Nuffield election studies

Oxford historian R.B. McCallum conceived of the first Nuffield election study in 1945. McCallum was outraged by the way that John Maynard Keynes had popularised several myths about the 1918 general election after the First World War, and he resolved to write a study of the 1945 general election that would ensure this never happened again.

Co-written by McCallum and Alison Readman, The British General Election of 1945 was revolutionary in its approach. It included a statistical appendix on election 'swing', by the young David Butler. Butler contributed a similar appendix to the 1950 general election volume written by Herbert Nicholas before Butler took over the series for the 1951 volume.

With successive co-authors Richard Rose, Anthony King, Michael Pinto-Duschinsky and Dennis Kavanagh, Butler oversaw the evolution of the Nuffield election studies into an innovative blend of 'first draft history' and pioneering social science. One senior civil servant observed that the series was 'part of the constitution'. The series has also grown more collaborative over the decades, embedding contributions by leading psephologists such as Michael Steed and John Curtice.

Butler retired from the series after the 2005 volume, but it continues to this day, edited by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley.

British general elections
1975 EEC referendum
European elections