Is the upturn here?
One of the more interesting aspects of being a CLP Membership Secretary is that you get to see trends in Labour membership.
I've spend my six years as membership secretary charting my CLP's membership going down - gradually at first, then precipitously in 2003 before, during and after the Iraq War, then more gradually again before bottoming out in 2006 - there being pretty much only the "we were born members, we will die members" mob left. Efforts to turn this round with local recruitment have dented the trend but not changed it.
I've just had a quarterly report for the first three months of 2007 showing a nearly 7% increase - a net gain of 36 members. This is the first substantial increase for at least six, possibly ten years, and I guess must reflect people wanting to participate in the leadership election. Most of the increase is in the more middle class wards most affected by the decline since the War. But it seems to be mainly "new" new members not old members rejoining.
Does this reflect what is happening in other CLPs?
Just for any conspiracy theorists the pattern isn't one that suggests it is connected to parliamentary selections or to the recent very competitive Black Socialist Society elections, which have seen very large numbers of members recruited en masse in other parts of London. It looks like this is people signing up of their own accord because they want to take part in the important choices Labour is about to make.