The British Election Study (BES/BGES) series constitutes the longest academic series of nationally representative probability sample surveys in the country. Its broad aim is to explore the changing determinants of electoral behaviour in contemporary Britain. The surveys have taken place immediately after every general election since 1964. Besides the main election surveys, other datasets have also been produced. For example, some studies have included separate sub-samples for ethnic minorities and areas such as Scotland and Northern Ireland (held at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) under SNs 681, 3171, 3889, 3891, and 4622), and several inter-election panel studies have been undertaken between 1969 and 2001 that follow the same individuals interviewed in the cross-sectional surveys (see SNs 422, 2983, 3888, 4000 4028 and 4620). Since the election series was originated in 1963 by David Butler and Donald Stokes under the name of Political Change in Britain, 1963-1970 (see under GN 33099), it has been under the direction of a number of academics over time, as detailed below. British Election Study, 1974-1983 (BES): The BES was started as a research project at the University of Essex in 1974, to continue the series started by Butler and Stokes. The BES conducted interview surveys following the general elections of February 1974, October 1974 and May 1979. This series also includes a questionnaire survey conducted after the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1975 (see SN 830). British General Election Study, 1983-1997 (BGES): From 1983, the series continued under a slightly changed name, directed by Anthony Heath, Roger Jowell and John Curtice, and conducted jointly by Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR - now the National Centre for Social Research, or NatCen) and Nuffield College Oxford. The 1992 BGES surveys were carried out as part of the activities of the Joint Unit for the Study of Social Trends (JUSST), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). A grant by the ESRC to the University of Strathclyde enabled the representation of Scottish electors in the sample to be boosted substantially. This 'oversampling' of the Scots was undertaken in order to permit more detailed investigation of voting behaviour in Scotland than had usually been the case with the BGES. Prior to 1992 BGES surveys excluded electors living in the five constituencies in the Scottish highlands and islands north of the Caledonian Canal because the small and scattered electorate there could not be interviewed cost-effectively. In the 1992 BGES survey however, these constituencies were included in the sampling frame. Users should note that the Scottish element of the 1992 survey has been down-weighted to form a representative British sample. Researchers wishing to analyse the Scottish sample separately should order SN 3171 General Election in Scotland, 1992. The 1997 studies were carried out by JUSST's successor, the Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends (CREST) (an ESRC-funded research centre linking NatCen with the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford) in collaboration with Pippa Norris of Harvard University, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Commission for Racial Equality. The 1997 BGES included a greater number of separate but interlinked studies than ever before, for example the separate Scottish and ethnic minority boost sample datasets (SNs 3889 and 3891 respectively) mentioned above. British Election Study, 2001: The BES for the 2001 general election (the name was changed again), funded by the ESRC, was once again based at the University of Essex, under the control of David Sanders, Paul Whiteley and Harold Clarke. The 2001 survey comprised three main components and two supplementary ones. The first main component comprised a pre- and post-election cross-section survey, and a panel survey (held under SNs 4619 and 4620). The second consisted of a free-standing 4,500-person 'rolling' election campaign survey, conducted during the general election campaign (held under SN 4621), and the third component comprised a separate election survey conducted in Northern Ireland (held under SN 4622). The supplementary components included the construction of an aggregate, 'ecological' data file, based on census and other data, which describes the enumeration district-level, ward-level and constituency-level context for each panel survey respondent, and a content analysis of national press coverage of the election campaign (see SN 4623). This analysis resulted in the creation of a 'campaign dataset' which enabled movements in opinion during the campaign to be related to press coverage of the campaign. British Election Study, 2005: The BES for 2005 was also based at the University of Essex. Its principal objectives were to study long-term trends in British voting behaviour; explain the election outcome, party choice and turnout; and examine the consequences of elections for the operation of democracy more generally. The 2005 BES again comprised three main components: the face-to-face cross-section survey and a follow-up conducted one year later (all held under SN 5494), the British component of an international comparative study of electoral systems (SN 5495), and an internet-based pre- and post-election 'rolling' campaign panel survey (SN 5496). Further information about BES 2001 and 2005 may be found on the British Election Study at the University of Essex web site. BESIS: British Election Study data and documentation from 1966-2005 are also available online via the British Election Studies Information Site (BESIS), maintained by the Centre for Comparative European Survey Data (CCESD). Facilities include online analysis, subsetting of data and mapping of election results by constituency. Further information about and links to the BESIS site are available under UKDA SN 5860. British General Election Study, 1997 : Campaign Panel The aims of this survey were : to analyse the interaction between medium-term economic and short-term political factors and the way in which they determine the outcome of elections; to understand the dynamics of the election campaign and how the process of modernisation and professionalisation of campaign communications has affected the role of political leaders, the media, and the political trust and knowledge of voters. Main Topics: The file contains data for (initially) 3,662 respondents from four waves of interviewing : British Social Attitudes (BSA) 1996 in spring 1996; Wave B : 3-4 weeks before the 1997 general election; Wave C : 1-2 weeks before the 1997 general election; Wave D : May 1997. The initial wave was face-to-face and subsequent waves by telephone. In addition, there is geographic information derived from the 1991 Census and turnout and electoral registration information derived from a check against the marked-up Electoral Registers. Standard Measures LibAuthA is the BSA version of the libertarian-authoritarian scale. LibAutBA is the BGES version of the libertarian-authoritarian scale. LftRighA is the BSA version of the left-right scale. LftRigBA is the BGES version of the left-right scale. For the third edition of this study (December 1999), two variables were corrected: the variables affected are LIBAUTBA and LFTRIGBA. These are the scale scores for the 'balanced' or 'BGES-version' of the Left-Right and Libertarian-Authoritarian scales (see also SN:3921, British Social Attitudes Survey, 1996). For further details please see note and read file documentation for this study.