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British Election Study: October 1974, Cross-Section

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Crewe, Ivor (University of Essex)
  • Saerlvik, Bo (University of Essex)
  • Alt, James (University of Essex)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • British General Election Survey Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Social Science Research Council
Free Keywords
economic conditions; European Economic Community; government performance; international relations; life satisfaction; mass media; national elections; personal finances; political attitudes; political change; political influences; political issues; political parties; public opinion; social attitudes; social change; social issues; social values; socioeconomic status; voter attitudes; voting behavior; voting patterns
  • Abstract

    The October 1974 cross-section is part of a continuing series of surveys of the British electorate, begun by David Butler and Donald Stokes at Nuffield College, Oxford, in 1963, and continued at the University of Essex. For the October 1974 Cross-Section survey, 2,365 British electors were interviewed, of which 1,674 had also been interviewed in the February 1974 cross-section, although this is NOT a panel file. As with other surveys in the series, electors in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands were excluded from the sampling frame. Interviewed in October 1974 (and stretching to January 1975 in order to boost the response rate), respondents answered questions relating to the mass media (e.g., attention to newspapers and television and perceived bias in newspapers), their first and second choices in the October 1974 general election, and their opinions of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal, Scottish Nationalist, and Plaid Cymru political parties (e.g., perceived difference among parties, knowledge of party position/record, party identification, and the strength of party preference). Respondents also were asked for their views on a range of social issues relating to domestic and foreign affairs, with emphasis on the economy and the Common Market. Respondents were then asked how the parties stood on each issue, and how much that influenced the respondent's vote. Some of the issues include rising prices, strikes, unemployment, pensions, housing, North Sea oil, taxation, the Common Market, social services, nationalization, wage controls, and the amount of power held by unions and by big business. Respondents were also asked for their attitudes about their personal financial status, change/getting ahead, life in general, today's standards, local government, their own occupation, and the government's achievements. They also gave their predictions for Britain's future economy and of the outcome of the October election, and compared Britain's government and industry with those of Europe. Respondents were asked if they felt the following had gone too far: sex and race equality, police handling of demonstrations, law breakers, pornography, modern teaching methods, abortion, welfare benefits, and military cuts. Respondents were then asked to agree or disagree with the suggestions that government should: establish comprehensives, increase cash to health service, repatriate immigrants, control land, increase foreign aid, toughen on crime, control pollution, give workers more say, curb Communists, spend on poverty, redistribute wealth, decentralize power, and preserve the countryside. Background information includes age, sex, marital status, place of residence during childhood, subjective class, forced subjective class, family class, tenure, type and length of residence, employment status, degree of responsibility in and training for job (respondent and spouse), experience of unemployment in household, income, trade union membership (respondent and spouse), and socioeconomic group.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1974-10
Geographic Coverage
  • Great Britain
  • United Kingdom
  • Global
Sampled Universe
The eligible British electorate living south of the Caledonian Canal and excluding Northern Ireland.
Respondents were selected into a multistage, self-weighting, stratified probability sample.
Collection Mode
  • personal interview

    (1) The data and accompanying documentation are disseminated, under an agreement with the UK Data Archive, exactly as they were received, without modification by ICPSR. This agreement also provides that ICPSR will disseminate these data only for use within member institutions. (2) Users are advised that the following studies were provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Survey Archive, University of Essex, England: British Election Study: February 1974, Cross-Section (ICPSR 7868); British Election Study: 1969-1970, February 1974 Panel (ICPSR 7869); British Election Study: October 1974, Cross-Section (ICPSR 7870); British Election Study: October 1974, Scottish Cross-Section (ICPSR 7871); British Election Study: EEC Referendum Study, 1975 (ICPSR 7872); British Election Study: May 1979, Cross Section (ICPSR 8196); British Election Study: [June] 1983 (ICPSR 8409); British Social Attitudes Survey, 1986 (ICPSR 8910);

