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A BES commemoration to Harold Clarke

The British Election Study Team

The BES team stands in the footsteps of Harold Clarke and his colleagues Marianne Stewart, Paul Whiteley and David Sanders, who together ran the BES for over a decade. We mourn the passing of Harold Clarke and send our very best wishes to his family and all who knew him.

Harold was a stalwart of the BES. His devotion, energy, enthusiasm and sharp brilliance took the BES to a different level. His introduction of online surveys transformed the size, scope and impact of the BES internet panel, and his dedication to the dynamics of public opinion change over time made an enormous impact on our understanding of how events shape British electoral behaviour.

The BES books of 2004, 2009 and 2013 were pivotal to understanding a decade of British elections that broke the old paradigms of political behaviour. More than that, these books will always be hugely important and useful because they bear on far wider understanding of the fundamentals of politics in periods of relative ideological calm. They set a new bar for reaching a diverse audience with sophisticated election analysis, shaping the narrative and the discipline in equal measure. Harold has been an inspiration.

Harold’s wider work is prolific. We have all learned an enormous amount from it and we feel fortunate and humbled to be able to follow in his intellectual footsteps. We celebrate and give thanks for all of the tremendous work Harold did for the election studies community, and we will greatly miss his character, challenge and kindness at our conferences that we have all enjoyed over many, many years.