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Democracy and Elections Centre

Democracy and Elections Centre

The Democracy and Elections Centre is a research group of political scientists specialising in the empirical study of democracy and elections, based in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Centre is home to a vibrant research community, studying and analysing democracy and elections in different parts of the world, including the UK, Europe, and the USA. The Centre offers a taught Masters in Elections, Campaigns and Democracy and PhD supervision.

Members of the centre are involved in a number of collaborative and funded projects, including the British Election Study, which is co-directed by Chris Prosser.

The Centre is also home to the journal Electoral Studies, which is edited by Oliver Heath and Kaat Smets.

Prof Oliver Heath

Professor of Politics. Research Interests: Brexit, elections, public opinion, class voting, quantitative methods.

Dr Kaat Smets

Senior Lecturer in Politics (Quantitative Methods). Research Interests: Political behaviour, political attitudes, turnout and age, quantitative methods.

Prof Chris Hanretty

Professor of Politics. Research Interests: Election forecasting, public opinion, courts, quantitative methods.

Prof Sarah Childs

Professor of Politics & Gender. Research interests: Sarah’s research centres on the theory and practice of women’s representation, gender and political parties, parliaments and institutional change.


Dr Christopher Prosser

Lecturer in Politics. Research Interests: Political psychology, elections, public opinion.


Prof Joost van Spanje

Professor of Politics: Research interests: Political communication, political parties, European politics


Dr Ursula Hackett

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Politics. Research Interests: American politics, public policy, education, qualitative methods.

Dr Nicholas Allen

Reader in Politics. Research Interests: British government, political integrity, ethics regulation and parliamentary misconduct.

Dr Cassilde Schwartz