LAB’s huge post-Corbyn increase in members has had almost no impact on the number of council seats being contested

April 8th, 2019

LAB’s fighting 77% of the seats compared with the Tories’ 96%

One of the things that Corbynistas always take great pride in is the number of members who have been attracted to the party since Corbyn’s victory in the 2015 leadership election. With a reported 500k+ the red team is four or five times bigger than the blue one.

One the face of it you would assume that this would reflect itself at election time particularly local ones where turnout is about half general election levels and where so much is dependent on having capable ground troops to get the vote out.

One measure is how many seats are being contested and here LAB lags a fair degree behind the Tories.

The LDs are on a contestation level of 56% which is a fair bit higher than in 2015.

The figures have been collated by the Conservative election analyst Lord Hayward who presented them at a special session in London this lunchtime.

Hayward also noted how in local by-elections this year that Corbyn’s party has been struggling to maintain its vote share.

The map above shows where elections are taking place locally on May 2nd and as can be seen there is a vast swathe of blue. The Tories have most to defend and look set to make some losses though mostly to the LDs

A big issue is the absence of UKIP from many wards compared with 2015 when these seats were last decided. In a few local authority areas Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has put up candidates.

Mike Smithson