a1 Governmental Affairs Institute
For generations British politicians have looked to the by-election as a guide to the feelings and views of Britain's voters. Though we in the United States give little heed to these special elections to fill vacancies in the national legislature, In Britain they are considered a vital part of political life. “Invaluable periodical referenda on the action of the government,” Herman Finer has called them and James Pollock has underlined their meaning to British politics with the observation that “nowhere is the special or by-election the object of so much attention and discussion as in Great Britain.”
Dr. Richard M. Scammon has held posts in postwar overseas administrative work and in the United States Department of State. He recently became Director of Elections Research for the Governmental Affairs Institute.