Party Members in the United Kingdom

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Politics

Abstract

Few, if any, fully-fledged democracies prosper without political parties. But parties are in trouble almost everywhere - both in terms of public perceptions, which are becoming more and more negative, and in terms of membership numbers, which (with the exception of some newer, more radical entrants into the market) have been dropping like a stone for some time. Unless we are willing to see parties become essentially elitist, hollowed-out institutions, this should give us cause for concern. In a healthy democracy, parties cannot simply be brands run by elites for their own and for our collective convenience. They need to be rooted in, rather than disconnected from, society. Their programmes need to reflect meaningful differences. Their leaders and their parliamentary candidates are best chosen by competitive election rather than appointment or inheritance. Party members can help ensure that all this occurs in practice as well as in theory. They can also, of course, make the difference between a party winning or losing an election since contests are decided not merely nationally, in the media, but locally, on the ground.

In spite of this, we do not know as much as we might do about party members in the twenty-first century. The Conservatives have, it is true, been reasonably well served recently, not least by our own surveys carried out in 2009 and 2013. However, the last academic survey of Labour members was carried out back in 1997 and the last survey of Liberal Democrat members was completed in 1999. UKIP members have never been surveyed. Just as importantly, there has never been a study of the members of several parties carried out concurrently, thereby enabling researchers to ask them exactly the same questions at exactly the same time. Nor has there been any systematic study of people who leave political parties after joining them.

We will change all this. Using samples gleaned from the massive panels collected by internet pollsters, and therefore minimising the logistical and other problems posed by enlisting the parties themselves, we will, in mid-May 2015, carry out simultaneous surveys of the members of the UK's four biggest parties, along with Labour's potential trade union affiliated members and those citizens who feel strongly attached to one party or another yet do not choose to join them. Then, a year later, we will survey those who have left their parties. In order to study the dynamics as well as the demographics of party membership, we will include some of the same questions asked in the pioneering surveys conducted in the 1990s. By fielding the surveys just after the general election and the formation of a new government, we will also contribute to the study of the so-called ground war between the parties and the attitude of their members to different governing options. We will talk, too, to the parties to compare their perspectives.

Our project will benefit academic and non-academic audiences. Politicians and journalists will henceforth know about party members rather than have to make assumptions or educated guesses. Parties can use that knowledge to boost recruitment and retention of traditional and less conventional members. Political scientists interested in parties will not only be able to judge the effectiveness of internet polling as a research tool but also have a number of questions answered about members' social characteristics, attitudes, activities, campaigning and their reasons for joining or leaving - as will those interested in trade unionists' involvement in politics and those interested in comparing voter preferences for different types of candidates to those expressed by the party members who select them. Finally, our research will inform and equip the members themselves. They of course know what they think and what they do as individuals, and in their local parties, but they do not always know how they compare to members in other places and in other parties. Knowledge is power.

Planned Impact

This research will benefit several stakeholders, both non-academic and academic. The former group includes: (1) party members (potential and actual); (2) parties' elected representatives and the professionals who work at party HQ and in local organisation who help service and recruit the membership; (3) those media and think-tanks who make a fundamental contribution to public understanding of politics; and of course (4) the public itself.

Academic stakeholders are dealt with in more detail in another section. Briefly, they include political scientists working on political parties, elections and campaigning, government formation, political finance, and political participation. The latter is also of interest to sociologists and anthropologists who are interested in organisational cultures. In addition, the researchers involved in the project will considerably enhance not only their existing contacts with research users and subjects, but also their skills in project-management, and, more specifically their familiarity with qualitative analysis software.

When it comes to non-academic beneficiaries, existing members of political parties will, for the first time, be able to compare, contrast, and evaluate their experiences, rights, responsibilities, and indeed costs with those of members of their own and other parties. This will help them get more of what they want out of participation. Potential party members will be able to gauge the advantages and disadvantages of membership more accurately. Both actual and potential members will also be confronted with any systematic differences between the kinds of candidates and MPs they want and those that are favoured by the electorate as a whole. This will help them to think about how and who they select.

