Lib Dem party membership is up a remarkable 14% this year, according to official figures released by the party in England. 4,500 new members have joined the party since the election and the coalition agreement was reached, and the party is having greater success in retaining current members than in previous years.
Lib Dem Voice reported last week the anecdotal evidence of one parliamentary candidate, Gareth Epps in Reading East, that Lib Dem membership has been on the increase, with a ratio of 10 new members for every one member leaving.
Well, it’s now clear that the experience in Reading is shared across the rest of England. Jonathan Davies, chair of the Lib Dems’ English Party, has realeased the following figures for Lib Dem party membership:
In the first half of this year (1st January to 30 June), Party membership increased by 14%. There were increases in every Region. This compares with the last General Election year (2005), when there was membership increase of just 1.6%.
Membership has continued to grow since the Election and the coalition agreement. There have been 4500 new members and just 450 resignations. In June, which might have been expected to be a quiet month, there were 907 new members and 260 lapsed members rejoined. What’s more the renewal rate for the third quarter is already 70%, compared with only 54% at the same time last year. So there is no truth in the rumours that the coalition is leading to mass loss of membership through either resignation or members not renewing.
Over 80% of the Party’s new members joined over the internet. This means the new members are more evenly spread over the country than in the past where members only joined where there was an active local party to recruit them. We believe the new members have also reduced the average age of the Party. We also now have email addresses for 60% of the Party’s membership – greatly increasing the opportunity for member communications
Chair of the English Party (and because I write in that capacity, all these figures are for England only).
To find out how you can get involved with the Lib Dems click here.