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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Tim Bale, BA (Hons), Cambridge; MA, Northwestern; PhD, Sheffield.


Professor of Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 5833
Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.35A
Twitter: @ProfTimBale
Office Hours: Tuesday 2-3pm (in person) and Friday 9-10am (online - by appointment, please email to arrange).


Tim Bale is Professor of Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations.  He graduated first from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and then did a Masters degree at Northwestern University in the USA.  Following a few years spent working in finance for the NHS (the UK's National Health Service), he returned to academia to do a PhD at the Department of Politics at Sheffield University.  After Sheffield, he taught politics at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and then at Sussex University back in the UK until 2012.  In 2008 he won the Political Studies Association's Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching.  In 2011 he received the W.J.M. Mackenzie prize for his book The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron, the second edition of which was published in late 2016. Other books he has written or co-written in recent years include The Conservatives since1945: the Drivers of Party Change, Five Year Mission. The Labour Party under Ed Miliband and Footsoldiers: Political Party Membership in the 21st Century, the research for which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and generated the website Tim helped write three books published in 2021: The Modern British Party SystemThe British General Election of 2019, and Riding the Populist Wave: Europe's Mainstream Right in Crisis. In 2023 he published The Conservative Party after Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation.' Tim's media work includes writing for UK and overseas newspapers, and he appears fairly often on national and international radio and television to talk about politics. Even more often (for good or ill) he tweets using the handle @ProfTimBale. You can find his non-academic writing collected on his blog - - and his academic writing (mostly journal articles, not all of which are necessarily behind a paywall!) by going to Google Scholar.


After taking his first break from teaching in over twenty years in his former roles as Deputy Director of the ESRC initiative UK in a Changing Europe and Director of Queen Mary’s Mile End Institute, Tim returns to the classroom this academic year at the end of his time as a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellow.  He is down to teach on first and second year modules on British politics and on a newly-designed module on Parties and Party Systems.


Research Interests:

Tim Bale specialises in political parties and elections, and in the politics of immigration, in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Examples of research funding:

Tim has recently finished a project on party members which was funded by the ESRC and was funded by the ESRC as Deputy Director of its UK in a Changing Europe initiative.  He was awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust, running from January 2020 to December 2022, to support his work on the Conservative Party after Brexit.


Publications since 2008

Chris Hanretty, Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb (2024) 'Local party members’ views are associated, but not completely congruent, with local constituency opinion', British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

Tim Bale & Karl Pike (2024) 'Hopes will be dashed: Brexit and the "Merkel myth"', Journal of European Integration, 46 (2), pp.135-153.

Tim Bale (2023) Britain’s political parties and the constitution (Institute for Government/Bennett Institute).

Paul Webb & Tim Bale (2023) 'Shopping for a better deal? Party switching among grassroots members in Britain', Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 33 (2), pp. 247-257.

Bale, Tim (2023) The Conservative Party after Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation (Polity).

Bale, Tim (2022) ‘The United Kingdom: The Pandemic and the Tale of Two Populist Parties’, in Nils Ringe and Lucio Renno, eds. Populists and the Pandemic: How Populists Around the World Responded to COVID-19 (Routledge).

Wager, Alan, Bale, Tim, Gauja, Anika and McSwiney, Jordan (2022) ‘In power but not in office: how radical right “outsiders” can influence their mainstream rivals – the UK and Australian cases’Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 60 (2), pp. 125-45.

Barnfield, Matthew and Bale, Tim (2022) ‘"Leaving the red Tories": Ideology, leaders, and why party members quit,' Party Politics, 28 (1), pp. 3-9.

Wager, Alan, Bale, Tim, Cowley, Philip, and Menon, Anand (2022) 'The Death of May’s Law: Intra- and Inter-Party Value Differences in Britain’s Labour and Conservative Parties', Political Studies, 70 (4), pp. 939-961.

Bale, Tim (2022) 'Policy, office, votes – and integrity. The British Conservative Party, Brexit, and immigration', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (2), pp. 482-501.

Hadj Abdou, Leila, Bale, Tim and Geddes Andrew (2022) 'Centre-right parties and immigration in an era of politicisation', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (2), pp. 327-340.

Wager, Alan, Bale, Tim and Cheung, Aron (2021) ‘Could Boris Johnson’s Blue Wall Fall?Political Insight, 12 (4), pp. 3-7 

Bale, Tim and Rovira Kaltwasser, Cristóbal, eds. (2021) Riding the Populist Wave: Europe's Mainstream Right in Crisis (Cambridge University Press). 

