Dr Christopher Butler

Lecturer in Politics

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My main research interests lies in how political elites conceive of, and respond to public opinion. I am particularly interested in how political actors form their opinions of likely electoral reactions and how these are affected by cognitive biases. 

My PhD thesis used a mixed-methods approach; combining quantitative analysis of UK governments' responsiveness to public opinion with qualitative analysis of a handful of case study policy decisions including the Liberal Democrats' U-turn on tuition fees and the coalition government's NHS reforms. My research on tuition fees has recently been published in the Journal British Politics.

I am currently exploring how political parties in the UK have used public opinion research to inform their decision-making.

Areas of expertise

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2021 - Doctor of Philosophy, How do parties in office respond to electoral incentives?, The University of Manchester (2017 - 2021)
  • 2016 - Master of Research, The end of the winner's bonus? A study of Labour-Conservative marginal constituencies at the 2015 UK general election, Birkbeck, University of London (2015 - 2016)
  • 2007 - Bachelor of Arts, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, The University of Essex (2004 - 2007)

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