The British Election Study (BES) has been conducted at every General Election since 1964. Its main goal is to describe and to explain why people vote, why they vote as they do, what affects the election outcome, and what are the consequences of elections for democracy in Britain.
Most recently, the 2001, 2005-06, and 2009-10 BES have been conducted by a research team at the University of Essex and the University of Texas at Dallas. These three BES have pursued the goal stated above and have sought to maximise the value of the BES for researchers and others, to achieve an appropriate combination of continuity and innovation, and to advance the overall integrity of the BES as a valuable research and teaching resource. The BES is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) UK.
The 2009-10 BES is currently underway. Its main topics involve rival explanations of party choice, of turnout and political participation, of campaign dynamics and election outcomes, and of elections and democratic citizenship. It also will investigate the inter-election dynamics of public opinion and party support. Similar to the 2005-06 study, The 2009-10 BES will gather data on these topics using a combination of in-person/CAPI, mailback, and internet surveys that provide timely release of high-quality data.
PUBLISHED CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 2013