Improving voting and elections

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Individual electoral registration has not been kind to students. Previously, they were automatically enrolled by their universities; now they are not, and many have fallen off the electoral roll as a result. But an amendment passed in the Lords last night would let them register at the same time as they enrolled at university. Toby […]

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

The French distrust their politicians and democratic institutions – more so than other Western Europeans. Why? Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, authors of Pourquoi détestons-nous nos politiques?, argue that the French presidential system raises unreasonable hopes and expectations that quickly lead to disillusionment among voters. Similar PostsEmmanuel Macron and En Marche! – left, right or […]

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

The populist surge that helped propel Brexit isn’t going to help the UK take control of its borders, writes Tim Bale. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have been honest with voters about immigration policy, and that shows little signs of changing after a hard Brexit. The gap between rhetoric and reality has given politicians the opportunity to […]

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Voting for change in a referendum is the riskier option. People who voted for Brexit were more likely to be risk-takers. But when people have more information at their disposal, are they more or less likely to stick with the status quo? Davide Morisi found that when voters were making up their minds about how to vote […]

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

We elect politicians who are far better-off than ourselves – in Europe, those who come from blue-collar backgrounds make up only a tenth of national parliaments. Is this because voters favour the rich? A new study by Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu suggests they are slightly more likely to opt for working-class candidates over business owners. Blue-collar candidates just don’t get onto […]

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, […]

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