Lib Dem membership up for 15th consecutive month

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKIt’s over a year since we first reported that Lib Dem membership, which plummeted in the aftermath of the formation of the Coalition, had started rising again. That meant the party finished 2013 with more members than it began the year.

Well, the upward trend is continuing, as an email to members tonight notes:

Liberal Democrat membership has once again increased in the previous quarter, which means we’ve now grown continuously for the past 15 months. Membership now stands at 44,526, which means that since July 1st 2013, our Party has has grown by more than 7%. This could not have been achieved without your hard work. So, on behalf of everyone here at HQ, thank you!

Of course that doesn’t get the party back to where it was in May 2010. But at least it’s going in the right direction now.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Exiled Scot 6th Nov '14 - 11:33pm

    44,000 – about half the SNP then.

  • New SNP members……glory hunters. What’s the betting half of these will not still be members by 2020 ?

  • Gwyn Williams 7th Nov '14 - 9:33am

    May 2105? I am absolutely confident that we will have recovered before then.

  • “Membership now stands at 44,526…”

    How many of these members will vote in the election for President of the party?

    I hope it will be 90% or more. After all a member just needs to write 1 and possibly also 2 on a piece of paper, put it in the free envelope provided and post it. So you do not need to be a zealous activist to vote.

    Am I being unduly optimistic in hoping for a 90% turnout?

  • Yes you are John. I’d say 40-45% is the upper limit.

  • matt (Bristol) 7th Nov '14 - 10:45am

    Tim Hill, that’s a strange comment that ignores the facts that:
    a) even if new SNP members are short-term, there is a good chance that many of them will fund, work and vote for the party more consistently.
    b) the fact of the SNP’s membership rise is very likely to make other parties take the SNP more seriously and alter their messaging in both Scotland and England – this is still true whether or not the membership rise is short-term. It changes day to day politics.
    c) people have a right to be short-term members of a party if they want to be and disparaging this ‘shopping’ approach which has become the dominant model of consuming and engaging with all culture and civil society (I’m not saying I like it) just maes you look like a high-handed insider who wants to make outsiders feel small and unwelcome in politics as a whole and most particularly in your own party, whether or not that is the SNP.

  • @John Tilley – I suspect they’ll be a large number of members who wont mind who is President or don’t feel suitably qualified to pass judgement and therefore choose not to vote.I may well be one of them.When the figure of those voting falls well short of the official membership figure I do hope you aren’t going to suggest that perhaps we don’t exist.

  • paul barker 7th Nov '14 - 1:47pm

    Very slightly off-topic, there were 2 Local Elections yesterday & we stood in both ! Our Vote rose by 4% in Cornwall & 8% in Rugby.
    Labours Vote fell in both places, by 11% & 8%.
    Interestingly, in Rugby where UKIP stood for the 1st time, both The Greens & TUSC saw their vote collapse; confirming that protest Voters are primarily against rather than for anything in particular.

  • Dean.W.
    You prefer to hide behind the anonymity of something other than your real name. So I have no way of knowing if you are a member of the Liberal Democrats.

    If you are a member but do not consider yourself able to cast a vote in an internal party electon for an important post like president of the party that is up to you; but why would you assume that anyone else would be equally clueless?

  • Nick Collins 7th Nov '14 - 4:20pm

    Is it not normal for membership of most parties to increase in the run-up to an election: and to drop off somewhat in the twelve months following that election? In that context, it is hardly surprising that you have experienced a modest increase in membership since this time last year; and Tim Hill’s comment on the rather more impressive increase in the SNP’s membership over the same period can be seen for what it is: sour grapes.

    But the reality is that your membership now, like your opinion poll ratings, is well below that of 2009 and shows no sign of getting close to that of 2010 in the next six months. That’s exactly what your record “in government” deserves and it makes your leaders’ apparent aspirations, as reported in today’s Times, for their roles in a further coalition look like hubristic folly..

  • John Tilley I wasn’t aware that there was a list of party members which is open to all and sundry but if that’s the case you can have my surname.
    If you wish to characterize those who choose not to vote as “clueless”fine that’s up to you..I certainly didn’t say or imply that.

  • Stevan Rose 7th Nov '14 - 6:37pm

    44,526 Lib Dem members. 40,094 UKIP members. Still ahead on paying supporters.

  • “44,526 Lib Dem members. 40,094 UKIP members. Still ahead on paying supporters.”

    But behind by 2:1 in the polls.

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