British Election Study in 2024 General Election

12 Jun 24

British Election Study in 2024 General Election

As well as being an election year, 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the British Election Study

Right: '60 Years of the British Election Study'

The British Election Study (BES) – co-hosted at Nuffield in the Politics Research Centre – is one of the longest-running election studies worldwide, celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024.

The team, directed by Ed Fieldhouse (University of Manchester) and co-directed by Nuffield Fellows Jane Green and Geoffrey Evans, conducts surveys after every general election to provide data on changing patterns in party support and election outcomes and, since 2014, between elections.

Following the announcement on 22 May of the upcoming General Election on 4 July by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the team will soon release its most recent wave of data from their 30,000-person panel survey, which was collected after the local elections in May. Further pre-campaign data, collected after the next general election was announced, will also be released before the election.

On the 2024 Election, Director Ed Fieldhouse said,

“We drafted the pre-election BES internet panel survey (wave 27) in just 48 hours, and this has gone out to 30,000 people in the UK. Our campaign survey (wave 28), which will collect data daily has also been designed, and it went into the field on 10th June. We’re also in the process of drafting the post-election survey (wave 29), which will go into the field immediately after the general election on 4th July. We know how vital trusted, quality data is for our user community in the run up to, during and after the election. We are working at full speed to enable this, so please do follow updates on the BES website.”

As well as moving quickly to prepare for the 4 July General Election date, the team is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the BES, founded in 1964 by Nuffield Fellow David Butler with Donald Stokes.

As part of their celebrations, the BES team have produced some short films on important UK electoral topics, such as Brexit and vote choice, electoral volatility, and competence shocks, reputation and trust.

As well as many media appearances and providing election analysis, the team will also be releasing several short explainer videos produced with ITV using BES data, the first of which is now available on ITVX – ‘Election Matters: Do General Election campaigns actually influence the result?’.

Jane Green, Co-Director of the BES and Director of the Nuffield Politics Research Centre, said,

“We’re all in full election mode, it’s busy and very important for us. We’re preparing information for the ITV News Election Night special programme, as well as for the BBC Election Night programme (exit poll). The BES data provides an in-depth understanding of the way representative democracy functions in British elections. Our data looks into British public opinion, political participation, attitudes towards politics and explanations of electoral outcomes. We’re a trusted resource, and we greatly value that.”


A full picture of the BES’s electoral activity and coverage can be found on the British Election Study's website. For further information about the most recent data and updates please follow @BESResearch and @NPRCOxford on X.