Today, Derek Wall from the Green Party tweeted this graph showing the growth in Green Party Membership from 2002 – 2014.
Two interesting points to draw out from the graph:
- How low the membership was 10 years ago (I joined when the party had just 6,280 other members).
- How consistently the membership has grown over the last 12 years (with obvious spikes).
In contrast when we look at membership figures (source: House of Commons briefing Sept 2014) of the three largest political parties in the UK we can see the exact opposite occurring:
- Membership that used to be quite big but…
- Now the membership is consistently slipping away.
For the sake of comparison, if we look at the Conservatives compared to the Greens we can see that the Tory membership fell by more than half between 2000 and 2013 while the Green Party grew by three fold.
It is worth highlighting though that other smaller parties are also seeing a growth (the BNP serving as the exception).
Perhaps what is most interesting however is to look at the percentage increase or decrease over the last 10 years to examine where the momentum is in British politics:
This one crass measure doesn’t tell you much but it does suggest that both UKIP and Greens are currently riding high.
The pertinent question though is will this trend continue and will all these small parties become bigger players in British politics or will we see some of them drop off like we did the BNP?
Today the quarterly donations for political parties in the UK was published.
Apart from the actual quantities (millions of pounds) there were a few noteworthy figures to highlight:
- The mystery of Ms Joan L B Edwards – Sitting in both second and third position (after UNITE) for biggest donations was a Ms Joan L B Edwards who donated £420,576 to the Conservatives and £99,423 – curious isn’t it? Our friends over at Lib Dem Voice helped unravel the mystery though – apparently Ms Edwards left £520,000 to “the government of the day” in her will. It was decided that because of the coalition this should be split between the two parties by number of MPs and cabinet members.
- UKIP and BNP are making a mint while the Greens are looking green – UKIP was donated a hefty £153,229, the BNP (considering that they have almost ceased to exist in any elected sense) picked up an impressive £97,879, while the Greens took home a measly £27,242. To put this into context, the Tiverton branch of UKIP received almost twice as much as the national Green Party.
- If things look bad for the Greens though…it’s worse the SNP – Once again the SNP have picked up little more than peanuts (£4,500). This, if not bad in itself, shows the nationalists to be in stark contrast to The Labour Party who, in Scotland alone, picked up £66,032. With an independence referendum coming…this sort of money disparity will surely have an effect.