition) and how people respond to them.
I am a co-author (with the British Election Study team), of 'Electoral Shocks: Understanding the Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World', OUP. This book explains how the British party system is destabilizing due to the combination of electoral shocks and over time increases in underlying electoral volatility.
I am also author, with Will Jennings, of 'The Politics of Competence: Parties, Public Opinion and Voters', CUP, 2017. We show how shocks cause substantial changes to party policy reputations, how voters generalise competence assessments across the policy agenda, and how governments suffer costs of ruling due to predictable over-time dynamics in the attribution of blame.
I am working on a number of projects to understand the relationship between cultural and economic drivers of political attitudes, how economic insecurity and a lack of economic insurance shapes political attitudes, the education and age gaps in vote choice, how voters think about place, the electoral importance of wealth on Brexit support, and the electoral consequences of the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. I also work on understanding sources of error in survey measurement, the basis of people’s perceptions at both a local and national level, and other aspects of the dynamics and outcomes of British politics and policy-making.
I take an active role in the analysis of British politics and elections and have served as ITV News Election Analyst in the 2015 general election, the 2016 EU referendum, the 2016 US presidential election, the 2017 British general election, the 2019 British general election and the 2020 US presidential election. I have also provided analysis for the BBC (BBC Radio 4 2019 European Elections results programme, BBC television 2014 local elections results programme, numerous BBC Breakfast appearances, interviews for the World at One, the Today Programme, Westminster Hour, Woman's Hour, and the 2010 and 2005 BBC World Service radio election night programmes). In 2015 I received the Political Studies Association ‘Research Communicator of the Year’ award. I served on the Market Research Society and British Polling Council independent inquiry into the 2015 opinion polls and have given evidence to committees in the House of Lords and the House of Commons. I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, an Affiliate at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and an editorial member of Comparative Political Studies. I was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, 2016, and at the University of California at Berkeley in 2007. I received my DPhil from Nuffield College in 2007.