So. Many. Statistics. have been leaked on Labour's membership crisis, which has allegedly fallen by 26,000 since last summer. And three quarters of those who left only joined the party after the 2015 General Election, according to The Times. That means that of the 100,000 who signed up in order to have a vote in the leadership race which elected Jeremy Corbyn, there’s now only 80,500 left. And apparently, the true number of people leaving is likely to be higher as well.
In the last year, more members have left than in the past six years combined. Most of the quitting members have left the party since the middle of December 2016, taking the parties membership down to 528,180 in February from the party’s peak of 554,000 in July of last year. And since Corbyn’s whip on Labour MPs to support the trigger of Article 50, 7,000 members have walked away.
Phew, confused? Us too. But the general trend is that a lot of people aren’t happy with their party and are leaving. We've used maths to try and break it down, exhibited in these graphs...
OK so we know people have left. But why? In the splash in The Times, Lord Watts, a former chairman of the parliamentary Labour Party, said: ‘I imagine the people are losing heart because they can see the polls, they’re talking to their neighbours, and people they work with, and are coming to the conclusion Labour is not doing well and, at this point, not convincing the public’.
As the divide within Labour continues to grow, other parties seem to be doing great. The Lib Dems overtook Labour on the fundraising league tables after receiving donations of £1,972,904. And The Conservatives won a historic by-election in Copeland.
But, the party should just hold on a sec before they freak out. All of these figures are leaked, and we won’t actually know the full truth until the party publish their annual report. Plus, Labour membership is still way above the 200,000 that it was in May 2015. And a spokesperson for the party told The Times: ‘The Labour Party has the largest number of members of any party in western Europe. Our members are one of our greatest assets as a political party.’
Hopefully, Labour can put this all behind them and focus on, you know, actual politics?
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.