Above: Nuffield Fellow Jane Green, the work of the British Election Study and the Nuffield College lawn feature in a video from the Financial Times last month about political disruptors in the run-up to the 2019 British General Election
Over the last two months, Nuffield Fellows and other academic members of the College have been busy contributing to the conversations leading up to the British General Election on Thursday 12 December.
Since Nuffield College’s foundation in 1937, our Fellows have taken an active role in major research developments in social science, including specifically the study of British Elections, with the express aim to increase co-operation between the academic and non-academic worlds.
In particular, the College has been home to the British Election Study since it began in 1964 under the leadership of Emeritus Fellow and pioneer of election studies David Butler with Donald Stokes. Since then, its leaders have also included Nuffield Fellows Anthony Heath and Geoffrey Evans, and Nuffield alumnus John Curtice (DPhil Politics 1976; Research Fellow 1981-3).
The current British Election Study is jointly led by Nuffield College and the University of Manchester and is headed up by Professorial Fellows Jane Green and Geoffrey Evans, with Edward Fieldhouse and Non-Stipendiary Research Fellows Jonathan Mellon and Christopher Prosser from the University of Manchester.
The British Election Study held a press conference in the run-up to the election being announced (8 October) about their upcoming book (to be published on Friday 13 December), Electoral Shocks: The Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World. In it, they examine trends from the last three General Elections, finding an unprecedented shift in voter volatility, with 49% of voters changing their vote between 2010 and 2017. Coverage of the press conference was widespread throughout the major national UK papers and broadcasters, and the Financial Times produced a video (above) with Jane Green based on the book's findings.
Some other examples of topical research and expert opinion from Nuffield Fellows in the run-up to the General Election include:
- Professorial Fellow Jane Green will be appearing as an expert political analyst alongside Associate Member Colin Rallings on ITV News’ Election night coverage overnight from 9.55pm on the day of the election itself
- Work by Emeritus Fellow John Goldthorpe and Professorial Fellow Bess Bukodi from their recent book Social Mobility and Education in Britain was featured in ‘The social mobility trap’ (9 December) by Visiting Fellow Tom Clark for Prospect Magazine
- Associate Members Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have regularly provided comment for The Sunday Times in the run-up to the election including, most recently, ‘When will the election results be announced? Your guide to the night’ (8 December) and ‘No matter the weather, Britons vote in droves if something crucial is at stake’ (1 December)
- The British Election Study hosted a conference on 4 December in Westminster with The UK in a Changing Europe on 'Brexit and British Voters', at which Jane Green and Official Fellow Geoff Evans joined a panel to present the findings of the British Election Study's book on Electoral Shocks
- Professorial Fellow Ben Ansell wrote a piece on 'What impact would electoral alliances have on the election result?' (15 November) for The UK in a Changing Europe with Leonardo Carella
- Jane Green gave an interview to ITV News on ‘Can We Trust the 2019 UK Election Polls and how will the Brexit Party Perform?’ (8 November), before taking part in a panel for Prospect Magazine on 27 November on ‘Can We Trust the Polls’ chaired by Visiting Fellow Tom Clark
- Ben Ansell has set up a 2019 General Election Predictor using the polls. You can follow updates on his Twitter feed, @benwansell
- Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow Samuel Bagg and Isak Tranvik (December), ‘An Adversarial Ethics for Campaigns and Elections’ in Perspectives on Politics, doi: 10.1017/S1537592719002639
- Associate Member and former Fellow Lindsay Richards, Emeritus Fellow Anthony Heath and former Associate Member Gabriella Elgenius (17 November), ‘Remainers Are Nostalgic Too: an exploration of attitudes towards the past and Brexit preferences’ in The British Journal of Sociology, doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12710
- DPhil student Thomas Fleming has set up the Parliamentary Rules Database with supervisors Niels Goet and Radoslaw Zubek to facilitate the study of the evolution of parliamentary rules and their effects