Jeremy Corbyn has doubled Labour's membership—a striking achievement. But it might not do much good because the new joiners don't seem too keen on campaigningby Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb / January 19, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Against the tide:
Party rolls had been falling for as long as anyone can remember—until Labour’s started rising
Membership of political parties has been dropping like a stone for decades. The chart shows that Tory membership has declined by around 90 per cent between 1970 and 2015, with Labour’s individual membership—which started out lower—falling nearly 80 per cent. Even before 2015, there were signs of change, especially in Scotland where the 2014 referendum triggered a remarkable seven-fold increase in SNP membership. Increases in the rolls of the Greens and Ukip soon followed. Then, after David Cameron’s unexpected outright win, new members flocked to Labour to take part in the election which took Jeremy Corbyn to the top. Many more have joined since, so that Labour membership is now more than half a million. That’s twice what it was, and more than double that of the Conservatives.
Source: House of Commons library