Dr Timothy Heppell


I am an Associate Professor of British Politics and a member of the Centre for Democratic Engagement.




  • Examinations Officer

Research interests

I am interested in continuity and change within British political parties, with a particular emphasis on internal ideological divisions within parties and leadership selection.

In the last fifteen years I have published 40 articles in leading political science academic journals, including The Journal of Common Market Studies, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Government and Opposition, The Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties and Parliamentary Affairs.

I have authored or co-authored six books. These include two books on leadership selection – Choosing the Tory Leader (2007) and Choosing the Labour Leader (2010), and one on political rhetoric - The Political Rhetoric and Oratory of Margaret Thatcher (2016) which is co-authored with Andrew Crines and Pete Dorey. My latest book is Cameronism: The Politics of Modernisation and Manipulation which will be published by Manchester University Press in late 2018.

I also have edited, or co-edited, four books, including How Labour Governments Fall (2013) (with Kevin Theakston) and Cameron and the Conservatives: The Transition to Coalition Government (2012) (with David Seawright). I have also published on opposition leadership, editing Leaders of the Opposition (2012) and I have co-authored (with Kevin Theakston and David Seawright) a report for the Centre for Opposition Studies entitled What Makes for an Effective Leader of the Opposition (2015).


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD 'Prime Ministerial Leadership and Party Management in the House of Commons 1992 to 1997'
  • BA Politics

Professional memberships

  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 2017
  • Co convenor of the Political Studies Association Specialist Group in Politics and History

Student education

I have nearly twenty years experience teaching undergraduate and postgraduate module on British political parties. In addition to my role as Examinations Officer within the School, I have considerable experience as an external examiner. I am currently one of the external examiners for the BA Politics prograame at the University of Liverpool.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Democratic Engagement
  • Leadership, Parties and Institutions

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>