Simon Hix
Room CON.H307
Government Department
LSE, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 7657
Twitter: @simonjhix

Hix Homepage

Curriculum vitae
My PhD students




Simon Hix
Professor of European and Comparative Politics and Fellow of the British Academy
Head of Department of Government
London School of Economics and Political Science

My main areas of research and teaching are comparative democratic institutions, especially voting in parliaments and electoral system design, and politics, elections and decision-making in the European Union politics.

Websites and Datasets  Tracking voting in the European Parliament and the EU Council.  Vote on EU policy issues, and we tell you which MEP and party you're closest to.  Tracking opinion polls and forecasting the May 2014 European Parliament election.

Electoral system design data (John Carey and Simon Hix)
European Parliament roll-call voting data (Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland)
European Parliament Research Group MEP survey data (David Farrell, Simon Hix and Roger Scully)
Party political make-up of the EU institutions data (Christophe Crombez, Simon Hix and Andreas Warntjen)

Public Engagement (Blogs, Media, and Parliamentary Evidence)

LSE HotSeat interview on Implications of the Scottish Referendum for Scotland and the UK, 24 September 2014

Blog entry on "How the European Media Drives Different Views of European Integration" (with Stuart Wilks-Heeg), The

    Washington Post-Monkey Cage, 9 June 2014

LSE HotSeat inteview on the Outcome of the 2014 European Parliament Elections, 30 May 2014

LSE HotSeat interview on Merkel's Visit to London and UK-EU Relations, 11 March 2014

Letter to The Economist on the battle for Commission President in 2014, 20 February 2014

Blog entry on "If the European Parliament voting system were changed to an open-list system, many voters would switch their

    support from UKIP to the Conservative party" (with Jack Blumenau, Andy Eggers, Dominik Hangartner), LSE blog, 27 July 2013

Blog entry on "Designing a new UK-EU relationship and how it could be achieved" (with Damian Chalmers and Sara Hobolt), LSE
    blog, 12 June 2013

Blog entry on "The European parliament elections in 2014 are about more than protest vote" (with Christophe Crombez), The

    Guardian blog, 3 June 2013

Debate in European Parliament London Office on "The Future of the EU", 3 June 2013
Blog entry on
Why the 2014 European Parliament elections will be about more than protest votes (with C Crombez), 3 June 2013
"UK stands alone in Europe's third tier", letter in The Financial Times, 21 May 2013
"Can’t decide now on a relationship that is still in flux", letter in The Financial Times on EU referendum, 15 May 2013
Blog entry on "Why the European Parliament should not be abolished", LSE blog, 5 March 2012

Letter in The Guardian on Jack Straw's call for abolishing of the European Parliament, 24 February 2012
Blog entry on "David Cameron’s speech was about as pro-European as can be expected of a British Conservative Prime Minister in
    the current context
", LSE blog, 26 January 2013

Written Evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons on Possibilities for Reinforcing the Eurozone, 4

    January 2012

Blog entry on "David Cameron's EU treaty veto is a disaster for Britain", on Britain's isolation at EU summit, 9 December 2011
Written Evidence to the Joint Committee of the Commons and Lords on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill (with Iain McLean), 23

    September 2011

"The rights and wrongs of AV", letter in The Evening Standard on electoral reform in the UK, 1 April 2011
"Time to catch up with reality", letter in The Financial Times on electoral reform in the UK, 28 February 2011
Interview with on on United Kingdom EU bill, 23 February 2011
TV Interview on Launch of VoteWatch report on "Voting in the European Parliament Post-Lisbon", 26 January 2011
Written Evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons on the Draft European Union Bill, 8 Dec 2010

Why electoral reform is needed in the UK (but not AV), short interviews for the Constitution Society, 18 November 2010
"Structural Problems in the Eurozone", interview on BBC Radio 4, Today programme, 28 October 2010
"EU budget negotiations", interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wake Up To Money programme, 28 October 2010
"Electoral Reform: A Vote for Change?" (with Ron Johnston and Iain McLean), in Political Insight, vol. 1, issue 2, September 2010

"The State of European Democracy After Lisbon", video of talk at the IIEA, Dublin, 26 May 2010
"Putting the question of electoral reform in proportion", letter in The Guardian on electoral reform in the UK, 28 April 2010
"MEPs defend their voting records", BBC The Record: Europe interview on annual report, 24 February 2010
"The 2009 European Parliament Elections: A Disaster for Social Democrats", EU Studies Association Review, 3 November 2009
"Recognition at last for Political Science", letter in The Financial Times on the Nobel Prize for Elinor Ostrom, 15 October 2009
"EU is Flawed, But it Can be Fixed", article in The Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2009
LSE Hot Seat interview on the outcome of the 2009 European Parliament elections, 19 June 2009
BBC The Record: Europe discussion about the outcome of the 2009 European Parliament elections, 12 June 2009
BBC interview about website, 16 May 2009
Written Evidence to the European Union Committee of the House of Lords on the Implications of Codecision for National
    Parliamentary Scrutiny
, 12 May 2009

"Viewpoint: A truly European vote?", BBC Website, 5 May 2009

Written Evidence to the European Union Committee of the House of Lords on the Impact of the Reform Treaty on the Institutions
    of the EU
, 27 November 2007




Simon Hix and Bjorn Hoyland (2011) The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edn, Palgrave. (see).

Simon Hix (2008) What's Wrong With the European Union and How to Fix It, Polity. (see).


Democratic Politics in the European Parliament
Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland (2007) Democratic Politics in the European Parliament, Cambridge University Press. (see). This book won the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for the best book on legislative studies published in 2007, from the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association.


