It’s official: Labour has more women and more northerners than the Tories


labour activists

Labour’s grassroots has a broader geographic mix and a better gender balance than any of the other main parties, according to new research.

As well as being by far the largest party in the country, Labour has a bigger share of members in the north of England and a younger activist base than the Tories.

The findings, which also show Lib Dem members are most likely to be middle class and slightly younger, come from research led by political academic Tim Bale.

Jeremy Corbyn has described Labour’s members as the key to its hopes of winning power and last weekend the party staged what is believed to be its largest ever campaign day.

The study, published this week, is part of a long-term effort to map political activity and known as the ESRC party members project. It showed that:

  • Labour’s membership is 53 per cent male, 77 per cent derived from the ABC1 social classes and with an average age of 53.
  • The Tories have the worst gender balance with a membership 71 per cent male, 86 per cent ABC1 and with an average age of 57.
  • The Lib Dems are the most middle class party with a membership 63 per cent male, 88 per cent ABC1 and with an average age of 52.
  • Around one in 25 SNP members live outside Scotland with a membership 57 per cent male, 74 per cent ABC1 and with an average age of 54.

The party members project is a three-year programme run by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.


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