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Oh Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour Party Membership Soar after the 2015 General Election?

Whiteley, Paul and Poletti, Monica and Webb, Paul and Bale, Tim (2019) 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour Party Membership Soar after the 2015 General Election?' British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21 (1). 80 - 98. ISSN 1369-1481

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Abstract

This paper investigates the nature of 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 (BES) and Party Members Project (PMP) data, we explain the surge by focusing 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
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jeremy Corbyn, joining parties, Labour surge, party members, political cynicism, relative deprivation
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 14:38
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 20:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23326

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