I am the incoming Director of the Gwilym Gibbon Centre for Public Policy which conducts research into public policy issues, and a Co-Director of the British Election Study – the longest running social survey in the UK, founded by Sir David Butler at Nuffield College.
My research is primarily concerned with assessing the relationship between policy and performance and political attitudes and vote choice. One of the main contributions is showing how political actors and mass publics respond to external events and shocks. My co-authored book, with Will Jennings ('The Politics of Competence: Parties, Public Opinion and Voters', CUP, 2017) argues that shocks cause substantial changes to party policy reputations, voters generalise competence assessments across the policy agenda, and governments suffer costs of ruling due to predictable over-time dynamics in the attribution of blame. My new co-authored book with the British Election Study team ('Electoral Shocks: Understanding the Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World', OUP), 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 working on a number of projects to better understand the perceived winners and losers of economic and social change and the political consequences (in the form of Brexit), how people form their perceptions about the level of immigration and the economy, and projects relating to survey measurement, questions relating to recent British elections, and insights made possible using novel sources of social media data.
I take an active role in the analysis of British politics and elections and serve as ITV News Election Analyst, providing expert analysis for ITV News election programming in the 2015 general election, the 2016 EU referendum, the 2016 US presidential election, and the 2017 British general election, as well as regularly commenting in a range of national media. In 2015 I received the Political Studies Association ‘Research Communicator of the Year’ award. I also 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, Electoral Studies, and Political Science and Research Methods. 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.
British elections; the consequences of policy decisions and performance assessments; political and economic shocks; survey measurement.