Free Public Talk Saturday: The Scottish Referendum in Dundee

For immediate release

For information contact:
Dr. Edzia Carvahlo

Free Public Talk Saturday: The Scottish Referendum in Dundee

Dundee, Scotland– This Saturday experts in polling, social media and focus group research present their research into the independence referendum and local opinions on Scotland’s future. The public event starts at 3 pm and will take place at D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre in the Tower Building of Dundee’s campus. Click here to reserve your free seat.

‘What surprised us were the similarities in how Yes and No voters talked about making up their minds,’ said Dr. Edzia Carvalho, who led the focus group study. ‘We saw Yes and No voters reporting they felt a duty to investigate the facts before making up their minds.’

Dr. Mark Shephard of Strathclyde will talk about ‘Social media and the 2014 Scottish referendum’ and Steven Hope of Ipsos MORI Edinburgh will present on ‘Public opinion polls and the referendum’. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

Doors open at 2:45 and is free to the public. To guarantee a seat, reserve your ticket at and search Scottish Referendum in Dundee.

The event is part of the public engagement research project ‘Dundee, the city that said yes: Findings from the “Referendum Stories”, conducted by Dr. Edzia Carvalho (Dundee) and Dr. Kristi Winters (GESIS) and funded by the Carnegie Foundation.

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Free to the public! The Scottish Referendum in Dundee: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Free to the public! Get tickets here:


Saturday, March 28, 2015
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre
Tower Building, Nethergate Dundee

This public event will feature expert analysis of referendum polling, the role and impact of social media, and post- referendum views of Scotland’s future. Experts from academia (University of Strathclyde and Dundee) and the polling industry (Ipsos MORI) will present the story of the referendum and its aftermath.

Dundee to Host 2015 Qualitative Election Study of Britain

Researchers at the University of Dundee and GESIS-Liebniz Institute in Cologne, Germany are working intensively with voters to identify the issues, personalities and other factors that will decide in this year’s General Election.

The 2015 Qualitative Election Study of Britain (QESB 2015), a project led by Politics Lecturer Dr Edzia Carvalho and GESIS researcher Dr Kristi Winters, will conduct 20 focus groups before and after the May 7th vote to identify how the various party campaigns are resonating with the public. QESB 2015 aims to provide an insight into the reasons, opinions, and motivations underlying voting behavior, rather than the statistics generated by opinion polls and other surveys.

The researchers will gauge the individual issues of greatest concern to the electorate and how they relate to and influence voting intentions. The post-election focus groups will look at whether participants changed support during the campaign and why.

The focus groups will be conducted in Scotland, England, and Wales. The researchers will investigate the role of safe and marginal seats in influencing how people vote, how voters evaluate party leaders, and reactions to the Leaders’ Debates, among other topics. The impact of the Scottish referendum outcome on voters and voting in Scotland will be explored at those focus groups held north of the border.

“2015 is shaping up to be a very important and interesting election year,” said Dr Carvalho. “Last year’s referendum and the subsequent growth on pro-independence parties, the rise of UKIP and the consequences of coalition government in recent years mean there are many more factors at play than you might normally expect in a UK General Election.

“Hearing from people will help us capture in their own words the range of issues and perspectives that informed their vote and flesh out the numbers gathered by polling. Many nations have national surveys at elections but the QESB is breaking new ground by collecting people’s words, not just their responses. It is a great for the University of Dundee to host this new approach to studying elections.

Election studies take place across the world but the QESB hopes to set new standards in the field by mining beneath the raw data that such studies yield in order to understand influential factors on a more individual level. QESB 2015 has been supported by funding from the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust and the findings will be used together with research into the Scottish referendum conducted in December 2014.

The results of the five post-referendum focus groups with Yes and No voters and campaigners will be revealed at an event in the University’s D’Arcy Thompson Lecture at 3pm on Thursday, 28th March.

