Improving voting and elections

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

The story of Brexit has been that of a would-be secretive government forced to become more open about its intentions, writes Ben Worthy. Pressure from select committees, the media and freedom of information requests – compounded by a stream of leaks – means we now know what kind of Brexit we will have. But he […]

What would voters be asked in a second EU referendum – and would they get it?

What would voters be asked in a second EU referendum – and would they get it?

If – and it’s a big if – the government were to call a second EU referendum, what question would it ask? And would it be able to deliver the answer? In this extract from a new UCL European Institute working paper, Alan Renwick examines the likelihood, terms and outcome of any ‘second round’ vote. […]

Good news: fielding women candidates doesn’t put parties at a disadvantage in elections

Good news: fielding women candidates doesn’t put parties at a disadvantage in elections

We know women are more likely to be elected under proportional representation, but it hasn’t been clear which aspects of PR benefit them.  Sona N. Golder, Laura B. Stephenson, Karine van der Straeten, André Blais, Damien Bol, Philipp Harfst and Jean-François Laslier designed an experiment in which people could cast (fake) votes for (real) European Parliament […]

We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder – and registering is still a big problem

We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder – and registering is still a big problem

Despite the voter ID pilot next year, most people believe voter fraud isn’t a problem in the UK. But a significant minority want changes to the election system – notably more financial transparency and information about their candidates. And while relatively few want online voting, registering to vote, even though it can now be done online, […]

Does political corruption put people off voting? (Not if it’s really bad)

Does political corruption put people off voting? (Not if it’s really bad)

If you think the politicians in your country are corrupt, are you less likely to turn out to vote? Some studies suggest you are. Others find the opposite – perhaps because corrupt politicians will say anything to get re-elected, and their promises motivate voters. Stefan Dahlberg and Maria Solevid found that perceived corruption does indeed […]

We’re taking back control – but who’s going to wield it?

We’re taking back control – but who’s going to wield it?

Britain voted to ‘take back control’ from the EU, and Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech made the repatriation of power to Westminster a priority. But it is far from clear what kind of Brexit Britons want, nor how many of these powers will go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland rather than the UK Parliament. Katie Ghose […]

Britons are applying for Irish citizenship to get an EU passport. Is this a problem?

Britons are applying for Irish citizenship to get an EU passport. Is this a problem?

Since the Brexit vote, many British citizens have sought citizenship in other EU member states – notably Ireland – on the basis of ancestry or other provisions, often without any intention of living there.  Should we welcome this development? Or is it problematic that people can claim citizenship on the basis of ancestry, especially if large […]

It’s even worse than North Carolina: American elections rank last among all Western democracies

It’s even worse than North Carolina: American elections rank last among all Western democracies

In recent weeks, the claim that North Carolina could no longer be classified as a democracy has sparked significant debate. Pippa Norris, director of the Electoral Integrity Project, explains how perceptions of electoral integrity in 50 US states and worldwide were assessed by political scientists. She also presents independent evidence from V-Dem which confirms EIP’s claim that, […]

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

 You are less likely to vote if your parents didn’t go to the polls. But new research by Hannu Lahtinen, Heikki Hiilamo and Hanna Wass suggest this effect is at least partly overcome if you move up the social ladder yourself. The more social mobility a society can achieve, the smaller the gaps in turnout between […]

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

2016 was an extraordinary year. With Donald Trump’s presidency less than three weeks away, Article 50 due to be invoked in March, local and mayoral elections in the UK and ground-shifting votes in Europe, 2017 promises more seismic change. Here’s a selection of some of Democratic Audit’s most thought-provoking pieces from 2016. Similar Posts

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