About Me

I am a lecturer in British Politics at the University of Liverpool and an ESRC-funded PhD student at Queen Mary University of London.

My doctoral research focuses on the causes of Conservative electoral decline in Liverpool, from 1945 onwards – especially the marked decline in Conservative vote share that occurred in the 1960s, following decades of Tory dominance in the city.

Beyond my PhD, I am also interested in a wide range of areas, including British political history, the role of local identities in voting behaviour, political philosophy, democratisation, and transport, housing, welfare and energy policy.

I have an MA in Politics with Research Methods and a BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics, both from the University of Sheffield.

In my ‘spare time’ (i.e. time when I’m not PhDing but should be PhDing) I can be found running (currently training for a couple of triathlons), reading for pleasure, and getting kicked out of Pizza Hut for abusing the ‘spirit’ of the buffet deal.

Here is the video from my keynote talk at the Thatcher Network conference, 2018, which was held at the University of Liverpool. Feel free to let me know what you think by emailing me here.


3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. The 85,000 people in Liverpool who voted Brexit,35,OOO more than voted for Mayor Anderson, proves their is still a patriotic working class vote in Liverpool. Also UKIPS performance from nowhere, 2 or 3 years to finish second in virtually all the wards it stood in. The votes still their, but it will not vote Tory. Ukip produced a leaflet in Liverpool claiming to be a pro loyalist pro Ulster party. Up until the 1960s all the Tory MPS representing Liverpool working class seats were pro Loyalist. Sir Kenneth Thompson Tory Mp for Walton lived in a house called boyne lodge. Norman Pannell for Kirkdale led a campaign to stop citizens of the Irish Republic from voting in UK Elections. Reg Bevins for Toxteth loyalist Protestant sympathies can be seen in his book (The greasy pole) 1965,all the above were MPS until the mid 60s and Tory party were still buying poster space opposite the Orange Hallin Garston until the 1980s. The Orange hall in Heald Street was also the wards (St marys) Tory local election Hq. Barry Porter was the last of the Merseyside Tory Unionist Mp ,up until the 1990s . Forgive my poor typing!


    1. Hi Ian, thanks for your comment!

      I agree about the Brexit vote, but then there’s always been a left-wing anti-EU case to be made, plus many will remember how increasing trade with Europe left Liverpool’s port out in the cold (it was better placed for American/Commonwealth trade). I can’t see any evidence of UKIP doing well at all in Liverpool – in 2016 it only got over 10% of the vote in one ward. Labour still dominate in working class wards – 65%+ most of the time!

      I never knew about Bevins’ book, thanks for the hat tip. Look forward to reading it.

      To be honest I’m doubtful whether there are any votes left in Orangism/loyalist campaigning. For most people (except the already converted) it’s simply not an issues. The new identity in Liverpool is based around anti-Thatcherism (perhaps part of the reason why Heseltine is so liked here?). If UKIP can convince those on the right in Liverpool to vote for them they might make some ground, but Liverpool often prides itself on being more of a mixing pot than other northern cities (whether this is true in reality is a different question).


  2. David, some final thoughts on Tory decline, the cities population virtually halved between 1945 and 1995, middle class voters moved out to the Wirral and further up the coast from the 1950s,when motor cars became affordable and reliable. Today two of the eight seats in the UK with the fewest professional ,managerial workers are in Liverpool. Also three out of the seven UK seats with the highest proportion of single parent households are in Liverpool. Two out of the nine seats in the UK with the highest unemployment are also in Liverpool. Three out of the nine with the highest municipal dependency in the UK (family benefits) are in Liverpool. 500 Dockers today work in LIver pool, 25,000,Dockers were employed in the 50s and 60. It’s been difficult to replace lost jobs and the politicians especially Tory got the blame. What hope of a Tory revival? Tory problems began in the sixties, when Central office began to interfere. Liverpool had been left alone, because it produced the goods. Perhaps Liverpool, needs to run its own show, like Scotland is being allowed too. Why not on the ballot paper the LIver pool Conservative Party. Instead of putting up candidates in Belle Vale or Vauxhall, just concentrate on its best two or three seats, Woolton,Grassendale and Allerton. Finally, while I’m all in favour of first past the post in General Elections, do we need it for local elections? Proportional representation plus the list system,has revitalised the party in Scotland giving it seats once again in the big cities including Glasgow, no chance of that happening if they still had first past the post! Regards IAN.


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