The Labour party is struggling to make progress ever since the 2018 Local Elections, which took place in May. The summer parliamentary recess is imminent and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party be ahead in the polls, and finally expect to be seen as a valid government, but that is not the case. Recent news has revealed that party donations are unbelievably low, trade unions are failing to attract younger people, and the upcoming “Labour Live” concert is struggling to sell tickets.
According to the latest figures, Labour raised just over £1.5 million in the first 3 months of 2018, the lowest amount since records began for Labour. Last year during the same 3 month period Labour raised over £2.2 million, so something is clearly going wrong.
Although Jeremy Corbyn has attracted over 100,000 more members since he first became Labour leader in 2015, donations are terrible. When Ed Miliband was Labour leader, the party raised over £4.4 million in donations in 2014, and Tony Blair raised over £5.5 million in 2003. Labour have also been the recipients of £1.25 in taxypayers’ which is “short money” set aside for the official opposition.
However, the Conservative Party have managed to raise a staggering £4.7 million in the first 3 months of 2018. Although it is no surprise the Conservatives have the biggest individual donors, it is still rather shocking when the Conservatives have just 120,000 members in comparison to Labour’s 600,000.
Official figures have shown that the number of people aged under 30 who are members of a trade union has dramatically declined since the beginning of the 20th century. According to the BBC, figures from the TUC (Trade Union Congress) shows a significant fall of nearly 10% in youth numbers regarding trade unions.
The General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, said the union movement has a “problem reaching young people “. She stressed that now is the time to join a union in this fragile period, and that figures clearly demonstrate that unions are beneficial to workers. However, clearly Frances O’Grady’s message isn’t working, as figures show that of all employees of all ages, just 23% are members of a union, the lowest percentage since records began in 1995.
Everyone accepts that unions do not have the same influence on the government as they used to during the 20th century, but this is still a strong problem for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. The foundation of the Labour Party was built upon the trade union movement and unless unions can attract younger members, then Labour will never have the same strong foundations as the Conservative Party.
Labour’s attempt at repeating Corbyn’s Glastonbury festival sensation is failing miserably. It is unsurprising that Labour decided to hold a festival, as it was clear from the Summer of 2017 that he is incredibly popular with younger voters. However, it was a big gamble and doesn’t seem to be paying off, as tickets are simply not being sold.
As well as younger people, musical artists have expressed their support for Corbyn, including Stormzy. However, Labour Live all seems a bit rushed, and the actual lineup isn’t very appealing in comparison to the routine big-name festivals. Various reports have suggested that just 1,800 tickets have been sold, yet the venue holds up to 15,000.
Labour Live as an idea seems wonderful, and the perfect way to demonstrate how the party is the only viable option for younger voters. However, it will only be the super-keen corbynites that actually turn up, and that arguably highlights the problem that the party is still deeply divided. It is undeniable that a party in the UK has ever attempted such an event to seem “modern”, but it is too forced and the ticket sales show why it won’t be nearly as successful as first thought!