Professor Sir John Curtice receives knighthood from Queen

Professor Sir John Curtice following his investiture at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Photo by Press Association.

One of the UK’s leading political experts, Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde, has received his knighthood from Her Majesty The Queen.

Sir John was knighted by the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Tuesday 3 July. His investiture followed the announcement of his knighthood in the 2018 New Year Honours List.

Sir John has received his knighthood for services to social sciences and politics, in a career in which he has widely researched and commented upon elections and voting. He successfully combines the scholarly analysis of a distinguished academic with the communication skills of a public educator, gaining an international reputation for providing straightforward explanations of the decisions of voters, the behaviour of parties, and the outcome of elections.

After the ceremony, Sir John said to media: "I'm delighted. I was delighted when I first heard of this before Christmas of last year.

"This is not something that I saw coming, not something I ever envisaged happening, but obviously heartening to have such recognition.

"In truth, also, a lot of people have said a lot of very kind words over the last six months and for that I'm undoubtedly very grateful."

Sir John grew up in Cornwall and took a keen interest in politics from an early age. After studying at the University of Oxford’s Magdalen and Nuffield Colleges, he began his academic career at the latter before becoming a lecturer at the University of Liverpool, subsequently taking up his current post at Strathclyde in 1989.  


He has frequently commented on politics, elections and voting in broadcast, print and online media, including election night coverage, for more than 30 years. His exit polls at the two most recent General Elections differed from most forecasts during the campaigns but proved to be accurate. The team that he led received a Special Recognition Award from the Political Studies Association and the Judges’ Award at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards 2018. 

Throughout the 2017 election campaign, Sir John had highlighted that a seven-point lead for David Cameron in the 2015 election converted into the Conservatives having an overall majority of only 12 seats, meaning that his successor, Theresa May, would require a substantially larger lead than this to achieve a landslide.

Sir John received the Lord Dearing Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2017 Times Higher Education Awards. He previously received the Political Studies Association’s Political Science Communication Prize in 2004 and 2015 and the Market Research Society’s Collaborative Research Award in 2010.

He holds Fellowships of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Arts and the Academy of Social Sciences, and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Statistical Society.