Polling Observatory Scottish referendum special: who is ahead, and how close is it?

  This is a Scottish independence special of our regular series of posts that reports on the state of support for the parties in Westminster as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence we can reduce the impact of the random variation each individual survey inevitably produces. Most of the […]

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Alex Salmond’s biggest gamble

  He’s the politician of the moment. Every media organisation in the world will descend on Edinburgh in the early hours of Friday morning to listen to his reaction, once the votes are counted in the Scottish independence referendum. But what do we really know about Alex Salmond, or ‘Big ’Eck’ as he is known […]

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The Polling Observatory Forecast #4: Conservative hopes recede slowly

As explained in our inaugural election forecast, up until May next year the Polling Observatory team will be producing a long term forecast for the 2015 General Election, using methods we first applied ahead of the 2010 election (and which are also well-established in the United States). Our method involves trying to make the best use of […]

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Social media: a political tool or apathy’s partner in crime?

With the disappointing turnout for the recent European elections, is social media the way to encourage increased political engagement ahead of the 2015 general election? Is it being used this way at the moment? If so, by whom and in what ways? Social media is unique in that it offers a wealth of information that […]

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Social media can increase youth’s political interest

  The rapid growth of social media in recent years means people are exposed to an abundance of information every day, but there is little research on the effects such exposure has on political interest and engagement. The two most popular social media outlets, Facebook and Twitter, provide vast amounts of political information, from news […]

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Teaching Research Methods: A New Approach

  Research methods modules have long been among the most-hated modules for undergraduate students on social science degrees, and students’ anxiety towards them, especially quantitative methods, is well-documented. They are frequently taught in a theoretical, dry manner, and students complain that the content has nothing to do with the rest of their degree. The more […]

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New Sovereignty Challenge for the West

  Sovereignty, once the key organising principle of the international system, has become increasingly problematic in today’s world. Globalisation, migration, the rise of international organisations, human rights, and transnational businesses – all of them have put sovereignty in question in their own ways. And yet, this post argues that the West currently faces a completely […]

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The NATO Summit: Symbolism or Substance?

  It is the purpose of press officers within international organisations to convince the publics of their member states that each summit is of lasting importance. In reality, most summit declarations are full of symbolism and struggle to find ‘deliverables’ of substance to make them memorable. However the NATO summit in Wales will truly be […]

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Are Political Finance Regulations Helping to Combat Party Corruption in Europe and Latin America?

  As has been repeatedly stated, money is the main fuel of politics. Without it political parties cannot function, elections cannot take place, and democracy – at least as we know it – cannot exist. It is for this reason, but not the only one, that most political systems in the world guarantee (at least […]

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Polling Observatory #39: Big two recover as UKIP fall back

This is the thirtyninth in a series of posts that report on the state of the parties as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence we can reduce the impact of the random variation each individual survey inevitably produces. Most of the short term advances and setbacks in party polling […]

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