Webb, Paul and Bale, Tim (2021) The Modern British Party System (Oxford University Press).

Bale, Tim (2021) 'Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus? Has the Tory Party finally chosen between Europe and America?', Political Quarterly, 92 (3), pp. 436-443.

Bale, Tim (2021) 'Ploughed under? Labour's Grassroots post-Corbyn', Political Quarterly, 92 (2), pp. 220-228.

Power, Sam, Bale, Tim and Webb, Paul (2020) ‘"Mistake overturned, so I call it a lesson learned": The Conservatives', Parliamentary Affairs, 73, S1, pp. 65-83.

Krouwel Andre, Bale Tim, and Tremlett Lucas (2020) 'More or Less Vulnerable? Variation in the Extent to Which Mainstream Political Parties’ Voters Consider Voting for Radical Right Populist Parties' in Bukow Sebastian, Jun Uwe (eds.) Continuity and Change of Party Democracies in Europe (Wiesbaden: Politische Vierteljahresschrift Sonderhefte. Springer VS).

Webb, Paul Bale, Tim, & Poletti, Monica (2020) 'Social networkers and careerists: explaining high-intensity activism among British party members' International Political Science Review, 41 (2), pp. 255–270.

Whiteley, Paul, Poletti, Monica, Webb, Paul, & Bale, Tim (2019) 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour Party Membership Soar after the 2015 General Election?', British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21 (1), pp. 80-98.

Bale, Tim, Webb, Paul and Poletti, Monica (2019) 'Participating Locally and Nationally: Explaining the Offline and Online Activism of British Party Members', Political Studies, 67 (3), pp. 658-675

Poletti, Monica, Webb, Paul and Bale, Tim (2019) 'Why do only some people who support parties actually join them? Evidence from Britain'West European Politics, 42 (1), pp. 156-172.

Bale, Tim, Webb, Paul and Poletti, Monica (2019) Footsoldiers: Political Party Membership in the 21st Century (Abingdon: Routledge).

Allern, Elin H., Hansen, Vibeke,  Otjes, Simon, Røed, Maiken, Rasmussen, Anne and Bale, Tim (forthcoming) 'All about the Money? A Cross-national Study of Individual Parties Relations with Trade Unions in 12 Western Democracies', Party Politics.

Bale, Tim and Webb, Paul (2018) '"We Didn’t See it Coming": The Conservatives' Parliamentary Affairs, 71 (s.1) pp. 46–58.

Bale, Tim (2018) ‘Who leads and who follows? The symbiotic relationship between UKIP and the Conservatives – and populism and Euroscepticism’, Politics, 38 (3), pp. 263-277.

Bale, Tim (2018) 'Change - and scepticism - as a constant: Anthony King on parties and party systems', Political Quarterly, 89 (1), pp. 38-46.

Szczerbiak, Aleks and Bale, Tim (2017) 'Explaining the absence of Christian Democracy in contemporary Poland', in Piotr H. Kosicki and Sławomir Łukasiewicz (eds.) Christian Democracy Across the Iron Curtain: Europe Redefined  (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).

Bale, Tim, Poletti, Monica, and Webb, Paul (2017) ‘The same but different: Lib Dem members in 1999 and 2015’, Journal of Liberal History, 96 (Autumn), pp. 38-46.

Webb, Paul, Bale, Tim and Poletti, Monica (2017) 'All mouth and no trousers? How many Conservative Party Members voted for UKIP in 2015 - and why did they do so?', Politics, 37 (4), pp. 432–444.

Allern, Elin Haugsgjerd and Bale, Tim (2017) Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press).

Bale, Tim (2017) European Politics: a Comparative Introduction, 4th edition (Palgrave Macmillan)

Webb, Paul, Poletti, Monica and Bale, Tim, (2017) 'So who really does the donkey work in "multi-speed membership parties"? Comparing the election activities of party members and party supporters', Electoral Studies, 46, pp.64-74.

Bale, Tim (2016) The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron, 2nd edition (Polity).

Bale, Tim and Webb, Paul (2016) 'Not as Bad as We Feared or Even Worse Than We Imagined? Assessing and Explaining Conservative Party Members' Views on CoalitionPolitical Studies, vol. 64 no. 1 123-142

Bale, Tim (2016) 'The oratory of David Cameron' in Richard Hayton and Andrew Crines (eds.) Conservative Orators from Baldwin to Cameron (Manchester University Press).

