British General Election Cross-Section Survey, 1997 (ICPSR 2615)

Version Date: Jan 18, 2000 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
A. F. (Anthony Francis) Heath, Unknown; R. Jowell, Unknown; J.K. Curtice, Unknown; P. Norris, Unknown


Version V2

For this cross-section survey, respondents were interviewed following the May 1, 1997, British General Election. A total of 3,615 respondents were successfully interviewed, 882 of them in Scotland. The survey involved personal interviews with a random sample of British adults who were asked to complete a survey supplement following the interview. The aims of the 1997 survey were (1) to compare the voting behavior and issues of identity north and south of the Scottish border, (2) to analyze the interaction among long-term structural trends, medium-term economic and other influences, and short-term political factors, (3) to explore the manner in which those factors influence electoral outcomes, and (4) to draw international comparisons on the impact of electoral institutions on voting behavior and on attitudes toward elections. Fieldwork was conducted in May-August 1997. Topics covered the campaign leading to the 1997 elections, participation in 1997 local elections, political knowledge, trust in government, images of British leadership, and views on British political parties, the European Union, Northern Ireland, nuclear weapons, unemployment, inflation, nationalization and privatization of companies, redistribution of income, women's rights, the role of government in social policy, abortion, ethnic minorities, the British economy, and the future of governmental institutions such as the House of Lords. Background information on respondents includes age, sex, race, ethnicity, political party, political orientation, marital status, number of members in household, social class, employment history, health insurance status, citizenship, country of birth, voter registration and participation history, household income, education, religion, parents' employment history, parents' voting behavior, spouse's employment history, and union membership.

Heath, A. F. (Anthony Francis), Jowell, R., Curtice, J.K., and Norris, P. British General Election Cross-Section Survey, 1997    . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], The Data Archive [distributor], 2000-01-18.

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These data were provided to the Consortium by The Data Archive, University of Essex, England. The data are disseminated, under an agreement with The Data Archive, exactly as they were received without modification by ICPSR.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, The Data Archive

(1) The data are provided as an SPSS portable file. (2) This collection has not been processed by ICPSR staff. ICPSR is distributing the data and documentation for this collection in essentially the same form in which they were received. When appropriate, hardcopy documentation has been converted to machine-readable form and variables have been recoded to ensure respondents' anonymity. (3) The codebook, frequencies, user guide, and data collection instruments are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Heath, A. F. (Anthony Francis), R. Jowell, J.K. Curtice, and P. Norris. British General Election Cross-Section Survey, 1997 . ICPSR02615-v2. Colchester, England: The Data Archive/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 2018-01-29.

2000-01-18 The principal investigators have supplied a revised data file for this collection. Value labels have been corrected and data coded as system missing have been eliminated. Also, additional checks against the Electoral Register resulted in the addition of new variables and adjustments to the weight variables. In all, 49 variables were removed from the data file and 59 new variables were added. For a complete listing of changes to the file, users may consult the processing note in the codebook. The codebook and user guide for this study were revised accordingly.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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