Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Dr Timothy Heppell

Associate Professor of British Politics

I completed my doctorate on Prime Ministerial Leadership and Party Management in the House of Commons 1992 to 1997 at Newcastle University in 2000. Throughout my academic career my teaching responsibilities and research interests have focused on examining continuity and change within British political parties.

I served on the executive committee of the Political Studies Association (PSA) Specialist Group for Political Leadership between 2012 and 2016. I am currently co-convener of the PSA Specialist Group in Politics and History. In 2017 I was elected as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).

Research Interests

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

I have published 40 articles in leading political science academic journals such as The Journal of Common Market Studies, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Government and Opposition, 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 2018. I 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).


For the academic year 2017-18 I am teaching on the following modules:

  • PIED 2126 The Conservative Party since 1945 (Semester One)
  • PIED 2139 The Labour Party since 1945 (Semester Two)

PhD Supervision

I have been part of the supervision teams of five completed doctorates and currently I am co-supervising three doctoral students. I would be interested in supervising students who work on British political parties and political leadership

Current research students

Tom McMeeking: Reassessing the Political Leadership of John Major using the Greenstein Model

Ed Lack: Modernisation in Opposition: A Comparison between Blair and New Labour and Cameron and the Conservatives

Samuel Barratt: Leadership Strategy within the Liberal Democrats from Ashdown to Clegg

Key Publications

(Since 2014 only - for publications prior to 2014 click on the publications link on the top left hand side of this page)

  • Heppell, T. (2018) Cameronism: The Politics of Modernisation and Manipulation (Manchester: Manchester University Press).
  • Crines, A., Dorey, P. and Heppell, T. (2016) The Political Rhetoric and Oratory of Margaret Thatcher (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Heppell, T. (2014) The Tories from Winston Churchill to David Cameron (London: Bloomsbury).

Journal Articles

  •  Heppell, T., Crines, A. and Jeffrey, D. (2018) ‘The United Kingdom Government and the International Aid 0.7 Percent Target: What Motivates Opposition Amongst Conservative Parliamentarians?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, available on early view
  • Jeffery, D., Heppell, T., Hayton, R. and Crines, A. (2018) The Conservative Party Leadership Election of 2016: An Analysis of the Voting Motivations of Conservative Parliamentarians’, Parliamentary Affairs, available on early view
  • Heppell, T., Crines, A. and Jeffrey, D. (2017) ‘The United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership: The Voting of Conservative Parliamentarians’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol, 55, No. 4, pp. 762-78.
  • Heppell, T. and Crines, A. (2017) ‘Rhetorical Style and Issue Emphasis within the Conference Speeches of UKIP’s Nigel Farage 2010-2014’, British Politics, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 231-49.
  • Heppell, T. and Crines, A. (2016) ‘Conservative Ministers in the Coalition Government of 2010-15: Evidence of Bias in the Ministerial Selections of David Cameron?’, Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 385-403.
  • Crines, A., Heppell, T. and Hill, M. (2016) Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech: A Rhetorical Political Analysis’, British Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 72-94.
  • Bennister, M. and Heppell, T. (2016) ‘Comparing the Dynamics of Party Leadership Survival in Britain and Australia: Brown, Rudd and Gillard’, Government and Opposition, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 134-59.
  • Heppell, T. and Hill, M. (2015) ‘Prime Ministerial Powers of Patronage: Ministerial Appointments and Dismissals under Edward Heath’ Contemporary British History, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 464-85.
  • Heppell, T. (2014) ‘Ministerial Selection and Portfolio Allocation in the Cameron Government’, Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 64-79.

Chapters in Books

  • Heppell, T. (2018) ‘The Oratory of Dan Quayle’, in Crines, A. and Hatzisavvidou, S. (eds.), Republican Orators: From Eisenhower to Trump (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Heppell, T. (2016) ‘The Oratory of Edward Kennedy’, in Crines, A. Lehrman, R. and Moon, D. (eds.), Democratic Orators: From JFK to Obama (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Hayton, R. and Heppell, T. (2015) The Presidentialisation of UK Political Parties’, in Passerelli, G. (ed), The Presidentilisation of Political Parties (Basingstoke: Palgrave).
  • Heppell, T. (2015) ‘Iain Duncan Smith’ in Clarke, C., Bale, T., Diamond, P. and James, T. (eds.), British Conservative Leaders (London: Biteback).
  • Heppell T and McMeeking T (2015) ‘The Oratory of Hugh Gaitskell’, in Hayton R and Crines A (eds.) Labour Orators: From Bevan to Brown (Manchester: Manchester University Press).
  • Heppell, T. and McMeeking, T. (2015) ‘The Oratory of John Major’, in Hayton, R and Crines, A. (eds), Conservative Orators: From Baldwin to Cameron (Manchester: Manchester University Press).


  •  Heppell, T., Theakston, K. and Seawright, D., (2015) What Makes for an Effective Leader of the Opposition (London: The Centre for Opposition Studies).

Media Contact Areas

I am happy to be contacted regarding the following areas.

  • British political parties
  • Party political leadership

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