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A Jeremy Corbyn rally – a sign of a revitalised party membership [Image: Twitter].

This is a timely reminder, as Labour goes into its national conference.

Fair enough, Tim Farron did a good job bringing members back into the Liberal Democrats.

But the real mystery is how, with a declining and aging membership, the Conservative Party has still managed to win more seats in Parliament than anybody else.

Apparently the Labour Conference is to receive a report advocating proportional representation as a way of building left-wing representation in Parliament.

Considering the current stranglehold on democracy by the zombies, maybe it can’t happen too soon.

One of the greatest achievements of Jeremy Corbyn has been to revitalise political activism in Britain.

According to a report in the House of Commons library active membership of political parties fell to its lowest ever recorded proportion of the population – at 0.8 per cent – in 2013. It was virtually teetering on near extinction. It had also veered to the right – with UKIP going from now nowhere to 74,000 members.Labour in 2013 was also at a low before Corbyn won the leadership of 190,000 members.

After Corbyn’s leadership victory in the autumn of 2015 membership of the Labour Party had soared to 388,000. Under his leadership, despite a hostile press, it grew again to 544,000 by the end of last year. Since then it has risen to 552,000 in June. And on the eve of the party conference now stands at 569,500.

To do him credit the other person who revitalised an ailing party was Tim Farron. Fuelled by their Remain stance the Liberal Democrat party moved from 61,000 members in December 2015 to 78,000 by the end of last year and to 102,000 by May this year. though this is dwarfed by Labour.

Between the two of them they have increased membership of political parties to 1.7 per cent of the population – still small – but more than double the numbers in 2013.

The real mystery is the Tories. They say their membership is 149,000. But this figure has never been updated since 2013 as no political party is obliged to publish its membership numbers in its annual report. Their shyness in producing any new membership figures since then – suggests that they may have suffered a decline in membership.

It has recently come out that the average age of Tory members is 72 which suggests that while there have been enormous increases in Left and Centre parties – the Tories could well be in terminal decline and turning literally into the party of the living dead!

Source: How Jeremy Corbyn (with a little help from Tim Farron) brought political activism back from the living dead | David Hencke


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