The parties themselves will benefit from the research because it will allow and encourage them to reflect on the success or otherwise of their own membership recruitment, servicing and retention practices, as well as to compare them to those of other parties. Although each party faces its own unique challenges, many of them are generic and would therefore benefit from some form of knowledge exchange; however, because they are competitive institutions, the latter is something they find next to impossible to do of their own accord. Party professionals and elected representatives will have quality information on what differentiates those who join, those who have an affinity but are not currently members and - just as importantly - those who have left. This will help them better hold onto the first group, pull in more of the second group, and think about what they can do to minimise the size of the third group. They will also have more data than they currently possess on the potential of looser forms of 'membership' that many of them are experimenting with and, in the Labour Party's case, the possibilities offered by boosting affiliated individual membership among trade unionists.

The media and the public will benefit from this research because it will allow them to rely on hard data rather than hearsay and possibly outworn or simply mistaken assumptions about parties and their members, what they want and what they actually do. For instance, of the most common (and, as far as both turn-out and 'disconnect' from parties is concerned, damaging) of these assumptions is that 'parties are all the same these days'. This research will show how that is and is not the case, as well as potentially demonstrating that those who join political parties are not as unusual as their small numbers might suggest. This, together with any increase in parties' ability to recruit and retain members, will go some way to offsetting the decline in political participation, which would in turn render our politics more lively, more legitimate, more responsive and more representative than it currently is. This would represent a considerable contribution to the democratic health and future of the UK.
 
Description 1) One of the traditional functions of party members is to campaign on behalf of their party at general elections. However, they are not the only people who volunteer for the job. In the context of the growing literature on 'multi-speed membership' parties, it is important to ask what non-members do for parties they support. We examined how different actors contributed to the electoral campaigns of six parties at the 2015 UK General Election, using survey data covering not only members of the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, United Kingdom Independence, Scottish Nationalist, and Green parties, but also voters who identified themselves as being close to one of those parties but did not formally belong to them. As well as exploring how much work they do during campaigns, we asked whether the two groups choose different activities and are differently motivated. We find that, at the individual level, party members do more than non-member supporters, and that this is especially true of more intensive forms of activity. We also find that constituency context and political attitudes influence levels of activity in similar ways for members and supporters. However, we find no consistent impact from demographic factors or ideological incongruence (ie ideological differences between the member and his or her party). At the aggregate level, we estimate that the campaign work done by supporters may match or even exceed that done by party members.

2) A survey of ordinary members of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party carried out in 2013 revealed that nearly 30% of them would seriously consider voting for the country's radical right wing populist party (United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)). However, we find that at the general election in 2015, only a very small proportion of them - around 5% of Tory grassroots members - actually did so, driven it seems mainly by alienation from the leadership and David Cameron in particular, as well as, perhaps, by concerns about the Conservative-led government's austerity policies. However, those party members who did eventually vote for UKIP were still much more likely to have expressed a propensity to vote for it in 2013 than those who did not. Since the Conservative Party has not experienced the same increase in membership as some of its competitors, and since members are an important part of parties' electoral campaigning, they should avoid alienating those members they do have - something of which Theresa May appears to be aware.

3) Members who joined the Labour Party after the General Election of 2015, many of them to support Jeremy Corbyn as Leader, do no look demographically very different from those who were in the party under his predecessor Ed Miliband. Nor are they much more left-wing. They are, however, significantly more socially liberal (on issues like law and order, education and immigration). They are also considerably more supportive of the leadership and they are willing to take measures against MPs who do not share their view. They are, though, less active - at least when it comes to traditional, high-intensity campaign activity, than 'old' Labour members.
Exploitation Route 1) The Datasets which will eventually be in the public domain will be of obvious value for secondary researchers
2) We believe that the original findings we have contributed regarding the work of partisan non-members alongside full members provide a model for others researching political activism to build upon or emulate
3) Moreover, a further publication that is presently under review will, if published, break new ground in pointing to the significance of local constituency contexts in explaining activism; again, other can emulate and build on this insight in examining other cases
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/papers-publications/
 
