What we do

Democratic Audit is an independent research unit based at the Public Policy Group in the LSE’s Government Department. Our core objective is to advance democracy and freedom, and to undertake and promote research into their quality, durability and effectiveness in a UK context.

We are grant funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to conduct research into the quality of democracy in the UK. We also monitor democracy and freedom in Britain through a major daily blog, a series of democracy assessments, reports and commissions, and through evidence to Parliament and official bodies.

Democratic Audit was originally set up in 1991 by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust through two partners – Charter88 and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Until the early 2000s, the Audit was based at the Human Rights Centre, at the University of Essex, but scholars and experts from all over Britain and the world have long worked with us on our projects and reports.

The move to the LSE has seen a move towards a more continuous monitoring format, using blogs, mini-reports, e-books and updates, as well as our periodic complete audit of UK democracy. Our most recent, The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit, was published with LSE Press, and is free to download in all e-book formats.

We also publish comprehensive election data for the UK on our Democratic Dashboard site. Simply search by post code to find comprehensive data on elections in your area.

We want to contribute to refreshing and renewing local democratic debate, working with citizen groups to improve the information that is easily digitally available to all UK citizens about elections, political life and democracy in their own area.

The Democratic Audit blog was launched in July 2013, and receives thousands of views every week. It is edited by Alice Park (email A.C.Park@lse.ac.uk) and features contributions from high level academics, campaigners and experts on all elements of British democracy and human rights.

You can follow us on Twitter @democraticaudit and on Facebook.

The co-Directors of Democratic Audit are Prof Patrick Dunleavy, Prof Tony Travers and Dr Jonathan Hopkin. This is a list of our trustees.