Although the local authorities included in the study were selected mainly on the basis of the availability of somebody to undertake the research, they were also intended to constitute a reasonably representative cross-section of local government in county boroughs. Two of the authorities included are not, in fact, county boroughs, but one of these (Torquay) will shortly provide the nucleus of a new county borough, and the other (Durham) is in many ways similar to the group of smallest county boroughs which would otherwise have been almost unrepresented in the study.1 In respect to the main characteristics that are considered in this chapter, the selected local authorities, taken as a whole, are representative of the county boroughs in England. As in all county boroughs, Labour and Conservative councillors in the study areas occupied nine-tenths ofthe seats in 1964, and these were shared between the two parties in the ratio of two to one. In the study areas 14 per cent* of the councillors were women, which is very close to the proportion in all county boroughs (12 per cent); and the classification of councillors according to their occupations was practically identical to that for all authorities of the same kind.2 The data on which this analysis is based have been drawn from four elections, those of 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964. In most of the tables used the data for all these years have been aggregated. Where this is not the case, the years included are shown on the appropriate table and, where necessary for clarity, noted in the text.
KeywordsLocal Election Major Party Parliamentary Election Total Vote Local Party
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