Loads of people have joined the Labour Party following its defeat in last year’s general election, but a disproportionate number of them are rich and own their home. The revelation that “high-status city dwellers” are flocking to Labour was revealed in internal party data that was leaked to the Guardian.
The number of registered Labour Party members hit 388,103 at the end of 2015, up a massive 194,349 on the previous year. The huge increase, driven by support for new leader Jeremy Corbyn is interesting, but the way the categories of people signing up break down is really surprising.
Here are the most interesting bits:
- The number of previously mentioned “high-status city dwellers” has increased by 119%. They now make up 11.2% of the party membership, but only make up 4% of the general population.
- Another 10% of the membership is made up of those in “prestige positions” — rich, married couples who own their homes.
- Poor people, categorised as those “who have to budget to make ends meet,” have been joining the party but they only make up 4% of the total membership while comprising make up 8.7% of the population.
- People over 70 who live alone, a crucial election demographic, have increased by 41%, but still only make up 2.8% of the membership.
- Loads of members have left Labour since the general election in May, 2015. 15,284 people didn’t renew their membership and another 6,627 resigned.
The report itself warns that young people, renters, people who rely on government benefits, and people living outside of cities are underrepresented in Labour. It’s a conclusion that some long-time Labour members agree with and blame on Corbyn.
Former Labour MP and chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Lord Watts said last week that Corbyn is paying too much attention to the rich city dweller who eats croissant for breakfast. Here is what he told the House of Lords (emphasis ours.)
My advice to my own party leadership is that they should take less notice of the London-centric, hard-left political class who sit around in their £1m mansions, eating their croissants at breakfast, and seeking to lay the foundations for a socialist revolution.
It is not the job of the Parliamentary Labour Party to sit around developing ultra left-wing policies that make it feel good. It is its job and responsibility to come forward with policies that will help us win the next general election.
The Labour Party haven’t responded to Business Insider’s questions about the report, but a Labour source did tell us that “it sounds about right.”
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