Odmalm, Pontus  and Bale, Tim (2015) 'Immigration into the mainstream: Conflicting ideological streams, strategic reasoning and party competition', Acta Politica, 50 (4), pp. 365–378

Bale, T (2015) 'Five Year Mission. The Labour Party under Ed Miliband' (Oxford University Press)

Bale, T. (2015). In life as in death? Margaret Thatcher (mis)remembered. British Politics, 10(1), 99-112

Bale, T. (2015). If opposition is an art, is Ed Miliband an artist? A framework for evaluating leaders of the opposition. Parliamentary Affairs, 68(1), 58-76. 

Webb, Paul and Bale, Tim (2014), Why Do Tories Defect to UKIP? Conservative Party Members and the Temptations of the Populist Radical Right. Political Studies, 62 (4), pp. 961-970.

Hampshire, James and Bale, Tim (2014): New Administration, New Immigration Regime: Do Parties Matter After All? A UK Case Study, West European Politics, 38(1), 145-166. 

Bale, T. (2014). Putting it right? The labour party's big shift on immigration since 2010. Political Quarterly, 85(3), 296-303. 

Bale, Tim and Partos, Rebecca (2014) Why mainstream parties change policy on migration: A UK case study – The Conservative Party, immigration and asylum, 1960–2010. Comparative European Politics 12, pp.603–619.

Webb, P. and Bale, T. (2014), Why Do Tories Defect to UKIP? Conservative Party Members and the Temptations of the Populist Radical Right. Political Studies. doi: 10.1111/1467-9248.12130

Gruber, Oliver and Bale Tim (2014) And it’s good night Vienna. How (not) to deal with the populist radical right: The Conservatives, UKIP and some lessons from the heartland. British Politics, 9, pp. 237–254.

Bale, Tim (2013) ‘Concede and move on? One Nation Labour and the Welfare State’, Political Quarterly, 84 (3).

Bale, Tim (2013) ‘What the modernisers did next: From opposition to government – and beyond’, Juncture, 20 (2).

Bale, Tim and Krouwel, André (2013) ‘Down but Not Out: A Comparison of Germany's CDU/CSU with Christian Democratic Parties in Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands’, German Politics, 22 (1-2), pp. 16-45.

Bale, Tim (2013) ‘More and More Restrictive—But Not Always Populist: Explaining Variation in the British Conservative Party's Stance on Immigration and Asylum’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 21 (1), pp. 25-37.

Bale, Tim (2013) European politics: a comparative introduction, 3rd edition (Palgrave).

Bale, Tim (2012) 'Supplying the Insatiable Demand: Europe’s Populist Radical Right,' Government and Opposition, 47 (2), pp. 256–274

Bale, Tim (2012) The Conservatives since 1945: the Drivers of Party Change (Oxford University Press).

Bale, Tim, Hough, Dan and Van Kessel, Stijn (2012)  'In or out of proportion? Labour and social democratic parties responses to the radical right', in Jens Rydgren (ed) Class Politics and the Radical Right (Routledge).

Bale, Tim (2012) ‘Wither the Tory left?  The demise of progressive conservatism’, Juncture, 19(2), pp. 84-91.

Bale, Tim (2012) ‘Don’t expect too much’, Renewal, 20 (2/3).

Bale, Tim (2012) ‘The black widow effect: why Britain’s Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition might have an unhappy ending’, Parliamentary Affairs, 65 (2), pp. 323-337.

Allern, Elin H. and Bale, Tim (2012) ‘Political parties and interest groups: disentangling complex relationships’, Party Politics, 18 (1), pp. 7-25.

Allern, Elin H. and Bale, Tim (2012) ‘Qualifying the common wisdom: political parties and interest groups’, Party Politics, 18 (1), pp. 99-106.

Bale, Tim (2012) ‘David Cameron, 2005-2010’, in Timothy Heppell (ed) Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron (Palgrave).

Bale, Tim and Hampshire, James (2012) ‘Immigration Policy’ in Timothy Heppell and David Seawright (eds.) Cameron and the Conservatives: the Transition to Coalition Government (Palgrave).

Bale, Tim and Dunphy, Richard (2011) ‘De parias à participants’ in Jean-Michel De Waele et Daniel-Louis Seiler (eds.) Les partis de la gauche anti-capitaliste en Europe (Economica).

