A missing level in the analyses of British voting behaviour: the household as context as shown by analyses of a 1992-1997 longitudinal survey
Most British electoral surveys collect data from individual respondents only, and obtain very little information about other members of their household. In so doing, they ignore what is likely to be one of the most important (and immediate) contexts within which political discussions and decision-making occur. One UK panel study—the BHPS—does collect information on all household members, however. Its data are deployed here to explore the amount of within- and between-household variation in voting at the 1992 and 1997 general elections, by household size and type. The findings show very high levels of within-household agreement and also, most importantly, within-household agreement on changes in voting behaviour between elections. Such findings have important implications for both the conduct of electoral surveys and the modelling of voting patterns.
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