Elections in Western Europe since 1815

Abstract

This data handbook and CD-ROM contain the systematic and standardized collection of general election results at the level of single constituencies for 18 Western European countries since the nineteenth century, accompanied by thorough documentation

The handbook is divided into three parts. In Part I (Election in Comparison) three historical and comparative chapters describe the mechanics of electoral laws, the institutional development of election in Europe, and the territorial structuring of the vote in Europe.
In Part II (Country Chapter) each of the 18 chapters presents the development of the electoral law for all periods since 1815. Systematic tables and synopses include information on the dates and types of election, the evolution of political parties (mergers, splits, changes of name) and party systems, the possibilities of aggregating election results to match other administrative and socioeconomic data, and the constituencies (names and changes over time). A series of tables gives the results of general election by constituencies and/or other territorial units.
Part III (Appendices) includes the guidelines for the most profitable use of the data in CD-ROM, a comment of the evolution of election statistics since the nineteenth century as well as the addresses and web sites of the most important data archives on election. Follow the list of sources (official and secondary) used for the collection of results for each country and the biographical references.

The accompanying CD-ROM presents the complete collection of results which has been made completely machine-readable according to standard rules across countries and time periods. All election results for parties and constituencies are presented in absolute figures and percentage distributions. Information is available in different programms (Excel, SPSS, and SAS) and data structures for analysing data, viewing election results, and building time series. The CD-ROM contains also the thorough documentation for each country and time period. The navigation through both election results and documentation is easy and straightforward.

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