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A hand placing a polling card into a box

Voters in the United Kingdom went to the polls on Thursday 4 July in a General Election – the first since 2019. Elections provide an opportunity to talk about the most important issues facing society today. As a global university, our research informs and shapes policy, transforming lives for the better, locally, nationally and globally. During the election campaign, many of our researchers have been sharing their expertise on key areas of public and political debate.

What matters to the voters?

The economy, immigration, and international affairs featured prominently in the election campaign. Writing for The Conversation after the inflation rate fell, Dr Michael Nower, from our Business School, assessed the state of the UK economy.

Professor Gidon Cohen, from our School of Government and International Affairs, spoke to about how highly voters prioritise the different political parties’ views on climate change. Prof Cohen also spoke to BBC Radio Tees after Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer took part in a live television debate, giving his assessment of their performance.

Meanwhile, Professor Tim Luckhurst joined Jeremy Vine on his BBC Radio Two show to discuss the morality and purpose of tactical voting.

Professor Thom Brooks, from our Law School, was frequently on the airwaves across the world during the election campaign, including following the election being called, and as the results were announced. A member of the Labour Party, he spoke to several media outlets about Sir Keir Starmer, including in Switzerland. 

What future for the next generation?

The publication of political party manifestoes is a key feature of any election campaign. After the Liberal Democrats pledged to use the arts as a tool for regeneration, Professor Simon James, from our Department of English Studies, wrote for on creative industries and their importance to the futures of young people.

The Labour Party promised to end a VAT (Value Added Tax) exemption for parents paying independent school fees. Professor Stephen Gorard, from our School of Education, gave his assessment for .

At the other end of the age spectrum, Professor Nick Vivyan, from our School of Government and International Affairs, spoke to about parties pursuing votes from older people.

Issue-based campaigning

Election periods often provide campaign groups with additional opportunities to highlight their cause.

Professor Clare McGlynn, from our Law School, teamed up with and the End Violence Against Women Coalition to call for the next Government to introduce a comprehensive image-based law to protect women and girls.

Professors Catherine Donovan and Nicole Westmarland, from our Department of Sociology, contributed to a Manifesto to Prevent Gender-Based Violence.

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