Description We were able to provide a host of media/blog contributions as listed below and here: https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/pmp-in-the-media/written-by-us/ 2017 19th January 2017, Prospect magazine By Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb: Speed data: who are Labour's members? 2016 21st December 2016, Conservative Home By Tim Bale: Tim Bale: Are elections won by members or money? 7th November 2016, Political Insight by Tim Bale: 'The Corbyn problem' and the Future of Labour 16th November 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Monica Poletti, Tim Bale and Paul Webb: Explaining the pro-Corbyn surge in Labour's membership [Republished on 22nd of November by the Mile End Institute blog} 24th September 2016, The Conversation blog by Monica Poletti: Why Labour Party members still back Jeremy Corbyn as their leader [Republished by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog, by MyScience, by London News 24/7.com, and by StuntFM] Longer version of the same blog piece published on the 26th of September 2016 on the Mile End Insitute blog: From #JezWeCan to #JezWeDid: Why Labour Party members still back Jeremy Corbyn 19th July 2016, The Conversation blog by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb: Here's what we know about Labour's £3 supporters - and whether they'll pay £25 to help Corbyn again [Republished by the Independent, The Staggers blog (NewStatesman), NewsWeek magazine, and by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog] 28th June 2016, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog by Tim Bale: Corbyn's Labour: Survey of post-2015 Labour members and supporters 14th July 2016, The Staggers blog (NewStatesman) by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb: Middle-class university graduates will decide the future of the Labour party 12th July 2016, The Conversation blog. by Paul Webb, Monica Poletti and Tim Bale: A "bloody difficult woman": What does the Tory grassroots want from Prime Minister Theresa May [Republished by the Political Studies Association (PSA) blog, the Democratic Audit UK blog and Queen Mary University of London blog (QMUL)] 28th June 2016, Huffington Post blog. by Tim Bale: Jezza's Bezzas: Labour's New Members[Republished by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog] 14th March 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti: Minority views? Labour members had been longing for someone like Corbyn before he was even on the ballot paper [re-posted on 14th March 2016 by Guido Fawkes blog: Seen elsewhere] 8th March 2016, The Times - Red Box by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb: What Cameron activists think about Cameron's dealand staying in the EU 3rd March 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Monica Poletti and James Dennison: The Green Surge and how it changed the membership of the Party [re-posted on 4th March 2016 by The Campaign Company: Newsletter ] 5th February 2016, ESRC Party Members Project blog (PMP) by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti & Paul Webb: Cameron and Tebbit are both wrong: Tory activists are not as set on leaving the EU as many imagine [Republished on the 12th February 2016 by the LSE British Politics & Policy blog] 8th January, 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti: Ideology is in the eye of the beholder: How British party supporters see themselves, their parties, and their rivals 2015 3rd October 2015, The Argus (Brighton). By Paul Webb: Some formidable challenges for Labour's leader 22nd June 2015, New Statesman. By Tim Bale and Paul Webb: Who will win the Labour leadership election? It's a little early to tell 19th June 2015, The Telegraph. By Tim Bale: Tory members trust David Cameron on the EU. Here's the poll that proves it 15th June 2015, The Telegraph. By Tim Bale and Paul Webb: Only 15 per cent of Conservative party members would vote to leave the EU The list of radio/broadcasting interview and mentions can be found here: https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/pmp-in-the-media/radio-tv/ The list of print and online media who have been citing our work can be found here: https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/pmp-in-the-media/newspapers-blogs/ We have also provided briefings to Parties and Professional Practitioners, such as: * Briefings of early results of party membership surveys made to: - Ian McNicol (General Secretary, Labour Party) and colleagues, Labour Party HQ, 30 June 2015. - John Mann MP, Westminster, 21 July 2015. - Austin Rathe, Liberal Democrats' membership director, 21 July 2015. * Presentation made to Centre Forum fringe meeting, Liberal Democrats annual conference, Bournemouth, 22 September 2015. * Presentation made to Centre Forum fringe meeting, Labour annual conference, Brighton, 27 September 2015. Other impact events can be found here: https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal
 
Description Anti-semitism in the UK. Tenth report of session 2016-2017, House of Commons - Home Affairs Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/136/136.pdf
 
Description Briefings of early results of party membership surveys made to: Ian McNicol (General Secretary, Labour Party) and colleagues, Labour Party HQ, 30 June 2015; John Mann MP, Westminster; Austin Rathe, Liberal Democrats' membership director, 21 July 2015.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Chakrabarti Inquiry on anti-semitism in the Labour party
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://esrcpartymembersprojectorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/20160630_chakrabartiinquiry.pdf
 
Description European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) - 26th PhD Summer School in Political Parties, Political Parties in Times of Crisis - University of Nottingham
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://esrcpartymembersprojectorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/2016ecprsummerschoolonparties_notting...
 
Description Socio-demographic survey sample data description to Sky UK to run a similar Labour survey
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description University of Winchester - "Labour's identity crisis: England and the Politics of Patriotism" - Edited by Tristram Hunt MP
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
URL http://www.winchester.ac.uk/research/attheuniversity/FacultiesofHumanitiesandSocialSciences/centre-f...
 
