SIR JOHN KEVIN CURTICE (1953 to present) - Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and Research Consultant to NatCen Social Research in London and Edinburgh.
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John was born on 10th December 1953 in Redruth. His parents were Thomas John and Mildred Winifred Curtice. He lived his early life in St Austell.
John became interested in politics at what he describes as "the unnaturally early age of 11" when, following the death of Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson won the 1964 election for Labour. His mother and uncle went on to become involved in local politics as councillors for different parties.
John was educated at Truro School before going on to Magdalen College, Oxford to study politics, philosophy and economics. He did his postgraduate work at Nuffield College, Oxford, studying under David Butler, Britain's top psephologist at that time (and inventor of the concept of ‘swing’). David had been involved in the BBC’s election night coverage since the 1950s, and through him John was asked to become part of the television production team for the 1979 election. John has been part of the BBC’s election night team ever since.
David also asked John to co-author the statistical appendix to the ‘Nuffield’ study of the 1979 election, work that eventually led to major publications on how Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system had become less likely to deliver any one party an overall majority That was followed by an invitation to co-direct the principal academic survey of voting behaviour in Britain, the British Election Study, a role that John performed up to and including 1997.
Since the late 1980’s Sir John has worked in the politics department of Strathclyde University. Subsequently he became an integral part of the team responsible for NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes survey, and has been a co-editor of that survey’s annual reports since 1994.
John has been married to Dr. Lisa Joan Curtice (nee Riding), director of the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability, since 1978 and they have one daughter.
John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in 1992 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2004. He has been President of the British Polling Council since 2008. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Times Higher Education Awards in 2018. John was knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to social sciences and politics. John has co-edited and co-authored several books, made over 100 contrib
utions to edited books and had over 75 papers published in academic journals. He is a regular media commentator on British and Scottish politics.
His recreational pursuits include music, theatre, gardening and walking.
Thanks to Sir John for supplying much of this information.