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British Election Study: Cross-Section, 1987 (ICPSR 6452)

Principal Investigator(s): Heath, A.; Jowell, R.; Curtice, J.K.


This joint project between investigators at Nuffield College, Oxford, and Social and Community Planning Research was designed to yield a representative sample of eligible voters in Great Britain at the time of the 1987 general election. The aim of this research was to collect data with a view to describing and explaining the outcome of general elections and to analyzing long-term changes in political attitudes and behavior. Key concerns of the investigators related to the magnitude and causes of the erosion of support for the two major parties, the changing relationship between social stratification and electoral behavior, the patterns and sources of short-term voting change, and the divisions of opinion over major political issues and their relationship to the party division of the vote. Of the sample of 6,000 names, 3,826 respondents completed personal interviews and 3,414 returned the self-completed supplement. Variables collected cover a multitude of political topics and behaviors as well as general demographic characteristics such as age and sex.

Series: British General Election Survey Series

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Study Description


Heath, A., R. Jowell, and J.K. Curtice. British Election Study: Cross-Section, 1987. ICPSR06452-v1. Colchester, England: ESRC Data Archive/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 1995. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06452.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06452.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • Pergamon Press
  • Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Great Britain)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    information sources, national elections, news media, party change, party loyalty, political affiliation, political attitudes, political change, political issues, public opinion, quality of life, social attitudes, social change, social stratification, voter attitudes, voter preferences, voting behavior, voting patterns

Geographic Coverage:    Global, Great Britain

Time Period:   

  • 1987

Date of Collection:   

  • 1987-06--1987-09

Universe:    Electors in Great Britain in 1987.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    A nationally representative probability sample was drawn from the Electoral Registers of England, Wales, and Scotland (south of the Caledonian Canal).

Data Source:

personal interviews, and self-enumerated questionnaires

Restrictions: These data were provided to ICPSR by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Archive, University of Essex, England. The data and documentation are disseminated, under an agreement with the ESRC, exactly as they were received without modification by ICPSR. This agreement also provides that ICPSR will disseminate the data only for use within its member institutions and that additional copies of the documentation must be obtained from the ESRC.


Original ICPSR Release:   1995-06-05

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