The Liberal Democrats are continuing to grow as a party, with membership expected to reach 44,000 today – an increase of more than 500 members this year. This compares with 42,501 at the start of 2013 and 43,451 at the start of this year.
2013 was the first time in recent history a governing party has increased its membership over a year while in power and the first time the Liberal Democrats have increased membership outside of an election period in more than a decade.
Today’s figures show that momentum is continuing.
Recent years have seen a steady decline in party membership for all mainstream parties. Conservative membership dropped dramatically from around 400,000 in 2000 to around 130,000 now. Labour membership has dropped from a peak of around 400,000 in 1997 to less than 200,000 today.
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “This is great news and a further sign that the feel-good factor is well and truly back in the Liberal Democrats.
“As a party we are on the front foot, making the case confidently that only the Liberal Democrats can build a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.
“We are campaigning hard in the European elections as the Party of IN. We are the only party that will stand up for British jobs and our place in Europe – and in Nick Clegg we have the only party leader prepared to go out and make that case publicly.
“We are proud that we have a record of delivery to champion in Government, including cutting taxes for working people by £800 a year; creating 1.6m new apprenticeships and investing in schools with the £2.5bn Pupil Premium and free school meals for infants.
“And we are also showing that we have curbed the worst excesses of the Conservative Party, stopping them from allowing bosses to fire staff at will; giving inheritance tax cuts to millionaires; or allowing the Government to snoop on your emails.”