Democracy and elections

We bring together political scientists and sociologists who study democracy, citizen participation and elections.


Representative systems are facing challenging times with declining levels of popular trust in key institutions. Such as political parties and elected MPs, and growth of populist alternatives.

The mission of Democracy and Elections at Manchester is to provide informed and academic insights into these trends. To reveal how political attitudes, behaviour and organisations are changing in Britain and beyond.

We're home to the funded British Election Study and hold membership in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems planning committee. Therefore, we are well suited to investigating these questions.

Research themes

We offer particular strength in the following areas: 

Our people

Academic staff

Dr Marta Cantijoch, Lecturer in Politics

Dr Cantijoch is a Q-Step Lecturer in Politics. Her research interests include political behaviour, political participation, elections and voting, political communication and the effects of new media. She is particularly interested in how citizens use the internet to engage in politics. She is available for comment to the media on the issues of Spanish politics and social media in politics.

Full profile  | Publications | Twitter @MartaCuanti

Dr Jackie Carter, Q-Step Director

Dr Carter has extensive project experience as an expert in the provision and use of data in learning and teaching. Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme designed to promote quantitative social science training. Fifteen universities across the UK are delivering specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study.

Full profile | Publications

Prof Ed Fieldhouse, Professor of Politics

Prof Fieldhouse is the Principal Investigator of the British Election Study. He was appointed as founding director of the Institute for Social Change, a position which he held until September 2012. His main research interests are electoral geography and political participation and in particular social influences on voter turnout. He is also a co-editor of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Full profile | Publications

Dr Rob Ford, Senior Lecturer in Politics

Dr Ford a political sociologist with expertise in immigration politics, voting behaviour and support for the extreme right. One of the country’s leading experts on Ukip, he has also been employed by the BBC as a consultant psephologist since 2005, working on General, local and devolved elections. Co-Author of two recently acclaimed books: Revolt on the Right  - a study of the rise of Ukip -  and Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box, he is a regular commentator in the media.

Full profile | Publications | Twitter @robfordmancs 

Dr Silvia Galandini, Research Associate

Dr Galandini completed her PhD at The University of Manchester in January 2014 Her main research interests are in immigrant integration and ethnic diversity, with a particular focus on the political and civic engagement and mobilisation of migrant and ethnic communities. She is available to speak to the media on these areas of research.

Full profile | Publications | Twitter @SilviaGalandini

Prof Jane Green, Professor of Politics

A Co-Director of the British Election Study, she is a specialist in public opinion, elections, political parties, British and comparative politics. Her research covers the ideological and competence or performance basis of voting decisions and party election strategies. Jane is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Comparative Political Studies and Political Science Research and Methods and a regular commentator in the national media.

Full profile | Publications | Twitter @ProfJaneGreen

Prof Rachel Gibson, Professor of Politics

Convener of Democracy and Elections, Prof Gibson is interested in the use of new media by political organisations and candidates in campaigns and elections. A former a Principal Investigator on the Australian Election Study (AES), and former Director of the Institute for Social Change at Manchester, she is currently directing two ESRC projects looking at the impact of political parties and charities which use of online tools on citizen involvement in elections and wider civic society.

Full profile | Publications | Twitter @rchlgibson4

Dr Olga Onuch, Lecturer in Politics

Dr Onuch is a leading expert in Ukrainian and Argentine politics. She conducts a comparative study of protest politics, political behaviour and institutions, and good governance in democratizing states in Latin American and Eastern Europe. She is available for media interviews and her research has appeared in the Washington Post, The Times, BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, AFP, among others.

Full profile | Publications | Twitter @oonuch

Dr Maria Sobolewska, Senior Lecturer in Politics

Dr Sobolewska is interested in the political integration and representation of ethnic minorities in Britain, public perceptions of integration, and the production and framing of public opinion of British Muslims. She has been part of the team conducting the Ethnic Minority British Election Survey in 2010 and is behind the comprehensive Online Centre for Ethnicity in Politics. She is available to talk to the media on these issues.

Full profile | Publications

Prof Natalie Schlomo, Professor of Social Statistics

Prof Schlomo is interested in Survey methodology and official statistics. She is the UK principle investigator for several collaborative grants from the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union and member of the International Statistical Institute, the International Association of Survey Statisticians and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Full profilePublications

Prof Hermann Schmitt, Professor Of Politics

A Co-Director of the British Election Study, Prof Schmitt is, among other things, an expert on comparative partisanship, electoral behaviour in multi-level electoral systems, and on political representation in the European Union. He has been a contributor to and sometimes also a co-ordinator of, a number of international research groups.

