Christopher Butler

Christopher Butler

Dr, Dr

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Personal profile


My main research interest 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.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, How do parties in office respond to electoral incentives?, The University of Manchester

1 Sep 20175 Feb 2021

Award Date: 5 Feb 2021

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

30 Sep 201530 Sep 2016

Award Date: 20 Dec 2016

Bachelor of Arts, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, The University of Essex

1 Oct 200430 Jun 2007

Award Date: 1 Jul 2007

Areas of expertise

  • JA Political science (General)
  • British Politics
  • Representation
  • Public Opinion
  • Political Parties
  • Decision Making
  • Political Psychology


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