The Policy Opinions of British Political Activists*

Susan Welch, Donley T. Studlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article employs the October 1974 British Election Study to examine the level and nature of political ideology among British political activists, the effects of socio‐economic characteristics on these attitudes, and the impact of the attitudes on political behaviour. On balance, the activist group closely resembles the nonactivist population. Activists are somewhat more ideological in their thinking than nonactivists, but the differences are quite small. Demographic attributes affect the policy attitudes of the élite slightly more than the nonactivists, but again differences are small. The influence of issue attitudes on voting is about the same for activists and nonactivists. These results stand in contrast to studies showing large élite‐mass policy differences in the United States and other work documenting ideological orientations in higher levels of the Labour Party.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-619
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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