Oh, Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour Party membership soar after the 2015 general election?

Whiteley, Paul, Webb, Paul, Poletti, Monica and Bale, Tim (2019) Oh, Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour Party membership soar after the 2015 general election? The British Journal Of Politics And International Relations, 21 (1). pp. 80-98. ISSN 1369-1481

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Abstract

This article investigates the remarkable surge in individual membership of the Labour Party after the general election of May 2015, particularly after Jeremy Corbyn was officially nominated as a candidate for the leadership in June of that year. Using both British Election Study and Party Members Project data, we explain the surge by focussing on the attitudinal, ideological and demographic characteristics of the members themselves. Findings suggest that, along with support for the leader and yearning for a new style of politics, feelings of relative deprivation played a significant part: many ‘left-behind’ voters (some well-educated, some less so) joined Labour for the first time when a candidate with a clearly radical profile appeared on the leadership ballot. Anti-capitalist and left-wing values mattered too, particularly for those former members who decided to return to the party.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: political parties - Labour - Jeremy Corbyn - party membership
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex European Institute
Depositing User: Paul Webb
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 16:12
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/79663

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Party Members in the United KingdomG1772ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILPOLD1A6S - ES/M007537/1