Labour membership steady despite claims of exodus

There have been widespread claims – many already debunked – of large-scale resignations among Labour members. These claims have been made by hardcore centrist advocates of the arrogantly-titled “people’s vote” – a new Brexit referendum.

But the latest Labour membership figures expose the lie completely.

Labour’s membership saw a surge in numbers to around 533,000 earlier this year after a slight dip as right-wingers jumped ship after realising they could not regain control of a party that has returned to its natural state.

And this month the figure stands unchanged, give or take a handful.

SKWAWKBOX comment;

Either the latest supposed exodus was a near-complete fiction, or else any losses have been made up by new joiners.

And this after months of prolonged and vicious smears against the party and its leaders and shamelessly biased media coverage.

Labour’s membership has toughened – and has not diminished.

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  1. The real story regarding declining political party membership in the UK is of course that of the Tories. In March 2018 the Tory Party estimated that it has 124,000 members but it was unable to produce actual evidence of having anywhere near that figure. Given the average age of its members I would suggest that the Tory Party has in fact a continued declining membership despite how much it tries to “mug up” the figures. On basis of this I would estimate that the actual number of “active” Tory Party members is well below 100,000

    1. You are right.

      But wrong in the implications. The startling fact is that the Tories are managing to hold onto power (just) *despite* their massive incompetence and ludicrous stupidity.

      … and the extreme right of that small party has the nation split and paralyzed about a policy aimed at promoting extreme neoliberalism that wasn’t a major concern five years ago.

      1. I simply stated that in my view claims that Tory Party membership exceeded 100,000 were not likely to be true. I didn’t refer to or cite any particular “implications” that would result from the that as you suggest. If anything my point was that the MSM would rather discuss Labour Party membership which is really quite healthy rather than the obvious decline in Tory Party membership.

    2. I did say that you were right, Albert.

      I was using ‘implications’ rather loosely in a general sense – what I meant was that membership numbers are currently not directly related to influence and power.

      … but that might change. If the right decisions are taken.

  2. It only has about 30K members if you go by the amount of subscription money paid.

  3. Numbers do not mean much. In my view numbers of active members recruiting and engaging new members is the more important aspect.
    And in respect to the nightmare that is Brexit, many members, CLPs do not agree with it, even those who were all for it when not much was known about any ‘side effects’ other than that promises made disappeared…… People want to have a final say about any deal. No one wants to shoot themselves in the food.
    Or in simpler terms, if I , in whatever social role, see that a person wants to jump of a bridge, do I stop him/her doing it or do I just let them get on with it?…. what would you do?
    Seeing that there are issues around legality, breaches of electoral and other laws, is it really morally right to demand that you obey the 2016 opinion? What message are you giving out to people? That you condone criminal acts, and that people have to accept them as part of life?
    Just a few aspects raised by a socialist EU citizen.

    1. “Numbers do not mean much.”

      You have evidently missed the whole point of the story Sabine – ie that it is fabrication concocted and designed to influence members to leave the LP on the one hand (because many others are doing so supposedly), and to convince the public in general that there is great dissatisfaction with JC by those members who have now supposedly quit the LP.

      1. Whilst doing a search to ascertain which newspapers have been dissembling this story/falsehood, I came across an Independent article from September 2016 with the headline: ‘How to leave Labour’ becomes most searched for party-related question on Google.

        And the article began thus:

        “How to leave the Labour party” is currently the most searched for question about the party on Google on the eve of the leadership election result.

        The party faces a potential exodus of its more moderate supporters who have become disillusioned with the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who is expected to beat Owen Smith to stay as Labour leader.


        Most of those leaving a comment knew it was fake news of course, and one posted the following:

        The headline of this article doesn’t appear to be confirmed as accurate (ahem!) by looking at Google Trends.

        Top five questions for the LP leadership are:
        1. Who is leader of LP?;
        2. Will LP split?;
        3. When will new LP (leader?) be announced?;
        4. How to join the LP?;
        5. When is the LP conference?


      2. Also came across this in the search results:

        As of April 2018, Labour had 540,000 members, compared to just under 125,500 SNP members as of August 2018, and 124,000 Conservative members reported in March 2018. As of August 2018, The Liberal Democrats had 99,200, Green Party 39,400, UKIP 23,600 and Plaid Cymru 8,000 members. Party membership has risen notably since 2013, both in total and as a percentage of the electorate.


      3. And also this in an article in the Telegraph in August of last year:

        The size of the membership money gap between the two parties is likely to reignite speculation about the current size of the Tory party membership after previous claims that it may have dipped below 100,000.

        Membership figures for the Conservatives have not been made available since 2013 when the party had about 150,000 paid up supporters.


  4. The 48% campaign are joining the party to influence voting for the PV and remain, I guess easy to spot more difficult to stop.

    1. “The [x] campaign are joining the party to influence voting”

      Now. Where have I heard that one before???

