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British General Election Cross-Section Survey, 1997

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Heath, A.
  • Jowell, R.
  • Curtice, J.K.
  • Norris, P.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • British General Election Survey Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
economic conditions; ethnic identity; European Union; national elections; national identity; nationalism; nationalization; political attitudes; political change; political influences; public opinion; quality of life; social attitudes; social change; social class; social issues; trends; trust in government; voter attitudes; voting behavior; voting patterns; world politics
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1997
Geographic Coverage
  • Great Britain
  • Scotland
  • United Kingdom
  • Global
Collection Mode
  • (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.

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.
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
  • 2615 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR02615.v2
  • Cho, Sungdai, Endersby, James W.. Issues, the spatial theory of voting, and British general elections: A comparison of proximity and directional models. Public Choice.114, (3), 275-293.2003.
    • ID: 10.1023/A:1022616323373 (DOI)
  • Blais, Andre, Gidengil, Elisabeth, Nadeau, Richard, Nevitte, Neil. Measuring party identification: Britain, Canada, and the United States. Political Behavior.64, (1), 5-22.2001.
    • ID: 10.1023/A:1017665513905 (DOI)
  • Whitten, Guy D., Palmer, Harvey D.. Heightening comparativists' concern for model choice: Voting behavior in Great Britain and the Netherlands. American Journal of Political Science.40, (1), 231-260.1996.
    • 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)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

Heath, A.; Jowell, R.; Curtice, J.K.; Norris, P. (1999): British General Election Cross-Section Survey, 1997. Version 1. British General Election Survey Series. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.