Bale, Tim and Kolodny, Robin (2011) ‘Divided in Victory: the Conservatives and the Republicans’, in Terrence Casey (ed) Legacy of the Crash: How the Financial Crisis Changed America and Britain (Palgrave Macmillan).

Bale, Tim, Hampshire, James and Partos, Rebecca (2011) ‘Having One's Cake and Eating It Too: Cameron's Conservatives and Immigration’, Political Quarterly, 82 (3), pp. 398-406. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim (2011) ‘Fresh start or false promise? Lessons from Tory policy reviews’. Public Policy Research, 18 (2). pp. 115-120

Bale, Tim and Dunphy, Richard (2011) In from the cold? Left parties and government involvement since 1989’, Comparative European Politics, 9 (3). pp. 269-291.

Dunphy, Richard and Bale, Tim (2011) ‘The radical left in coalition government: Towards a comparative measurement of success and failure’. Party Politics, 17 (4). pp. 488-504. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim (2011) ‘I don't agree with Nick: retrodicting the conservative-liberal democrat coalition’, Political Quarterly, 82 (2). pp. 244-250. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim and Sanderson-Nash, Emma (2011) ‘A Leap of Faith and a Leap in the Dark: the Impact of Coalition on the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats’ in Simon Lee and Matt Beech (eds.) The Cameron-Clegg Government Coalition: Politics in an Age of Austerity (Palgrave), pp. 237-250.

Bale, Tim, van Kessel, Stijn and Taggart, Paul (2011) ‘Thrown around with abandon? Popular understandings of populism as conveyed by the print media: a UK case study’, Acta Politica, 46 (2). pp. 111-131. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim (2011) ‘Painting their way out of the corner: the Conservatives in opposition’, in Nigel Fletcher (ed) How to be in Opposition: Life in the Political Shadows (Biteback), pp. 133-154.

Bale, Tim (2011) The Conservative party: from Thatcher to Cameron, 2nd edition (Polity).

Webb, Paul, Bale, Tim and Taggart, Paul (2011) Deliberative Versus Parliamentary Democracy in the UK: An Experimental Study. Working Paper. No.118, Sussex European Institute.

Bale, Tim and Caramani, Daniele (2010) ‘Political data in 2009’. European Journal of Political Research, 49 (7-9). pp. 855-867. 

Bale, Tim, Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, Krouwel, André, Luther, Kurt Richard and Sitter, Nick (2010) ‘If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them? Explaining Social Democratic Responses to the Challenge from the Populist Radical Right in Western Europe’, Political Studies, 58 (3). pp. 410-426.

Bale, Tim, Hanley, Seán and Szczerbiak, Aleks (2010) ‘“May Contain Nuts”? The Reality behind the Rhetoric Surrounding the British Conservatives' New Group in the European Parliament’, Political Quarterly, 81 (1). pp. 85-98. Full text available here, appendix 1 and table.

Bale, Tim and Webb, Paul (2010) ‘The Conservative Party’ in Nicholas Allen and John Bartle, Britain at the Polls 2010 (Sage).

Bale, Tim and van Biezen, Ingrid (2009) ‘Political data in 2008’, European Journal of Political Research, 48 (7-8). pp. 859-873.

Bale, Tim (2009) '“Cometh the hour, cometh the Dave”: how far is the conservative party's revival all down to David Cameron?’, Political Quarterly, 80 (2). pp. 222-232. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim (2009) ‘The conservatives: trounced, transfixed - and transformed?’, in Terrence Casey (ed) The Blair legacy: politics, policy, governance, and foreign affairs (Palgrave) pp. 52-64.

Bale, Tim (2008) European politics: a comparative introduction, 2nd edition (Palgrave).

Bale, Tim and van Biezen, Ingrid (2008) ‘Political Data in 2007’, European Journal of Political Research, 47 (7-8). pp. 877-891.

Bale, Tim, (ed) (2008) Immigration and Integration Policy in Europe: Why Politics - and the Centre-Right - Matter (Routledge).

Bale, Tim (2008) ‘Shaping the Union: Brown's Britain and the EU’ in Michael Rush and Philip Giddings (eds.) When Gordon Took the Helm The Palgrave Review of British Politics 2007-08 (Palgrave).