The event is free and open to the public. Places can be booked at

Press Release: Research into Dundee Residents’ Political Views Wins Carnegie Foundation Funding

Research into Dundee Residents’ Political Views Wins Carnegie Foundation Funding

Dundee, Scotland – November 12, 2014 – Dundee residents will learn more about the political views of their friends and neighbors in early 2015. Dr. Edzia Carvalho lecturer in Politics, won research funding from a University of Dundee Public Engagement project funded by the Carnegie Foundation.

The project, called ‘From Polls to the Personal’, will connect social research and public engagement. Dr. Carvalho and a colleague will conduct three 90-minute focus groups with Dundee residents. Topics will include people’s assessments of post-referendum Scottish politics and views on the upcoming General Election in 2015.

‘The first aim of the research is to listen to residents’ concerns and their views on political issues,’ said Carvalho. ‘The second aim is to present the findings to the community, to present them with the views and concerns their neighbors share and open up a dialogue.’

Focus group participants will be recruited in early December and the focus groups will take place on 13 and 14 December. A free public event to present the research and its findings will take place in January in Dundee and another in Edinburgh.

Individuals interested participating in the December focus groups can get in contact with Dr. Edzia Carvalho at the University of Dundee.

Forthcoming: 2010 British General Election Leader Evaluations: Replicating Electoral Focus Group Research

2010 British General Election Leader Evaluations:
Replicating Electoral Focus Group Research

Forthcoming at The Qualitative Report

Dr. Kristi Winters, GESIS Leibniz Institutes for the Social Sciences, Köln, Germany

Dr. Edzia Carvalho, University of Dundee, United Kingdom

 This research replicates and expands upon the qualitative electoral research of Winters and Campbell by using data from focus groups conducted in Essex, England to coincide with three leadership debates during the 2010 British general election. The Qualitative Election Study of Britain (QES Britain) broadly replicated Winters and Campbell’s research design but includes innovations in data collection to more accurately capture assessments. This innovation means the data coding are based entirely on the evaluations of the participants. In our analysis we innovate in the way we display each leaders’ unique evaluation structure. To capture the salience and direction of leadership assessments, we convey the dimensionality of popular perceptions for Brown, Cameron and Clegg using colour and scaling. Our results produce qualitatively informed evaluation structures for each party leader that contextualize quantitative survey findings.  Although this case study is limited to a geographically specific group of participants, our results mirror the quantitative BES results.  Such similarity in the qualitative and quantitative results increases our confidence that our results provide useful insights into the associations and evaluations ordinary people used in their assessments of the main political party leaders.

SN 6861-Qualitative Election Study of Britain, 2010

Now online at the Social and Economic Data Service the SN 6861-Qualitative Election Study of Britain, 2010

Persistent Identifier:

To cite this dataset you may use this example reference:
Winters, K., Qualitative Election Study of Britain, 2010 [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive [distributor], February 2012. SN: 6861,

New working paper – “I went with what I always do…”: A qualitative analysis of ‘Cleggmania’

New working paper from Carvalho, E. and Winters, K.(2012)  “I went with what I always do…”: A qualitative analysis of ‘Cleggmania’ and vote choice in the 2010 British General Election DO NOT CITE WITHOUT AUTHORS’ PERMISSION

Abstract: Using post-election focus group transcripts we provide new insights as to why ‘Cleggmania’, a highlight of the 2010 British general election, failed to translate into electoral success for the Liberal Democrats. Narrative and discourse analysis conducted on participants’ vote choice stories reveals a complicated choice calculus. Conservative and Labour voters’ narratives and those who leaned Liberal Democrats but ultimately remained true to their previous party cited values or identity. Liberal Democrat voters cited tactical and satisficing reasons or support for a principle or a policy. For Qualitative Election Study of Britain participants the effect of ‘Cleggmania’ was limited to strengthening the resolve of wavering or leaning Liberal Democrat voters. We also draw attention to the important role of constituency dynamics in decisions and conclude that qualitative research can provide insights into vote choice that cannot be realised either through existing survey data or lab based experimentation.

2010 British general election leader evaluations: a case study using focus group data

2010 British general election leader evaluations: a case study using focus group data

What does qualitative electoral research look like? Read our latest working paper on Leader Evaluations in the 2010 Election to see an example.