Our Labour Party has lost 90,000 members over the past year. The party’s statements revealed that the number of Labour members fell by 17.4% from 523,332 in 2020 to 432,213 at the end of 2021.
Although our current membership is well below its recent peak of 575,000 in July 2017, it remains a great deal higher than the 201,000 members we had going into the 2015 General Election.
Apparently, “LabourList understands that the fall in membership is in line with the usual trend experienced between elections,” but this understanding is simply not borne out by the data as reported by the Party to the Electoral Commission;
Table 1: Labour Party Membership, 2010-2021
Membership at 31/12
Annual percentage change
In the two years after losing the 2010 General Election we lost fewer than 6000 members, which was less than 3%. In the period after losing the 2015 General Election our membership increased massively, as a result of the two leadership elections won by Jeremy Corbyn. During 2018, the year after we lost the 2017 General Election, our membership did fall by a little more than 45,000 (8%). However, in the two years since we lost the 2019 General Election we have lost almost 100,000 members (18.76%).
Quite how LabourList can conclude that the catastrophic decline in party membership in 2021 is normal in a period between elections is difficult to work out. I guess it must be the combined effect of lazy journalism and disingenuous sources.
Another way of looking at this data is to say that Ed Miliband held the membership of our party steady, Jeremy Corbyn massively increased our membership and Kier Starmer has overseen continuous decline.
Tomorrow, I will think a bit about the political implications of these statistics.