Dr Kathryn Simpson, Research Associate

Dr Simpson is an expert in comparative European politics, political behaviour and public opinion. Her research covers how attitudes to inequality are linked to attitudes to European integration as well as the link between public attitudes to inequality and public attitudes to the European Union in the context of economic crisis.

Twitter @DrKathrynSimps

Dr Nick Turnbull, Lecturer in Politics

Nick is a politics lecturer who is an expert in political rhetoric. Nick has worked as a political advisor to a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and a civil servant in the Australian Public Service. He is able to analyse how speeches and statements made by politicians use language as a means to persuade. Has written about two main areas of study: social policy and the theory of policy and politics.

Full profile | Publications

Prof Angelia Wilson

Angelia is an expert on American politics, especially the rise of the Tea Party and the Christian Right. Her current project, 'The American Right & the Politics of Hate', includes original interviews with Tea Party members and participant observation in over a dozen grassroots gatherings.

Full profile | Publications

Mike Addelman

Mike Addelman is Communications and Marketing Manager for the British Election study, as well as Democracy and Elections. He is responsible for working on events, media enquiries and activities that bring the work of Manchester’s political scientists to the attention of the wider public. For media and communications enquiries, contact Mike.

Tel: +44 (0)161 306 6901 | +44 (0)7717 881567

PhD students

Cheryl Anderson

Cheryl is looking at the potential of the web and social media to help young people's engagement with politics.


Eduardo Olivares Concha

Party system institutionalisation in new democracies of Eastern Europe, East Asia and Latin America

Full profile | Email:

Patrick English

Patrick English is a Masters in Politics with Research Methods student at the Department of Politics, University of Manchester. His PhD research is focused around the ORA PATHWAYS project, assessing the descriptive representation of Citizens of Immigrant Origin in the UK. Patrick is interested in survey methods, survey design, advanced quantitative methods, elections and public opinion, and migration politics. He is also a member of the LIVEWHAT Project UK Team.

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Anouk Kootstra

Conditions of solidarity: how perceived deservingness of welfare support is affected by economic austerity and social diversity


Tom Loughran

'A Values-Based Electorate?'; How does the party system context influence the relationship between political values and voting in West European Democracies?'


Rebecca McKee

Substantive Representation of Ethnic Minorities in the UK Parliament. Rebecca aims to establish whether there is a link between descriptive and substantive representation in the UK parliament and how well ethnic minority groups are represented by the people they have elected to represent them. She is looking at the impact of ethnic minority MPs in parliament as well as how well ethnic minority constituents feel they are represented.

Full profile | Email:


Dr David Cutts

Dr David Cutts is based at The University of Birmingham where he is a Professor in Political Science with a particular interest in electoral and political behaviour, party and political campaigning, political and civic engagement, party competition and methods for modelling political behaviour.

Full profile | Publications

Prof David Farrell

Professor of Politics, University College Dublin. He is a specialist in the study of parties, elections, electoral systems and members of parliament.  His current research focuses on the role of deliberation in constitutional reform processes

Full profile | Publications

Prof Matthew Goodwin

Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent. His interests are British politics, including elections and voting, Ukip and Euroscepticism and prejudice and far-right politics. His is co-author of Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain (Routledge, with Dr Robert Ford), which was the 2015 Political Book of the Year.

Full profile 

Prof Alan Hamlin

Alan Hamlin has published widely on issues in institutional and constitutional design, expressive political behaviour, and topics in political philosophy including non-ideal theory and conservatism. He is working on the implications of the idea of expressive voting, an issue directly related to the analysis of elections. Prof Hamlin has also published on expressive political behaviour.

Full profile | Publications

Prof Will Jennings

Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance at the University of Southampton. His research interests include public policy, executive government, public opinion, comparative and British politics, political behaviour, risk governance in mega-projects and mega-events and time series analysis

Full profile | Publications

Prof Peter John

Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University College London. His research interests include electoral behaviour, social capital, citizenship and participation.

Full profile | Publications

Prof Laura Morales

Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Leicester. Interests lie, especially, in the areas of political behaviour, political parties, public opinion, the politics of immigration, and comparative politics.

Full profile | Publications

Get in touch

If you want to contact us, email

For media and communications enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Communications and Marketing Manager
Democracy and Elections
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 6901
Mob: +44 (0)7717 881567