Peter Bristow

Research Topic:

Benchmarking the Union post-Brexit: Analysing the impact of Brexit on Scottish voters' attitudes towards independence
Keble College
MPhil European Politics and Society

As an MPhil student on the MPhil Politics: European Politics and Society programme at the DPIR, I am currently researching the impact of Brexit on public opinion in Scotland about the Union and potential secession from the UK. Specifically, exploiting panel data from the British Election Study (BES), my research focuses on whether and to what extent the Brexit process has had an over-time effect on support for Scottish independence, and if so, which groups of voters have shifted their view on the constitutional question as a result. In addition, by conducting a survey experiment in conjunction with the Scottish Election Study (SES), it also investigates whether contemporary support for Scottish independence in the wake of Brexit can be understood via the logic of De Vries (2018)'s "benchmark theory". In so doing, my research endeavours to contribute to the literature on Brexit and Scottish nationalism as well as the wider literature on the relationship between the EU and regional autonomy movements. By testing whether "benchmark theory" can be applied to the sub-national context, moreover, I also hope to contribute to the literature on the determinants of support for Scottish independence as well as other nationalist and secessionist movements more broadly.

Research Interests:

My research interests include the following:

  • Public Opinion
  • British politics and elections
  • Regional autonomy & nationalist movements
  • Voting behaviour
  • Euroscepticism
  • Irish and Northern Irish politics


Previous experiences:

  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) - Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Politics and Economics (1st Class Honours) (2018-2021)
  • Intern at Office of Jack Chambers TD, Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) (2022)
  • Research Assistant (RA) to Dr Florian Foos, Assistant Professor in Political Behaviour at the Department of Government, LSE (2020)