Ruth Dixon

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    Leader approval ratings give neither main party cause for optimism if an election was held in 2018

Leader approval ratings give neither main party cause for optimism if an election was held in 2018

Ruth Dixon considers poll results of UK party leader satisfaction amongst their own party supporters as possible predictors of election success. The findings give little comfort to either of the two main parties, should an election be held in 2018. ‘Enthusiastic supporters’ appear less numerous than before any election over the past two decades. These polls give neither party […]

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    How cultural theory can help us to better design and implement social impact bonds

How cultural theory can help us to better design and implement social impact bonds

Social impact bonds – arrangements that bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors in order to address complex social issues – are often characterised by tensions. Ruth Dixon explains how cultural theory can be used to explain the dynamics between the various partners in order to improve this useful policy tool.

During a recent conference on outcomes-based commissioning and […]

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    UK Government running costs: High stakes, big claims, low transparency

UK Government running costs: High stakes, big claims, low transparency

Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon consider why we should care about government administration costs, and call for greater transparency in the reporting of such costs. This article picks up on themes explored in their book, A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less? which recently won the Political Studies Association’s 2016 W.J.M. Mackenzie Book Prize.

High Stakes, Big Claims

Every UK […]

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    ‘Too close to call’? Accounting for satisfaction with party leadership would have helped better predict the General Election

‘Too close to call’? Accounting for satisfaction with party leadership would have helped better predict the General Election

A good predictor of electoral outcomes over the past nine UK general elections has been survey questions asking about satisfaction with the leaders of the two main parties. That measure, however, combines responses from people who support the party and those who don’t. Here, Ruth Dixon explores leader satisfaction among party supporters as a way of measuring the level of ‘enthusiastic support.’ In 2015, these […]

Party leader satisfaction ratings and election outcomes

In this post, Ruth Dixon argues that, in future elections, measures of party leader satisfaction are worth looking at in more detail, as standard voting intention polls led many forecasters astray in 2015.

As the plot below makes clear, satisfaction with party leaders of the two main parties would have predicted the outcome of the last nine UK general elections, […]

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    How many judicial review cases are received by UK government departments?

How many judicial review cases are received by UK government departments?

In a recent debate in Parliament, the secretary for justice Chris Grayling was unable to provide a number when asked how many judicial review cases are brought against government ministries. Ruth Dixon looks at the numbers, finding no evidence of an explosion of judicial challenges to central government departments.

During a debate in parliament on 1 December, Chris Grayling (Lord Chancellor and Secretary […]

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    Repeated government ‘makeovers’ have not created a government machine that works better and costs less

Repeated government ‘makeovers’ have not created a government machine that works better and costs less

What do we have to show for thirty years of makeovers in UK central government? Has a relentless focus on cost-cutting damaged traditional administrative values? In a wide-ranging study of UK central government, Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon found that not only did formal complaints and legal challenges to central government rise sharply over the three decades up to […]

The current government is aiming for cuts to administration costs that have never previously been achieved

In their new paper, Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon show that cutting administration costs is difficult both for the government to do and for the public to evaluate. The current UK coalition government aims to cut administrative costs in central government by 34 per cent between 2010 and 2014. So has there ever been a period in the recent past […]