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British General Election Study: Ethnic Minority Survey, 1997 (ICPSR 2618)

Principal Investigator(s): Heath, A.; Saggar, S.


The 705 respondents to the Ethnic Minority Survey are a subset of the BRITISH GENERAL ELECTION CROSS-SECTION SURVEY, 1997 (ICPSR 2615) with an ethnic boost generated by a random screening survey. Eligible ethnic minority respondents for this survey were those who considered themselves to be Black, Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi. The aims of this survey were (1) to measure the extent to which ethnic minority voters are integrated into the electoral process, (2) to evaluate, after taking into account social background, whether members of the main ethnic minorities vote differently from each other and from their white counterparts, (3) to examine whether the political attitudes of ethnic minority voters differ significantly from those of white voters, and (4) to explore whether members of ethnic minorities are influenced by different considerations than their white counterparts in deciding how to vote, and to evaluate in particular the importance of issues of race and immigration in voting behavior of ethnic minority and white voters. Fieldwork was conducted between May 1, 1997, the day of the 1997 British general election, and August 1997. Respondents were asked for their opinions on the existence of prejudice against them, recent improvements in Britain for minorities, the role of the government in improving conditions for minorities, the effectiveness of laws against racial discrimination and racial violence, school programs tailored for minority students, Britain's blasphemy law, state funding of religious schools, the stances of British political parties toward minorities, and the presence of minority figures in British politics. Additionally, topics covered in the Cross-Section Survey include the 1997 election campaign, 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.

Series: British General Election Survey Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Heath, A., and S. Saggar. BRITISH GENERAL ELECTION STUDY: ETHNIC MINORITY SURVEY, 1997. 2nd ICPSR version. London, England: Social and Community Planning Research [producer], 1998. Colchester, England: The Data Archive/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 2000. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02618.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02618.v2

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    church state separation, constitutional change, cultural influences, cultural pluralism, economic conditions, ethnic identity, European Union, immigration, local elections, minorities, minority affairs, national elections, nationalism, nationalization, political attitudes, political change, political influences, public opinion, quality of life, race, racial integration, religious attitudes, social attitudes, social change, social class, social issues, trust in government, voter attitudes, voting behavior, voting patterns

Geographic Coverage:    Great Britain, United Kingdom, Global

Data Collection Notes:

(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.


Restrictions: 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.


Original ICPSR Release:   1999-02-03

Version History:

  • 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, 48 variables were removed from the data file and 60 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.

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