British Election Study 2015: Voters in Context

Report
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
The 2015 British Election Study
Professor Ed Fieldhouse
Professor Jane Green
Professor Hermann Schmitt
Professor Geoffrey Evans
Professor Cees van der Eijk
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
Three successful research funding applications
 The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
 Data collection to enable understanding of the 2015 British election, continuing
the series of British Election Studies since 1960.
 The Scottish Independence Referendum and the British Voter: an
enhancement to the British Election Study Internet Panel
 Funded under the Future of UK and Scotland initiative
 Significant enhancement to the BES online panel study; additional waves in
January and September 2014; enlarged samples in all waves up to Summer
2016 (Scottish, Welsh and English), sample of 16-17 year olds.
 55,000 additional target interviews in total.
 Enhancing the Impact of the British Election Study
 Resources for a part-time Impact Fellow/researcher and senior media advisor
providing support for dissemination and engagement.
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
BES 2015: Themes, Study Design, Priorities
 Disengagement, Accountability and Representation
 Informs the prioritisation of items e.g. trust, turnout, registration, policy
responsibility and delivery; issue-scales for longer term comparability
 Research partnerships and engagement, e.g. Electoral Commission, Hansard
Society
 Sampling design and stratification; minimal clustering, response rates for hardto-reach groups; constituency and campaign characteristics, and socioeconomic context, etc.
 Linking of data, to candidate and campaign characteristics, etc.
 Need to understand the Scottish Referendum, and other elections.
 Understanding the vote choice and the voter in context
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Spatial context; socio-economic, political and inter-personal context
Political and institutional context; sub-national and cross-national elections
Temporal context; the need for panel data and long-term comparability
The context of survey measurement; within-survey effects and mode effects
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The BES instruments
January 2014
May 2014
September 2014
Base sample
N = 20,000
European and
local elections
N = 20,000
Independence
referendum
N = 20,000
2010
election
sample
Voter registration data matching
2005
election
sample
2015 General Election
Pre
Post
N = 20,000
N = 20,000
Daily rolling thunder
N = 650 per day
Twitter data harvest
May 2017
May 2016
Local elections
N = 15,000
Scottish and
local elections
N = 20,000
Election Study Workshop, Montreal, 25th
March 2014
Post-election face-to-face
probability sample
+ mailback inc. CSES module
N = 3,000
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
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Post-linking of data
for users
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Turnout validation
(F2F)
Registration checking
(BESIP)
Constituency data
Local Census data
expert survey for party
placements
Integrating BES data
within a network of
complementary
studies
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Pre-linking of data with
studies receiving
and/or likely to receive
funding
British Candidate Study
(Campbell, Hudson, Rüdig)
Proposed study of candidate
websites (Milazzo)
Party Strategies Study
(Cowley, Goodwin)
Online campaign (iBES)
(Gibson)
Constituency Agents Survey
(Fisher, Fieldhouse, Cutts)
Campaign media content
(Stevens, Banducci, Gibson)
Macro-database on socioeconomic context
Twitter
Study
Campaign spending data
(Johnston, Pattie, Cutts)
Harnessing &
broadening
the value of:
BES voter
surveys
Constituency database
(Norris / Thrasher)
Policy outcome database on
lower-level output areas
Scottish Referendum Study
(BES/UK Initiative)
Welsh Election Study
(Scully, Jones)
Scottish Election Study (SES)
(Carman, SES Team)
Qualitative Election Study of
Britain (QESB)
(Winters)
Data gathering with:
Comparative Study of Electoral
Systems / World Values Survey /
ESRC’s Understanding Society
Liaison/best practice:
US National Election Studies,
Annenberg Campaign Studies,
European Election Studies, etc..
(Winters)
Insights from:
Manifesto Research on Political
Representation (MARPOR/CMP)
(Budge, Regel)
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
International and comparative
• Prioritising established questions
• European Election Study module (BESIP wave
2)
• Comparative Study of Electoral Systems:
post election mail back or stand alone
survey.
• International advisory board – and liaison
with other national election studies
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
BESIP innovative features
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User experiments and proposals (‘playground’ items e.g. certainty
scales)
Split sample for alternative questions (e.g. PTV and party feeling
scales; European integration position)
Randomisation of question placement (e.g. party ID, vote choice, MII,
trust)
Randomisation of question object within grid (e.g. party leaders &
issues for evaluation of performance & responsibility) and of
response categories (e.g. social desirability)
Psychological characteristics: social desirability, risk taking
Individualised (pre-loaded) questions: who is your local MP?
Discussant network module: focus on turnout and household
relationships (norms, expressive motives, costs).
Political knowledge quiz with pictures
Mapping local community
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
Innovation: mapping project
• Collaboration with Cara Wong, Jake Bowers and
Daniel Rubenson
• Respondent define their own communities (using
Google mapping technology)
• Respondent perceptions of neighbourhood: e.g.
economic performance, norms of turnout, effect of
cuts, legacy of Thatcherism, impact of immigration,
social, political and ethnic diversity.
• Equivalent questions about pre-defined
geographies (e.g. constituency)
• Potential for linking objective data
• To be introduced in BESIP wave 3.
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
Four Examples of “Local Communities”
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
Innovation: social media
• Gather tweets (from firehose) during the 2015
campaign by a predefined/responsive list of
relevant hashtags and topics
• Indicator of issue salience and emphasis in
campaign
• Potential for sentiment analysis of
positive/negative tone
• Gecoding of tweets for linking with constituency
and candidate data
• Gather all tweets and follower information on BES
respondents who provide twitter handle.
• Allows comparison of respondents and candidates
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014
The 2015 British Election Study: Voters in Context
Website
• New professionally designed BES website
• One stop shop for new BES data historical
data
• Data playground feature: create simple
charts & tables
• News, blogs, working papers etc.
• To be launched in April
Election Study Workshop, Montreal,
25th March 2014

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