Research

Partisan dealignment and personal vote-seeking in parliamentary behaviour

My doctoral research focuses on the consequences of partisanship among voters for legislative politics. I argue that when voters are less partisan, they are more likely to consider the qualities of individual candidates. This should lead to MPs putting more effort into building their own individual reputation — a ‘personal vote’.

This is an important topic, as personal vote-seeking has significant consequences for policy-making, elections, and accountability, and partisanship has declined considerably in many modern democracies.

I test these arguments using various quantitative methods, drawing on data from the UK and New Zealand. An earlier article from this project, available here, was published in the European Journal of Political Research.

ParlRulesData Project

With Niels Goet and Radoslaw Zubek, I am part of a project which aims to collect, analyse, and disseminate data on how parliamentary rules have evolved over time. These rules have important consequences for policy-making and patterns of representation and accountability. By collecting and disseminating data on their evolution, we hope to make it easier for political scientists to study the central institution of parliamentary democracy.

The first output from this project is a data set of the formal rules of the UK House of Commons, 1811-2015. We have introduced and analysed this data in a recent article in Legislative Studies Quarterly, available here.

Data from this project is available here to download and explore.