2006-01-31 PDF documentation files provided by the UK Data Archive have been made available with this collection. Funding insitution(s): Social Science Research Council.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7870 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07870.v1
  • Borre, Ole, Scarbrough, Elinor. The Scope of Government. Beliefs in Government series, vol. 3.Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1995.
  • Weakliem, David L.. Two Models of Class Voting. British Journal of Political Science.25, (2), 254-270.1995.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0007123400007171 (DOI)
  • Jonsson, Jan O., Mills, Colin. Social class and educational attainment in historical perspective: A Swedish-English comparison part I. British Journal of Sociology.44, (2), 213-247.1993.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Jonsson, Jan O., Mills, Colin. Social class and educational attainment in historical perspective: A Swedish-English comparison part II. British Journal of Sociology.44, (3), 403-428.1993.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Abramson, Paul R.. Of Time and Partisan Instability in Britain. British Journal of Political Science.22, (3), 381-395.1992.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0007123400006438 (DOI)
  • Evans, Geoffrey, Heath, Anthony, Payne, Clive. Modelling Trends in the Class/Party Relationship, 1964-1987. Electoral Studies.10, (2), 99-117.1991.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(91)90042-Q (DOI)
  • Heath, Anthony, Jowell, Roger, Curtice, John, Evans, Geoff. The rise of the new political agenda?. European Sociological Review.6, (1), 31-48.1990.
  • Scarbrough, Elinor. The British Electorate Twenty Years On: Electoral Change and Election Surveys (Review Article). British Journal of Political Science.17, (2), 219-246.1987.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0007123400004713 (DOI)
  • McAllister, Ian, Mughan, Anthony. Differential Turnout and Party Advantage in British General Elections, 1964-1983. Electoral Studies.5, (2), 143-152.1986.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(86)90003-X (DOI)
  • Miller, W.L., Tagg, S., Britto, K.. Partisanship and Party Preference in Government and Opposition: The Mid-term Perspective. Electoral Studies.5, (1), 31-46.1986.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(86)90027-2 (DOI)
  • Franklin, Mark N.. Assessing the Rise of Issue Voting in British Elections since 1964. Electoral Studies.4, (1), 37-56.1985.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(85)90030-7 (DOI)
  • Heath, Anthony F., Jowell, Roger M., Curtice, John K.. How Britain Votes. Oxford: Pergamon. 1985.
  • Johnston, R.J.. Spatial Continuity and Individual Variability: A Review of Recent Work on the Geography of Electoral Change. Electoral Studies.2, (1), 53-68.1983.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(83)90106-3 (DOI)
  • Franklin, Mark N.. Demographic and Political Components in the Decline of British Class Voting, 1964-1979. Electoral Studies.1, (2), 195-220.1982.
    • ID: 10.1016/0261-3794(82)90003-8 (DOI)
  • LeDuc, Lawrence. The dynamic properties of party identification: a four-nation comparison. European Journal of Political Research.9, (3), 257-268.1981.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.1981.tb00605.x (DOI)
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo. The Conservative Party and the electorate. Conservative Party Politics.London: Macmillan. 1980.
  • Alt, James E., Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo. Angels in plastic: The liberal surge in 1974. Political Studies.25, (3), 343-368.1977.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.1977.tb01285.x (DOI)
  • Crewe, Ivor. Prospects for party realignment: An Anglo-American comparison. APSA Conference.Washington, DC. 1977.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Fox, A., Alt, James E.. Non-voting in British general elections 1966-October 1974. British Political Sociology Yearbook, Vol. III: Political Participation.London: Croom Helm. 1977.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo, Alt, James E.. Partisan dealignment in Britain 1964-1974. British Journal of Political Science.7, (2), 129-190.1977.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0007123400000922 (DOI)
  • Alt, James E.. Personal well-being and economic trends in Britain. ECPR Workshop on Protest, Dissatisfaction and Change, ECPR Joint Sessions.Louvain-la-Neuve. 1976.
  • Alt, James E., Crewe, Ivor, Fox, A., Sarlvik, Bo. Britain's membership of the EEC: A profile of electoral opinions in the spring of 1974. Canadian Journal of Political Science.1, (4), 83-113.1976.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo, Alt, James E.. The erosion of partisanship 1964-1975. Political Studies Association Conference.Nottingham. 1976.
  • Fox, A., Alt, James E.. The reliability of occupational coding. SSRC Seminar on Longitudinal Studies.Cambridge. 1976.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo, Alt, James E.. The decline of the two-party system. Political Studies Association Conference.Oxford. 1975.
  • Fox, A.. Attitudes to immigration: A comparison of data from the 1970 and 1974 general election surveys. New Community.IV, (2), 1975.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo, Alt, James E.. The why and how of the February voting. New Society.1974.
  • Crewe, Ivor, Sarlvik, Bo, Alt, James E.. The flow of the vote 1970--February 1974--October 1974. . .
  • Sarlvik, Bo, Crewe, Ivor, Alt, James E.. Class and party in the elections of 1974. . .

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Crewe, Ivor; Saerlvik, Bo; Alt, James (1984): British Election Study: October 1974, Cross-Section. Archival Version. British General Election Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.