Political Change in Britain, 1963-1970 (ICPSR 7250)

Version Date: Feb 27, 2007 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
David Butler, University of Oxford; Donald E. Stokes, University of Michigan


Version V3

This study surveyed both cross-section and panel samples between 1963 and 1970, in an effort to analyze political change in Great Britain. Interviewing was conducted in four waves: the first wave in 1963, an election-free year, and the next three waves subsequent to the general elections in 1964, 1966, and 1970. The present study contains the master file bringing together the data resulting from the 1963 national cross-section sample, the 1964 and 1966 electorate samples, and 11 additional panels resulting from reinterviewing respondents from one or more of the three samples listed above. Also available through ICPSR are three subsets of these data: POLITICAL CHANGE IN BRITAIN, 1963 (ICPSR 7232) presents data obtained from the 1963 national cross-section sample, POLITICAL CHANGE IN BRITAIN, 1964 (ICPSR 7233) includes the interviews administered to the 1964 electorate sample, and POLITICAL CHANGE IN BRITAIN, 1966 (ICPSR 7234) contains data resulting from the 1966 electorate sample. The interviews focused on the phenomenon of political change. General political attitudes and behaviors were ascertained, as well as possible sources for their change. Variables assessed respondents' sources of political information, perceptions of political parties and leaders, and views on governmental responsiveness, economic well-being, and other salient issues. Other questions probed partisan self-identification and the extent of political participation. The respondents' knowledge of members of parliament from their constituencies, and perceptions of social class and trade-union influence were also investigated. Semantic differential scales were employed to assess respondents' perceptions of the three main parties. Extensive demographic data were collected, including age, sex, marital status, number of children, religion, education, occupation, and income.

Butler, David, and Stokes, Donald E. Political Change in Britain, 1963-1970. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-02-27. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07250.v3

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1963 -- 1970
1963 (Summer), 1964, 1966, 1970

All the data collected for this study are contained in a single file, from which all 14 samples can be derived by means of filter variables.

The original sample drawn in 1963 was a self-weighting, multi-stage, stratified sample of the adult population of England, Scotland, and Wales living in private households or institutions. The 1964 and 1966 electorate samples consisted of reinterviews with respondents who were living at 1963 sample addresses and were registered to vote, as well as interviews with respondents living at sample addresses added to the 1963 master list to make the samples representative of the electorates in 1964 and 1966. Only panel samples were included in 1970, consisting of reinterviews with respondents who had been surveyed in at least one of the previous three waves. The four waves of interviewing yielded 14 overlapping, but analytically distinct, samples. The overlapping occurred because most respondents qualified for inclusion in more than one sample. Eligibility for a panel sample depended on the respondent's having been eligible for the cross-section or electorate sample that marked the beginning point for that panel.

Electorate of England, Scotland, and Wales.

personal interviews

survey data


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:
  • Butler, David, and Donald E. Stokes. POLITICAL CHANGE IN BRITAIN, 1963-1970. ICPSR07250-v3. Conducted by David Butler, Nuffield College, Oxford, and Donald E. Stokes, University of Michigan, 1979. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 2007-02-27. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07250.v3

2007-02-27 The OSIRIS files were removed. SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files and ready-to-go files were created. The codebooks were updated. Previously restricted variables 559-647, which included the member of Parliament questions as well as the knowledge of the candidates questions, were made available.

1984-06-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

With the exception of the 1963 cross-section sample, which is self-weighting, all other samples require the use of a weight variable, designed to offset the bias introduced by panel mortality. Weights were assigned to the respondents on the basis of sex and a Guttman scale of political knowledge questions. They are always two digits wide with one implied decimal place, and range from 0.8 to 2.1. One weight variable applies to more than one sample in which there were no differences between the respondents' weights in the electorate sample and the panel sample(s) for related years.


  • 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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