Author Archive

Albert Ward (DPIR, University of Oxford)

Albert Ward is a DPhil student in politics at the University of Oxford. He focuses mostly on public opinion, social psychology, and political sociology; his doctoral research looks at what causes us to feel as though we belong to where we live, and what effect this identity has on political behaviour.

Do local elections matter? In Britain, like in many other countries, we often see them as crucial indicators of the future general election performance of political parties and their leaders. They also have national political significance. Local election success in 2009 brought good press for former Prime Minister David Cameron before his national victory a year later; huge losses in local elections in 2019 helped sink the leadership of his successor Theresa May. Yet, the methods used to study local elections in Britain do not provide a clear or consistent indicator of how well parties are doing nationwide or how they will go on to fair at future national polls. The 2022 local elections, for instance, provided just such a …