UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Survey of Public Attitudes towards Conduct in Public Life, 2003-2004

Title details

SN: 5073
Title: Survey of Public Attitudes towards Conduct in Public Life, 2003-2004
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-5073-1
Depositor: BMRB. Social Research
Principal investigator(s): BMRB. Social Research
Sponsor(s): Parliament. Committee on Standards in Public Life
Other acknowledgements: BH 451151646H


The citation for this study is:

BMRB. Social Research. (2005). Survey of Public Attitudes towards Conduct in Public Life, 2003-2004. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 5073,

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Subject Categories

Political behaviour and attitudes - Politics


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

In March 2003 the Committee on Standards in Public Life commissioned BMRB Social Research to conduct a national survey of public attitudes towards the standards of conduct of public office holders in Britain. The survey was part of a long term study to establish a benchmark of public opinions about standards of conduct in public life and followed on from a preliminary stage of exploratory qualitative research conducted by the National Centre for Social Research in 2002.

The aims of the survey were:
  • to establish what the public sees as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour on the part of elected and appointed holders of public office and the extent to which the Seven Principles of Public Life reflect public priorities;

  • to assess how far the public believes that the behaviour of holders of public office is, for the most part, acceptable or unacceptable;

  • to assess how far the public believes that holders of public office are effectively held responsible and accountable for their conduct.

  • BMRB interviewed a nationally representative random sample of 1,097 adults aged 18 or over in Britain between 5th November 2003 and 7th March 2004. Interviews were carried out in respondents' homes using computer-assisted interviewing (CAPI). The response rate at in-scope addresses in the sample was 53.7 per cent. A report detailing the findings from the survey was published on 8th September 2004, and is included in the documentation for this study.
    Main Topics:
    Topics covered include: current affairs; expectations, priorities and perceptions of holders of public office; political attitudes and demographic characteristics (including educational background and qualifications, newspaper readership, employment details, gender, age and marital status).

    The file includes variables in questionnaire order, and some extra cross-tabulation and non-questionnaire variables.

    Standard Measures:
    The NS-SEC socio-economic classification was used.

    Coverage, universe, methodology

    Dates of fieldwork: 05 November 2003 - 07 March 2004
    Country: Great Britain
    Spatial units: Government Office Regions
    Observation units: Individuals
    Kind of data: Numeric data
    Individual (micro) level
    Universe: National
    Adults aged 18 years and over resident in private households in Great Britain during 2003-2004
    Time dimensions: Repeated cross-sectional study
    this study is the first in a planned series on public attitudes to public life
    Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
    Number of units: 1000 (target), 1097 (obtained)
    Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview
    Weighting: The weighting variable used is composed of a combination of design weights and non-response weights. These were based on age, gender and marital status.

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    Administrative and access information

    Date of release:
    First edition: 16 February 2005
    Copyright: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland
    Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required. Available to all registered users. The depositor may be informed about usage.
    Availability: UK Data Service
    Contact: Get in touch


    Title File Name Size (KB)
    User Guide 5073userguide.pdf 2050
    Study information and citation UKDA_Study_5073_Information.htm 6
    READ File read5073.txt 7
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    By principal investigator(s):
    Hayward, B., et al. (2004) Survey of Public Attitudes Towards Standards in Public Life, Committee on Standards in Public Life/BMRB Social Research.

    Resulting from secondary analysis:
    Upton, G.J.G. (2016) Categorical data analysis by example, Oxford: Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-30786-0.


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