Title UK Labour Affiliated Trade Union Membership Survey 2015, Round 1 
Description Survey of trade union members (N = 1601) Fieldwork: May 2015 (fielded by YouGov, just after the May 2015 General Election) Questions on: demographics, attitudes, relations between trade unions affiliated to Labour party and Labour party, participation activity, previous vote 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not yet known if parties have changed anything due to our research. 
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/data-info/
 
Title UK Labour party membership survey, May 2016 
Description Survey of Labour party members (N=1156) and £3 supporters (N=870) who joined after May 2015: *Fieldwork: May 2016 (fielded by YouGov) Questions on: demographics, attitudes, motivations to join parties, participation activity 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not yet known if parties have changed anything due to our research, but our dataset had plenty of public/media impact. *** Some of the articles we wrote using this dataset: 19th January 2017, Prospect magazine, By Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb, Speed data: who are Labour's members? 7th November 2016, Political Insight, by Tim Bale, 'The Corbyn problem' and the Future of Labour 16th November 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog, by Monica Poletti, Tim Bale and Paul Webb, Explaining the pro-Corbyn surge in Labour's membership, [Republished on 22nd of November by the Mile End Institute blog] 24th September 2016, The Conversation blog, by Monica Poletti, Why Labour Party members still back Jeremy Corbyn as their leader, [Republished by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog, by MyScience, by London News 24/7.com, and by StuntFM], Longer version of the same blog piece published on the 26th of September 2016 on the Mile End Insitute blog:, From #JezWeCan to #JezWeDid: Why Labour Party members still back Jeremy Corbyn 19th July 2016, The Conversation blog, by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb, Here's what we know about Labour's £3 supporters - and whether they'll pay £25 to help Corbyn again, [Republished by the Independent, The Staggers blog (NewStatesman), NewsWeek magazine, and by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog] 28th June 2016, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog, by Tim Bale, Corbyn's Labour: Survey of post-2015 Labour members and supporters 14th July 2016, The Staggers blog (NewStatesman), by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb, Middle-class university graduates will decide the future of the Labour party 28th June 2016, Huffington Post blog. by Tim Bale: Jezza's Bezzas: Labour's New Members, [Republished by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) blog] *** Some of the media where our dataset has been cited: 18th November 2016, The Campaign Company: 17th November 2016, The Telegraph - politics, Morning briefing newsletter 17th July 2016, The Guardian: Labour has the stench of death - meet the killers 16th November 2016, Labour List: New Labour members see themselves as a "leftist vanguard" 27th September 2016, The Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn team targets Labour members of 1 million 8th September 2016, Social Market Foundation (SMF): Ask the expert: 'Revolting Peasants?' Labour's changing membership: who they are and what they want 28th July 2016, BBC News: Saving Labour: A rose at war with its roots? 27th July 2016, The Guardian: Mass membership alone doesn't make a social movement 19th July, BBC News Channel (14:35) [Interview with Tim Bale on Labour new joiners] 18th July 2016, The Guardian: Forget Trident. Labour needs to focus on issues that matters 15th July 2016, BBC News: Can Jeremy Corbyn win over Labour members a second time? 15th July 2016, The Telegraph - Politics: Morning briefing newsletter 15th July 2016, Labour List: Newsletter 11th July 2016, LBC [Interview with Tim Bale] 11th July 2016, Sky Tonight (21.15) [Interview with Tim Bale] 11th July 2016, BBC News Channel (13:40) [Interview with Tim Bale] 10th July 2016, BBC Radio Wales : Sunday Supplement [Interview with Tim Bale on Labour party members] 29th June 2016, Sky News: Sky News Tonight (on party members) 28th June 2016, BBC Two: Newsnight (on Labour members) 28th June 2016, The Independent: Majority of new Labour members support deselecting MPs who undermine Jeremy Corbyn 28th June 2016, The Sun: Smirking class: Fewer than one in six of Jeremy Corbyn's supporters is from working class background 28th June 2016, The Guardian: EU referendum live with Andrew Sparrow (18:08) 28th June 2016, The Times - Red Box: New Labour membership; two thirds did not help out on the doorsteps (pdf) 28th June 2016, Labour List: New members back deselection for MPs who rebel against Corbyn, new study shows 27th June 2016, BBC Radio 4: The World Tonight [Interview with Paul Webb on Labour leadership contest] 
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/data-info/
 
