GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences: Go to homepage

European Election Studies (EES) 1979

This study consisted of a set of questions added to the pre- and post-election regular Eurobarometer surveys of 1979, linked to a campaign study, two elite studies and a study of the media in several countries. In addition, the Euromanifesto project collected and coded party manifestos from the relevant parties running in the 1979 European Parliament Elections.

The mass survey data are available as part of the regular Eurobarometer surveys of Spring and Fall 1979 (EBs 11 and 12). Eurobarometer 11 and 12 were conducted by Jacques-Rene Rabier, special adviser to the Commission of the European Communities, and by Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan. Funded by the Volkswagen-Stiftung, a number of questions were added on behalf of the international research group. These studies were part of a program of public opinion research sponsored by the European Community. The fieldwork was carried out by the consortium of European polling organizations “Faits et Opinions” in all nine nations of the European Community. Respondents for EB 11 were interviewed in May 1979 while the respondents of EB 12 were interviewed in October 1979.

EB 11 repeats many of the questions on European integration that have been asked throughout the earlier Eurobarometer series. Attitudes regarding EC membership and the relation of the respondent’s country with the EC, as well as relations with non-EC countries, are explored. Attitudes toward the forthcoming European parliamentary elections are also assessed. The study also contains an expanded section on the political and social problems which respondents feel should be given priority in the coming years.

EB 12 study focuses exclusively on attitudes toward the institutions of the European Community in the wake of the European Parliamentary elections on June 10-12, 1979. Expectations of the elected parliament and of the future of the Common Market as a whole are explored. This is done primarily through an extension of the series of questions on European integration that has been used in past Eurobarometers.

In both studies, the personal data section of the interview obtained information about the education, occupation, marital status, age and sex of the respondent. This section also ascertains the occupation of the head of the household and composition of the household.

Data and Documents: EB 11 and EB 12

Two separate studies were conducted among political elites in connection with the 1979 European Elections.

The study was funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung (Germany), the Commission of the European Communities, the European Parliament, and the US National Science Foundation.

Candidates for the European Parliament Study 1979

The respondents were selected from the candidates running for the European Parliament 1979. The number of candidates varied from country to country and included 62 percent of those who were elected to the European Parliament. The study focused on the reasons respondents had for choosing to become candidates, and their views on the goals, priorities, and powers of the European Parliament. The study was designed to permit comparison of opinions between the general public and candidates, and it includes a large number of questions that were also administered to the general public in Eurobarometer 11.

Data and Documents: The data set and further documentation are available at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

European Political Parties’ Middle-Level Elites Study 1979

The study is part of the European Election Study (EES) effort to collect various sorts of data from a different level of political actors involved in the holding of European Parliament elections. The respondents were selected from among the party conference delegates of all consenting parties in the, at that time, European Community (i.e. the original “Nine” plus Portugal, Spain and Greece). The study was designed using a Common Questionnaire that was appended by each national project group with its own nationally relevant questions. The final outcome is a data-set that ensures cross-country comparability. The study focuses on the political careers of party delegates, the way they see themselves, their political orientation and their attitudes to the European Community.

The 1979 Media Study investigates the role of broadcasting in the 1979 European Elections. The study was conducted in the nine EU (then European Community) member states and collected information regarding the relevant persons or objects (i.e. institution, organization or group) and the themes mentioned in news items and current affairs programmes dealing with Europe, European Community, European Integration, European institutions, European elections, and political and economic aspects of other member countries.

The study was coordinated by Jay Blumler and funded by the European Parlament, the European Cultural Foundation, the Commission of European Communities, the Danish Social Science Research Council, Stiftung Volkswagenwerk, the Dutch National Committee for Direct Elections, the Shell Grants Committee, and the Nuffield Foundation.

Unfortunately, the documentation for the study is not complete (the coding schemes for the TV channels and subthemes are missing), therefore we kindly ask researchers who have further information to contact the page administrators.

Please see here.

  • Reif, Karlheinz, ed. (1980) European Journal of Political Research. Special Issue 8(1).
    [Main publication of the EES 1979 involving contributions from the different study components]
  • Blumler, Jay G., ed. (1983) "Communicating to voters. Television in the first European parliamentary elections. An International Institute of Communications project". London: SAGE.
    [Media Study 1979, the data which lay the basis for the book was made publicly available with the help of Winfried Schulz, which is most gratefully acknowledged.]