Labour; Hollowing out but still in the money…..
Numerous reports have suggested t in this regard the tide is defiantly turning with money flowing to the Conservatives as the expected incoming government however Politics Home reports that Labour topped the earnings chart for political parties in 2008. Labour raised £34 million compared to the Conservatives £32 million however they spent £26 million compared to the Conservatives £31 million.
This suggests to me that Labour Party big wigs are expecting a lean 2009 with their likely eclipse by the Conservatives as people become more certain that Cameron is headed into Number 10. You have to remember that the credit crunch had only just begun in 2008 and that various crisis’shave happened in 2009 which have cemented the governments position in the ‘undead in office’ category. It is perhaps worth a moment speculating whether the underspend was due to an expectation of an election in 2009 but it seems more likely to me that the former explanation holds true.
Our figures show how far behind we are in the political arms race when it comes to income. Our £5 million income was counterbalanced by a £6 million spend. Meanwhile, The Times carries news on its Red Box blog that Labour lost 10,000 members last year with figures dropping from 176,891 to 166,247. Like one of the commentors I was shocked Labour still has 166,247 members to call it’s own and it makes me think that rumours of a meltdown are potentially very premature indeed as that remains a sizable number of members.
It seems to me that Blair’s legacy in a solid membership base may well endure until opposition when free-fallmay or may not kick-in. It may well depend on the size of the thrashing Labour receives at the polls and whether those left can see a quick recovery in prospect or not and whether they are prepared to stick around to tarry for Labour’s soul. I would be fascinated to see our membership figures for a similar period but in terms of infrastructure we do have so far to go to meet Clegg’s stated ambition of replacing Labour and it will take more than a Guardian proclamation to make it so.