      ‘Sauce’, ‘goose’ and ‘gander’ come to mind. 🙂

  5. It’s really not a great idea to replicate MSM techniques in promoting non-stories and adding a favourable spin.

    I can’t see any reason why membership numbers would show a decline at this point, despite the membership’s dissatisfaction with the ‘Leave’ position of the leadership. Party membership is about far more than a single issue – or ill-conceived manifesto pledges. Turn it round – the Blair years saw a disastrous fall in membership; many of us stuck with it – even after Iraq.

    It’s not a good look getting into a lather about the right wing on this issue – the real damage they have done and are doing is shown in the other story re. the ‘antisemitism’ trope.

    I understand your muting of comments on that issue (although it shows how powerful the scam has been), but others may have missed the following analytical post on the general issue from Jonathan Cook’s blog :


    1. “It’s not a good look getting into a lather about the right wing on this issue – the real damage they have done and are doing is shown in the other story re. the ‘antisemitism’ trope.”

      Who’s getting into a “lather” about it? Skwawkbox is just bringing it to the attention of their readers AND at the same time exposing it for the falsehood that it is. THAT, in my book, is good journalism, so where do you get the “lather” from?

      You also imply that SB *shouldn’t* bother reporting OTHER black propaganda disinformation because the “anti-semitism” op is the major problem for JC and the left of the LP, which is absurd. Of course they should. And anyway (in this case), the two are undoubtedly connected – ie contrived and designed to have the general public believe that one – anti-semitism in the LP – has led to the other…… an exodus from the LP.

      It’s just one falsehood on top of another.

      1. “You also imply that SB *shouldn’t* bother reporting OTHER black propaganda disinformation because the “anti-semitism” op is the major problem”

        I don’t imply anything of the sort. I’m simply pointing out that some stories are essentially non-stories – the passing fare of the propaganda press that are best ignored. The ‘resignation’ trope hasn’t registered on the Richter scale, whereas the antisemitism stuff has definitely had an impact.

        Bears shit in the woods. I get worried when they start eating the tourists. It’s about focus, that’s all.

        (And, BTW – you’ve just got in a ‘lather’ 🙂 )

      2. You obviously read my post through the suds of *your* lather! As for the anti-semitism black op, after three years and numerous trumped-up false allegations, I think just about everyone on the left is well aware what’s going on, so there’s absolutely no need to “focus” on it, but just to report new ‘events’ as they unfold, as SB does of course, as with the Luke Akehurst episode a couple of days ago, for example.

        Anyway, Happy News Year!

  6. Labour Party membership fee is a barrier to those forced to use food banks.. Food and fuel a priority when you are struggling. This must be addressed then we will see a new surge in membership.

      1. Allan, I’m not suggesting that I have the answers but think it worth raising for discussion. The inclusion of the financially poorest amongst us is an essential element to the growth, but more especially the development of our Party.

        I’m glad to see Rob has raised a couple of points worth exploring.

    1. A reasonable point regarding fees but not sure what the answer really is , even £2.09 per mnth is a lot if you are JAM .
      I guess this is where hard nosed economics and compassion collide , the party needs funds and not from big Corp donors thanks ! but from us little people .
      Still I believe that it’s possible for non members to be signed in as guests to Branch meetings , so they can still participate , and the big point it that they can still vote Labour.
      I seem to recall somewhere that there maybe some sort of fund at CLP level to help payment of fees , not sure if this is just a local arrangement or something national ?

      1. I’m not sure what the Labour Party’s financial situation is Rob, but I seem to recall that since Jeremy became leader, they have paid off all their debts and are in good shape. The point being that it’s not so much about funds, but inclusion, but even if there was a £5.00 annual fee for the unemployed and low-waged etc, if that led to an additional 100,000 people joining, for example, then that would be an additional half-a-million quid a year that they wouldn’t have otherwise got.

      2. I am pretty sure that paying other people’s fees is legitimate (legal?). It is open to all sorts of abuse.

  7. Agreed Alan , I am all for involving as many as possible and yes the party is in relative financial good health , tho that would possibly change pretty quick if we have a GE and the spend would be significant . It’s food for thought re the low one off annual fee ,not from a POV of money but as a way to ” grow the family ” .
    Wonder if anyone at HQ given this much thought ?

  8. It’s always good to talk and this proves it for me.

    A one-off payment for the unemployed, makes sense. And if it could be paid through the CLP, or even by the CLP then that would be even better.

  9. With a tiny proportion of members playing any regular, continuous or even sometimes occasional activity, the membership number is not the main issue once we have secured this good recruitment level. The real issue for us is creating a sustainable number of well informed active members for the next election after one. Whilst I recognise it varies from area to area, I am absolutely convinced that the young are generally not adequately replacing the old; woman are only occasionally moving into replacement positions, ethic groups remain disproportionately disengaged. Most important of all the class base of the Party has moved considerably away from working class groups. and the class base is still professionals/graduates. The grasp of socialist understanding as opposed to spontaneous single issues protests is I suggest at the lowest level following decades of liberal sentiment displacing politico-economic analysis and absence of debate and education.

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