The Tom Harrisson Mass-Observation experiment and Britain's war-time Home Intelligence Reports were two comparatively short-lived attempts at feeling the pulse of public opinion and collating the expressed views of a wide cross-section of the British Public in order to formulate action and legislation.
A far more extensive operation has been undertaken in the 28 years since 1960 by the joint members of the Association of Political Opinion Pollsters (APOP). Namely, MORI (Market and Opinion Research International), NOP (National Opinion Polls Market Research); HARRIS (The Harris Research Centre), MARPLAN and GALLUP.
For the first time ever, the complete political and social opinion polls of these five major social survey organizations have been brought together, filmed and indexed. In consequence, political scientists, sociologists and economic and social historians now have ready access to a formidable body of material providing data on political opinion, public tastes, major concerns and many individual issues.
Subjects covered include:
- Channel Tunnel
- Constituency and marginal polls
- General elections
- Miner's Strike
- Poll tax
- Political trends
The governments of Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher come under close scrutiny as does the rise of the center party in British politics. It is possible to analyze when governments lost the common touch or when they gained popular support. For instance, how important was the Falklands' factor for Margaret Thatcher, and how did Neil Kinnock turned the Labour Party around.