Bale, Tim (2008) '“A Bit Less Bunny-Hugging and a Bit More Bunny-Boiling”? Qualifying Conservative Party Change under David Cameron’. British Politics, 3 (3). pp. 270-299.

Bale, Tim and Szczerbiak, Aleks (2008) Why Is There No Christian Democracy in Poland - and Why Should We Care?Party Politics, 14 (4). pp. 479-500. Full text available here.

Bale, Tim (2008) ‘Turning round the telescope: centre-right parties and immigration and integration policy in Europe’, Journal of European Public Policy, 15 (3). pp. 315-330. Full text available here and conclusion.

Bale, Tim (2008) ‘Politics matters: a conclusion’, Journal of European Public Policy, 15 (3). pp. 453-464.

Bale, Tim and Blomgren, Magnus (2008) ‘Close but no cigar? Newly governing and nearly governing parties in Sweden and New Zealand’, in Kris Deschouwer (ed) New parties in government: in power for the first time (Routledge), pp. 85-103.

Bale, Tim, Reilly, Barry and Witt, Robert (2008) Determining constituency marginality in the UK using the expense claims of MPs, Surrey Discussion Paper DP 01/08.

Selected publications prior to 2008

British Politics

Bale, Tim (2006) ‘Between a soft and a hard place?  The British Conservative Party and the need for a new “Eurorealism”’ , Parliamentary Affairs, 59 (3), pp. 385-400.

Huntington, Nicholas and Bale, Tim (2002) ‘New Labour: New Christian Democracy?’ Political Quarterly, 73 (1), pp. 44-50.

Bale, Tim (1999) Sacred Cows and Common Sense: the Symbolic Statecraft and Political Culture of the British Labour Party (Ashgate).

Bale, Tim (1999) ‘The “logic of no alternative”?  Political scientists, historians and the politics of Labour’s past’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 1 (2), pp. 192-204.

Bale, Tim (1997) ‘Towards a ‘Cultural Theory’ of parliamentary party groups’, Journal of Legislative Studies, 3 (4), pp. 25-43.

Brivati, Brian and Bale, Tim (eds.) (1997) New Labour in Power: Precedents and Prospects (Routledge).

European and Comparative Politics

Bale, Tim (2007) ‘Are bans on political parties bound to turn out badly? A comparative investigation of three ‘intolerant’ democracies: Turkey, Spain and Belgium’, Comparative European Politics, 5 (2), pp. 141-157.

Dunphy, Richard and Bale, Tim (2007) Red Flag Still Flying? Explaining AKEL - Cyprus's Communist Anomaly. Party Politics, 13 (3). pp. 287-304.

Bale, Tim and Bergman, Torbjörn (2006) Captives No Longer, but Servants Still? Contract Parliamentarism and the New Minority Governance in Sweden and New Zealand. Government and Opposition, 41 (3). pp. 422-449.

Bale, Tim (2006) ‘A taste of honey is worse than none at all?  Coping with the generic challenges of support party status in Sweden and New Zealand’ (with Torbjörn Bergman), Party Politics, 12 (2), pp. 189-209.

Bale, Tim (2005) ‘“It’s Labour, but not as we know it.” Media lesson-drawing and the disciplining of social democracy: a case study’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 7 (3), pp. 386-401.

Bale, Tim (2003) ‘Cinderella and her ugly sisters: the mainstream and extreme right in Europe’s bipolarising party systems’, West European Politics, 26 (3), pp. 67-90.

Bale, Tim and Dann, Christine (2002) ‘Is the grass really greener: the rationale and reality of support party status: a case study’, Party Politics, 8 (3), pp. 349-365.

Bale, Tim (2002) ‘Restrictions on the broadcast and publication of pre-election and exit polls: some selected examples’, Representation, 39 (1), pp.15-22.

Bale, Tim (2000) ‘Field-level CFSP: EU diplomatic cooperation in third countries’, Current Politics and Economics of Europe, 10 (2), pp. 187-212.


Tim has successfully supervised lots of students to PhD level and is keen to hear from anyone interested in doctoral study, especially on all aspects of political parties.

Current PhD Students:

Farah Hussain, The experience of ethnic minority women of UK local politics


Public Engagement

Tim is a trustee of the Social Market Foundation.  He is also on the advisory board of another think tank, Bright Blue.  In his hometown, he is a Member of a local multi academy trust.

Tim is former deputy director of the ESRC think tank, UK in a Changing Europe

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