1st Edition

Public opinion polls and British politics

By Richard Hodder-Williams Copyright 1970

    First published in 1970 Public opinion polls and British politics provides an introductory guide to political polling in Britain. The book describes the polling organizations themselves, their sampling methods, and some of the general problems encountered in survey work. A distinction is drawn between polls concerned with voting intentions (predictive polls) and polls concerned with the expression of opinion (opinion polls), and problems of interpretation in each are discussed. Public opinion polls are then considered in the context of British politics – firstly their relationship with the general principles of representative democracy, and secondly their effect on the practice of politics. Finally, a word of caution is sounded against taking the polls too seriously as accurate indicators of the thinking of the British electorate and also against treating the implications of their potential uses too lightly. This book is a must read for students of British politics, election studies and political science.

    List of Tables Introduction 1. Preliminaries 2. Pollsters and polling 3. Polls and elections 4. Polls and the public’s opinions 5. Polls and British representative democracy 6. Polls and the politicians 7. The survey concluded Appendix: Selected Questions from a Gallup Poll Questionnaire Further Reading Bibliography


    Richard Hodder-Williams