Department of Political Science


Chris Butler

chris butler
Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Quantitative Research Methods



I am currently finishing off my PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Rob Ford and Professor Francesca Gains. I have previously been employed as a Research Assistant to Professor Will Jennings at the University of Southampton on projects looking at the impact of the Centre for Towns thinktank and on the impact of the British Polling Council’s inquiry into polling methodology following the 2015 general election. 

I am also contributing to a chapter in the forthcoming Palgrave Macmillan book on the 2019 UK general election. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked for several years as a Parliamentary Researcher and Regional Campaigns Organiser for a UK political party.


My research focuses on policy responsiveness, particularly how elected officials respond to signals from voters and what information elected officials use to form judgements about voters’ likely reactions. I am especially interested in the public opinion research conducted by political parties and how this affects policy-making.



Blog Posts:

Working Papers:

  • Is Policy Responsiveness Affected by Political Actors’ Decision-Making Biases?, co-authored with Professor Barbara Vis, University of Utrecht. Presented at ISPP Conference, 2020.
  • Can Elites Rationally Anticipate the Electoral Reaction to their Decisions?: Evidence from the UK. Presented at ECPR Conference, September 2019. 
  • Twisting without turning; how Margaret Thatcher responded to public opinion. Presented at ECPR Conference, August 2020.
  • The operationalisation of policy responsiveness. A review and agenda for future research. Presented at ECPR Conference, August 2020 and at PSA Methodology Conference, January 2020.
  • I currently lead seminar on the postgraduate module “Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods”.
  • Since 2019 I have also taught on the second year undergraduate module “British Politics and Society from Blitz to Brexit” at the University of Manchester.