Historical database of twentieth century local elections in Great Britain

Project start date: 2002-04 Project end date: 2005-03
The aim of the proposal was to facilitate outside access to a local elections database that provides as comprehensive coverage as possible of local elections in Britain throughout the twentieth century. Plymouth University's Local Elections Centre had earlier collated in database form the results of some 120,000 local authority ward elections since 1973. This has now been supplemented by a database going back to the beginning of the twentieth century - based on local election results in London, the English, Scottish and Welsh county boroughs and a sample of shire county, non-county borough, urban and rural district councils - so providing a unique resource that will greatly enhance the study of modern elections in Britain.
Subject domains: 
Methods usedCategory
Coding and standardisationData structuring and enhancement
Data modellingData structuring and enhancement
Record linkagesData analysis
Use of existing digital dataData capture
Manual input and transcriptionData capture
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Content types created: 
Dataset/structured data
Software tools used: 
Microsoft Access
Source material used:  
Records of election results, often as supplied by local authorites. Where these were unavailable, local newspapers and other archive material was used.
Digital resource created:  
The project has established a unique database of local election results in Great Britain, focusing on the period in the twenieith century before local government reorganisation in 1973. Until now these results have never been collated together, let alone transformed into machine-readable form. Elections in London are covered as far back as 1889; county borough results for England, Scotland and Wales from 1911 onwards. Data for more rural areas were less easy to obtain, not least because of the scarcity of party competition in the pre-reorganisation era. However, English county council results between 1958 and 1972 are included.
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access
Data Formats created: 
Microsoft Access Database (MDB)
Through the Data Archive at the University of Essex.
The aim of the project was to produce a database. However, the project directors will integrate material in future publications as follows:

Professor Jefferys will use material from the database in a forthcoming book on attitudes towards democracy in Britain since 1918.

Professors Rallings and Thrasher will integrate the data into their extensive research on local electoral politics, including work for example on the development of party systems in local government and trends in turnout.

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
University of Plymouth

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Professor Kevin Jefferys; Professor Colin Rallings; Professor Michael Thrasher
Other staff:Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:

Metadata on this arts-humanities.net record
Author(s) of recordKevin Jefferys
TitleHistorical database of twentieth century local elections in Great Britain
Record created2005-11-07
Record updated2011-01-24 15:52
URL of recordhttp://www.arts-humanities.net/node/2171
Citation of recordKevin Jefferys: Historical database of twentieth century local elections in Great Britain.
created: 2005-11-07, last updated 2011-01-24 15:52