Dr Neil Matthews

Dr Neil Matthews

Dr Neil Matthews
Lecturer in British Politics

2.02, 10 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)


Telephone Number (0117) 92 88436

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Personal profile

I hold a PhD in Politics from the School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast (QUB). Prior to joining the University of Bristol I was a Research Fellow on The Northern Ireland Assembly Election Study 2016, an ESRC-funded project based at QUB.

I have served as an Associate Editor for Irish Political Studies and I sit on the Advisory Board for the Qualitative Election Study of Britain. I am a member of a range of specialist groups on Irish Politics, British Politics and comparative party politics.




I am interested in the general field of party democracy, including political parties, public opinion, elections and voting behaviour. I have a long-standing interest in political party organisation and intra-party democracy, as well as political gender equality.  

My research expertise is the case study of Northern Ireland, a case on which I have published research on elections, party organisation, political gender equality, power-sharing and the dimensionality of policy space. This research has informed the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly and I have commented on Northern irish politics and my research on a wide range of media platforms, including The Conversation, Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and Newsweek.

I have been involved in the collaborative design and analysis of Voter Advice Applications (VAAs) for elections in NI (2014 European Parliament; 2015 UK General Election; 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election; 2017 UK General Election). 

My current research is funded by the ESRC. I am a co-investigator on the project: Out of touch and out of time? A cross-temporal and cross-level analysis of the social and ideological distance between UK voters and political elites (2018-19). 

I am currently undertaking collaborative research on gender and party leadership in Northern Ireland; citizen attitudes to political parties in Northern Ireland; the use of Voting Advice Applications in post-conflict deeply-divided societies.




I teach the following undergraduate units: POLI10005 Thinking Politically (1st year) and POLI21222 Politics and Policymaking in the UK. I also teach at MSc level: POLIM0031 Northern ireland: a case study in ethno-national conflict resolution. 



Fields of interest

British politics, Irish politics, party organisation

Latest publications

  1. Matthews, N & Pow, J, 2017, ‘A fresh start? The Northern Ireland Assembly election 2016’. Irish Political Studies, vol 32., pp. 311-326
  2. Matthews, N, 2017, ‘The changing face of party policy selection in post-devolution Northern Ireland’. British Politics.
  3. Garry, J, Matthews, N & Wheatley, J, 2016, ‘Dimensionality of policy space in consociational Northern Ireland’. Political Studies, vol 65., pp. 493-511
  4. Matthews, N, 2015, ‘The selection of party leaders in Northern Ireland’. Parliamentary Affairs, vol 69., pp. 901?927
  5. Matthews, N, 2015, ‘Plus Ça Change: The 2014 Local Elections in Northern Ireland’. Irish Political Studies.
  6. Matthews, N, 2014, ‘Gendered Candidate Selection and the Representation of Women in Northern Ireland’. Parliamentary Affairs.
  7. Matthews, N, 2012, ‘The Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2011’. Irish Political Studies.

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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