Latest Working Papers

Simon Hix, Rafael Hortala-Vallve and Guillem Raimbau, The Effects of District Magnitude on Voting Behaviour (8 September 2014).  Is there more sincere voting in multi-member districts than in single-member districts? We seek to answer this question using a lab experiment, where we vary district magnitude while keeping voters' preferences and parties' positions constant.  We find that voting for the preferred party (sincere voting) increases with district magnitude. We also find, though, a high incidence of voting for the "frontrunner" in all of our elections, even when there are no incentives for doing so.   

Jack Blumenau, Andy Eggers, Dominik Hangartner and Simon Hix, Open/Closed List and Party Choice: Experimental Evidence from the UK (15 July 2014).  We conducted an on-line survey experiment to look at the potential impact of introducing an "open-list" electoral system in European Parliament elections in the UK.  One of the key findings is that such a system would lead to many Eurosceptic citizens to vote for a Eurosceptic candidate rather than for UKIP, which they would do under the current (closed-list) system.

Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland, Is there a Strategic Selection Bias in Roll Call Votes in the European Parliament (version 22 July 2014).  This paper looks at the magnitude and significance of "selection bias" in roll call votes . Prior to 2009, all roll call votes (RCVs) in the European Parliament had to be requested by political groups. Since 2009, an RCV has been required in all final legislative votes. We exploit this rule change and compare differences between final legislative votes and other votes before and after the change, using a difference-in-differences approach. Using data from the first 18 months of EP6 (2004-09) and EP7 (2009-14), we failed to find ANY significant difference in the level of voting cohesion for the main political groups. These results suggest selection biases in RCVs due to strategic choices are at best negligible.

Bjørn Høyland, Sara Hobolt and Simon Hix, Career Ambitions and Legislative Participation: The Moderating Effect of Electoral Institutions (7 May 2014).  This paper looks at how electoral rules shape the career ambitions and paths of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).  We analyze a unique dataset of both ‘stated’ and ‘realized’ career ambitions of MEPs, and find that MEPs who seek to move from the European to the national level participate less in legislative activities in the European Parliament than MEPs who plan to stay at the European level.  Also, legislators who want to continue in the EP participate more if they originate from party-centered (closed-list) than candidate-centered (open-list) electoral systems.  And, for MEPs who aim to move to the national level, participation in the EP is substantively lower amongst legislators from candidate-centered systems.  These results suggest that the responsiveness associated with open-lists comes at the expense of legislative activity.

Recent Academic Publications (see more)

Simon Hix and Abdul Noury, (2014) ‘Government-Opposition or Left-Right?  The Institutional Determinants of Voting in
Legislatures’, Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming. (pdf)

Christophe Crombez and Simon Hix (2014) ‘Legislative Activity and Gridlock in the European Union’, British Journal of Political
, forthcoming. (pdf)

Mala Htun, G. Bingham Powell, John Carey, Karen E. Ferree, Simon Hix, Mona Lena Krook, Robert G. Moser, Shaheen Mozaffar, Andrew Rehfeld, Andrew Reynolds, Ethan Scheiner, Melissa Schwartzberg and Matthew S. Shugart (2013) ‘Between Science and Engineering: Reflections on the APSA Presidential Task Force on Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance’, Perspectives on Politics 11(3) 808-840. (pdf)

Simon Hix (2013) Why the 2014 European Parliament Election Matters: Ten Key Votes in EP7, report for the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS). (pdf)

Simon Hix and Bjørn Høyland (2013) ‘Empowerment of the European Parliament’, Annual Review of Political Science 16: 171-189. (pdf)

John Carey and Simon Hix (2013) ‘District Magnitude and Representation of the Majority’s Preferences: A Comment and Reinterpretation’, Public Choice 154(1-2) 139-148. (pdf)

Simon Hix (2013) ‘Institutional Design of Regional Integration: Balancing Delegation and Representation’, in Miles Kahler and Andrew MacIntyre (eds) Integrating Regions: Asia in Comparative Context, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 31-57. (see)

Simon Hix, Roger Scully and David Farrell (2012) ‘National or European Parliamentarians? Evidence from a New Survey of the Members of the European Parliament’, Journal of Common Market Studies 50(4) 670-683. (pdf)

Simon Hix (2011) ‘Where is the EU Going? Collapse, Fiscal Union, a Supersized Switzerland, or a new Democratic Politics’, Public Policy Research (journal of the IPPR), 18(2) 81-7. (pdf)

Christophe Crombez and Simon Hix (2011) 'Treaty Reform and the Commission's Appointment and Policy Making Role in the European Union', European Union Politics, 12(3) 291-314. (pdf)

John Carey and Simon Hix (2011) 'The Electoral Sweet Spot: Low-Magnitude Proportional Electoral Systems', American Journal of Political Science 55(2) 383-339. (pdf)

Simon Hix and Michael Marsh (2011) 'Second-Order Effects Plus Pan-European Political Swings: An Analysis of European Parliament Elections Across Time', Electoral Studies, 30(1) 4-15. (pdf)

Simon Hix, Bjorn Hoyland and Nick Vivyan (2010) 'From Doves to Hawks: A Spatial Analysis of Voting in the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England', European Journal of Political Research, 49(6) 731-758. (pdf)

Hae-Won Jun and Simon Hix (2010) 'Electoral Systems, Political Career Paths and Legislative Behavior: Evidence from South Korea's Mixed-Member System', Japanese Journal of Political Science 11(2) 153-171. (pdf) (Replication files)

Simon Hix, Ron Johnston and Iain McLean (2010) Choosing an Electoral System, London: British Academy. (pdf)

LSE Political Science and Political Economy Group
European Union Politics

European Parliament Research Group
VoteWatch Europe