I grew up in Camberley, Surrey before going to Mansfield College, the University of Oxford to read for a degree in Modern History. After graduating, I changed subject, starting an MA in Politics of Democracy at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2004. It was during this period that I developed many of what continue to be my overriding interests: political institutions, political communication, participation, legitimacy, and democracy.
Following this degree, I stayed at Royal Holloway to start a PhD supervised by Professor Andrew Chadwick. The aim of my thesis was to compare the impact of Internet campaigning in US and the UK elections, and understand the extent to which the differing role of new media could be explained through pre-existing institutions. I completed this project in 2009.