A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NEC Turnout and membership size

A couple of commenters below have asked what the NEC Results say about size of CLPs, and turnout.

You can work out average CLP size from the published data in the Labour Party NEC Report - it's no great secret that it down to about 38% of what it was in 1997, but seems to have bottomed out. The relative size of CLPs to each other seems to be consistent though, as this list of the 20 largest CLPs is almost identical to lists I saw when I worked for the Party in the mid-90s - just that each of them is about 500 members smaller:

Ealing Southall CLP
North Ayrshire & Arran CLP
Bethnal Green & Bow CLP
Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
Feltham & Heston CLP
Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Islington North CLP
Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
Brentford & Isleworth CLP
Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Streatham CLP
Garston & Halewood CLP
Greenwich & Woolwich CLP
Derby South CLP
Nottingham East CLP
Cambridge CLP
Vauxhall CLP
Brighton Pavilion CLP
Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP

The patterns behind these pockets of very high membership are mainly obvious: a cluster of three in West London with Sikh and/or Hindu mass membership; the equivalent large Muslim membership in Bethnal Green & Bow; Derby S I think is also driven by a large ethnic minority membership; two where I think the driver is people joining through NULSC (i.e. Labour social clubs) - North Ayrshire and Garston; a cluster of 5 neighbouring seats in the Guardian-reading belt of liberal North London; the mirror image cluster of 4 in South London. Brighton and Cambridge are the equivalent areas outside London. I can never remember whether social clubs are a factor in Greenwich & Woolwich but it has been in the 20 largest CLPs since individual membership came in in 1918 - I think Greenwich had the first full-time Agent in the country, pre-WW1, and pioneered individual membership when in the rest of the country you had to join through a union, the ILP, or the Fabians. Nottingham East I don't know about, can anyone explain?

I won't name the 20 smallest CLPs but the pattern is obvious in that they are all in largely rural/agricultural areas: eight in rural Scotland, two in rural Wales, three in the far south west and the others scattered across the south.

As for turnout in the NEC elections it was just under 20% nationally, ranging from a high of 43% down to 8%. The highest turnouts were mainly in small CLPs, the lowest in very large ones where the members have joined to get entry to a social club or vote in council selections rather than because of a passionate interest in the relative fortunes of the Grassroots Alliance or Labour First. I was pleased to note that both the CLPs I have been parliamentary candidate for (Aldershot and Castle Point) were in the 20 highest turnouts.


Anonymous Lost and confused said...

Where on membersnet can we find the report? It's a bit of a maze.

1:37 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Where's Tottenham CLP?

1:49 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous MichaelC said...

I can't find it on membersnet either...

1:50 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous Haggerston Harry said...

Lost and confused said...

Where on membersnet can we find the report? It's a bit of a maze.

Ditto. Luke, please can you tell us where on the list Hackney South comes? Thanks.

2:50 pm, December 17, 2008

Anonymous Stuart King said...

Nottingham East draws a reasonably large chunk of its membership from the asian community in the constituency, which probably explains its place in the top 20.

3:01 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Tottenham is the 478th best seat for the GRA, Hackney South the 426th.

3:49 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Oh I see you mean by membership. Tottenham is 43rd largest CLP in the UK (probably not what Justin wanted to hear as he is a, if not the, Tottenham Tory) and Hackney South is the 47th largest, so both in the top 50.

3:52 pm, December 17, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

So in other words more than half the membership have left.

I think that should be a concern but I never really felt that there was very much belief in members actually having an active say from some quarters - and not much point in bothering to join otherwise

12:27 am, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Bethnal Green & Bow CLP (now part of Tower Hamlets Borough Labour Party) still retains a place in the top 20 largest CLPs, its membership has never recovered from the mass resignations caused by the invasion of Iraq. Membership has increased as Respect declines, but not to what it once was.

5:03 pm, December 18, 2008

Anonymous CLP Secretary said...

Luke, any chance you could give us a hint where we could find this info if we do know our way round membersnet?

I'm a CLP Secretary and would be interested to see our data (and report it back) but can't find it anywhere...

4:24 pm, December 19, 2008

Anonymous NeilF said...

Thanks Ann

10:02 pm, December 20, 2008

Anonymous Ann Black said...

To find the results, log in to membersnet, then click the Resources tab, then Keep It Legal, then scroll down to the bottom and bingo, there they are! - Enjoy

1:47 pm, December 22, 2008


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