In November I blogged about how politics in Britain is changing from a two or three party system to a six or seven party system. I mentioned the declining membership of the three tired old parties and the growth of the so called smaller parties. In December I wrote about the explosive growth of Podemos in Spain, and compared it to our Green Party’s surge in membership.
I’ve been a supporter of the Green Party, and before that the Ecology Party, since way back, pretty much to the founding days in 1973. I only got around to first joining the party in 1983, the year we founded the Herefordshire branch. The party did quite well in the 80’s, membership peaked at about 20,000 before sliding down during the 1990’s to about 5,000 where it stayed until 2003.
Very slowly numbers started to rise, by 2010 we had 10,000 and by 1st January 2014 we had 13,809 members. The rate of increase slowly grew. By the autumn the Green Surge was really building: we passed the 20,000 mark on 3rd October, 24,435 on 4th November, 25,799 on 18th November and 27,618 on 2nd December. That’s when things really started to go crazy. On 12th January we had 32,629 and 35,481 on 15th January. All these figures are just for the Green Party of England and Wales, but of course to compare with other UK parties we should add the numbers from our sister parties in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which have also seen impressive growth. These combined figures give us totals of 42,500 on 14th January, 43,829 on 15th January and 44,713 on 16th January, overtaking UKIP on 14th and the LibDems on 16th! Still a way to go before we overtake the membership of the Conservative and Labour parties, but at the current rate of growth this is possible, perhaps even before the election on 7th May!
Yesterday a couple of dozen of us were out canvassing in Leominster. Such a buzz of excitement! Come and join us. Be a part of the Change!