McDougall Trust

Promoting public understanding
of electoral democracy

Welcome to McDougall Trust

McDougall is the independent charitable trust that promotes public understanding of electoral democracy.

McDougall Trust exists to advance knowledge and understanding of, and research into, the forms, functions and development of electoral democracy.

McDougall has developed a longstanding focus on representative institutions, voting systems and elections, whether in government at local, regional, national and international level, or in institutions - including political parties, companies, trade unions, community groups, and voluntary organisations of all kinds.

McDougall’s Main Activities, carried out either directly or through arrangements with others, are:

McDougall seeks to reach a wide range of audiences, including policy makers, legislators, election organisers, reformers, campaigners, researchers, academics, pollsters, historians, journalists, commentators, members of institutions and associations that aspire to democracy or use election processes, and anyone interested in how democratic societies are - or could be - governed.

McDougall Trust  Promoting public understanding of electoral democracy.

Registered Charity No. 212151   (Arthur McDougall Fund)

News ...

7 Mar 2019

Major McDougall-funded Report by Constitution Unit UCL published.

Doing Democracy Better:  How Can Information and Discourse in Election and Referendum Campaigns in the UK be improved? Report published March 2019, co-authored by Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit, with Michela Palese as Research Assistant and McDougall Fellow.

Recent developments have led many people of all political persuasions to worry that the quality of political discourse - an essential part of democracy - is currently too low.

Particular concerns focus on the need for balanced and reliable information and on the dangers posed by the easy availability of seductive misinformation.


After examining existing practice in the UK and around the world, the core recommendation of the report is that a new 'information hub', containing information of many types, should be established to give voters ready access to information during election and referendum periods.

The authors argue that, to ensure quality and sustainability, the information hub should be publicly funded and run by an independent public body.  This body would not generate all the materials itself, but would gather them from diverse sources. Wherever possible, processes of deliberation among citizens would be integral to the development of these materials.

McDougall's occasional blog

By: McDougall Trust

Our key observations plus some questions arising from the UK EU Referendum and US Presidential election

Journal of Representative Democracy

McDougall Trust's quarterly journal published in association with Taylor & Francis


Support for Research and Information Dissemination, including grant making

McDougall Trust encourages and supports research and information dissemination in the field of electoral democracy.

See activities supported by McDougall Trust grant making.