Last weekend, Tory chair Brandon Lewis claimed that the number of Conservative party members had ‘soared’ to 124,000 – double most estimates:
Most mainstream media have been mapping a continual – and entirely understandable – downward slide:
However, there’s a complication – a Tory complication – for the Conservatives’ attempted boast of ‘soaring’ membership.
They’ve made it before – recently. And bigger.
Three and a half years ago, ConservativeHome published an article – by its executive editor, no less – about an increase in Tory membership of almost twelve percent in a single year: up from 134,000 in 2013 to 149,800 in 2014:
In other words, the Tories have already claimed higher membership than the 124,000 it has supposedly ‘soared’ to now – twice. In 2013 they claimed to have 134,000 – and a year later, they said it had jumped to almost 150,000.
So it’s hard to see how it ‘soared’ downwards to 124,000 – unless it had positively plummeted in the intervening years.
So we asked Conservative HQ (CCHQ):
Today the Conservative party announced membership had ‘soared’ to 124,000. Three and a half years ago, according to Conservative Home and Grant Shapps, it had increased to 149,800:
Please explain the apparent logical discrepancy by 10am Weds
By late Thursday, in spite of reminders and requests for a response by return, CCHQ had not provided any response.
The Tories have a track record of big and unlikely claims about membership increases – and the current number claimed seems to have fallen by over 25,000 compared to the 2014 claim.
You’d almost think they were just making up numbers that nobody outside the Tory party can check.
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