My research generally applies quantitative research methods on elite survey data to answer substantially important research questions about political campaigning, electoral behaviour, and representation. Therefore, I am mainly interested in understanding the campaign choices and views of political elites, how these vary across politicians and political systems, how effective they are in winning votes, and to what extent they align with voters' expectations and preferences.
My research into the campaign behaviour of parliamentary candidates is largely based on original elite survey data. I conduct the Estonian Candidate Study and the Welsh Candidate Study, and am part of the cross-national Comparative Candidates Survey initiative. They provide valuable data on the personal and political profile of parliamentary candidates, including their campaign choices and political attitudes.
I run the OpenElections project with Caitlin Milazzo and Alan Duggan. The website hosts an online archive of over 9,000 crowdsourced election leaflets from four general elections and almost every constituency in Britain. Each leaflet in the searchable archive is coded on a range of dimensions and issues. In addition to being a rich source of data for academic and non-academic audiences, our new web platform allows citizens to help us promote transparency by uploading and coding new leaflets on mentions of issues, tactical voting, and opposition attacks. This project is funded through the UKRI Public Engagement scheme (grant ref: BB/T019026/1).
2023: Trumm, S. 2023. Estonian Candidate Study 2023: Overview of answers. [link]
2023: Trumm, S. 2023. Riigikogu Valimised 2023 Kandidaadiküsitlus: Ülevaade vastustest. [link]
2022: Trumm, S. "Online versus offline: Exploring the link between how candidates campaign and how voters cast their ballot". European Journal of Political Research, 61/2: 485-502. [link]
2022: Townsley, J., Trumm, S. and Milazzo, C. "‘The personal touch’: Campaign personalisation in Britain". The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 24/4: 702-722. [link]
2022: Trumm, S. and Sudulich, L. "A longitudinal study of online campaigning in the most digitally advanced society in the world". Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 32/4: 960-979. [link]
2022: Trumm, S. "Winning votes: The comparative importance of money and time on parliamentary candidates’ electoral performance in Estonia?". East European Politics, 38/3: 960-979. [link]
2021: Milazzo, C., Trumm, S. and Townsley, J. "Crowdsourcing campaigns: A new dataset for studying British parties' election communications". Political Studies Review, 19/3: 520-527. [link]
2019: Trumm, S. 2019. Estonian Candidate Study 2019: Overview of answers. [link]
2019: Trumm, S. 2019. Riigikogu Valimised 2019 Kandidaadiküsitlus: Ülevaade vastustest. [link]
2019: Trumm, S. "Renewed electoral pitch for independence in Wales". In D. Jackson, E. Thorsen, D. Lilleker and N. Weidhase (eds.) UK Election Analysis 2019: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Bournemouth: The Centre for Comparative Politics and Media Research. [link]
2019: Sudulich, L. and Trumm, S. "A comparative study of the effects of electoral institutions on campaigns". British Journal of Political Science, 49/1: 381-399. [link]
2018: Trumm, S. "The best of both worlds? Evaluating the campaign behaviour of dual candidates". Electoral Studies, 56: 14-22. [link]
2016: Trumm, S. "What does it take to get elected in a post-communist democracy? Explaining the success and failure of parliamentary candidates in Estonia". East European Politics and Societies, 30/1: 169-188. [link]
I am also interested in the demand side of the electoral story. My research looks at which voters are more likely to cast their ballot for right-wing populist parties, and what might explain variation in electoral participation more broadly.
2023: Townsley, J., Turnbull-Dugarte, S.J., Trumm, S. and Milazzo, C. "Who votes by post? Understanding the drivers of postal voting in the 2019 British general election". Parliamentary Affairs, 76/1: 43-61. [link]
2018: Trumm, S. "The 'new' wave of populist right-wing parties in Central and Eastern Europe: Explaining electoral support for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia". Representation, 54/4: 331-347. [link]
2018: Trumm, S. and Sudulich, L. "What does it take to make it to the polling station? The effects of campaign activities on electoral participation". Party Politics, 24/2: 168-184. [link]
2017: Trumm, S., Sudulich, L. and Townsley, J. "Information effect on voter turnout: How campaign spending mobilises voters". Acta Politica, 52/4: 461-478. [link]
The final main strand of my research brings together political elites and voters. It looks at what our political elites think and believe in - e.g., their ideological positions, policy priorities, views on parliamentary representation, attitudes towards Brexit - and what it means for political representation. Are the views of our political elites in line with those that are held by the people they seek to represent? Are the views of our political elites shaped by the same factors that determine the preferences of the electorate?
Out of touch and out of time?
I am Co-Investigator on the ESRC funded project "Out of touch and out of time? A cross-temporal and cross-level analysis of the social and ideological distance between UK voters and political elites" (grant ref: ES/R003785/1). This project aims to combine data from the existing candidate studies in Britain and link it to British Election Study data on voters and, in doing so, provide the basis for studying the interaction between voters and political elites in Britain.
2023: Tindall, C. and Trumm, S. "Populist attitudes among parliamentary candidates in Britain". British Politics, OnlineFirst. [link]
2021: Trumm, S. and Barclay, A. "Parliamentary representation: Should MPs prioritise their own views or those of their voters?". Political Studies, OnlineFirst. [link]
2021: Trumm, S. "Explaining support for Brexit among parliamentary candidates: The case of Wales". British Politics, 16/1: 58-73. [link]
2020: Trumm, S., Milazzo, C. and Townsley, J. "The 2016 EU referendum: Explaining support for Brexit among would-be British MPs". Political Studies, 68/4: 819-836. [link]
2020: Sudulich, L., Trumm, S. and Bridgewater, J. "Parliamentary representation: A cross-national study of candidates' views". Parliamentary Affairs, 73/3: 522-542. [link]
2018: Trumm, S. "Representation in Wales: An empirical analysis of the policy divisions between voters and candidates". The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 20/2: 425-440. [link]
2015: Trumm, S. "Voting procedures and parliamentary representation in the European Parliament". Journal of Common Market Studies, 53/5: 1126-1142. [link]