Title UK Party Membership Survey 2015, Round 1 
Description Survey of members of six largest parties in the UK (N=5696): *1193 Conservative Party Members *1180 Labour Party Members *730 Liberal Demorcat Party Members *785 United Kingdom Independence Party Members *845 Green party Members *963 Scottish National Party Members Fieldwork: 12th - 26th May 2015 (fielded by YouGov) Questions on: demographics, attitudes, motivations to join parties, participation activity 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Not yet known if parties have changed anything due to our research, but our dataset had plenty of public/media impact. *** Some of the articles we wrote using this dataset: 21st December 2016, Conservative Home, By Tim Bale, Tim Bale: Are elections won by members or money? 12th July 2016, The Conversation blog. by Paul Webb, Monica Poletti and Tim Bale: A "bloody difficult woman": What does the Tory grassroots want from Prime Minister Theresa May [Republished by the Political Studies Association (PSA) blog, the Democratic Audit UK blog and Queen Mary University of London blog (QMUL)] 14th March 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog, by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti: Minority views? Labour members had been longing for someone like Corbyn before he was even on the ballot paper [re-posted on 14th March 2016 by Guido Fawkes blog: Seen elsewhere] 8th March 2016, The Times - Red Box, by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb: What Cameron activists think about Cameron's dealand staying in the EU (pdf) 3rd March 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Monica Poletti and James Dennison: The Green Surge and how it changed the membership of the Party [re-posted on 4th March 2016 by The Campaign Company: Newsletter ] 5th February 2016, ESRC Party Members Project blog (PMP) by Tim Bale, Monica Poletti & Paul Webb: Cameron and Tebbit are both wrong: Tory activists are not as set on leaving the EU as many imagine [Republished on the 12th February 2016 by the LSE British Politics & Policy blog] 8th January, 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti: Ideology is in the eye of the beholder: How British party supporters see themselves, their parties, and their rivals 3rd October 2015, The Argus (Brighton). By Paul Webb: Some formidable challenges for Labour's leader 22nd June 2015, New Statesman. By Tim Bale and Paul Webb: Who will win the Labour leadership election? It's a little early to tell 19th June 2015, The Telegraph. By Tim Bale: Tory members trust David Cameron on the EU. Here's the poll that proves it 15th June 2015, The Telegraph. By Tim Bale and Paul Webb: Only 15 per cent of Conservative party members would vote to leave the EU ***Some of the citations we got in the meida for this dataset: 17th July 2016, The Guardian: Can Theresa May even sell her own conservatism to her own cabinet 10th July 2016, The Guardian: Who are the Conservative party members? 9th July 2016, The Sun: Who will choose? As the Tory leadership contest hots up, we take a look at the members responsible for choosing Britain's next leader 8th July 2016, Financial Times: Who, and where, are the Conservative's party members? 8th July 2016, BBC News: Guide to the Conservative leadership race: May vs Leadsom 7th July 2016, BBC News: Who are the Tory members picking UK's next prime minister? 11th April 2016, Politics.co.uk: The Corbynistas are noisy online - but will they go out delivering leaflets? 28th March 2016, Conservative Home: Andrew Kennedy: Political parties. The age of mass membership may be over. But that of mass participation may be just beginning 14th March 2016, Labour List: Research into Labour membership finds Corbyn's victory was 'an accident waiting to happen' 18th February 2016, Financial Times: Day of reckoning for wavering Conservative Eurosceptics (pdf) 15th February 2016, The Washington Post: Will Britain vote to leave the EU? These six factors will make the difference 2nd February 2016, Conservative Home: Tim Bale & Philip Cowley: What Conservative MPs really think about Britain's EU membership 15th January 2016, The Independent: Britain could be more left-wing than people assume, study finds 14th January 2016, EurekAlert!: UK's political center ground could be further to the left than thought, research suggests 12th January 2016, New Statesman: What killed the BNP? It's not extinct, but it might as well be 10th January 2016, Matters of Fact blog: Odd one out: Lib Dems and a progressive alliance 8th January 2016, Labour List: Could Corbyn's position strengthen further? Labour supporters still more left wing than party 27th December 2015, Financial Times: London's youth swells Labour ranks 22nd December 2015, The Guardian: Labour people are optimists, but this time I see no hope 23rd September 2015, The Guardian, live update (11:27) on Lib Dem Conference 9th September 2015, Liberal Democrats Newswire: New survey data reveals more about members 23rd July 2015, The Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn must understand Labour's new members to change the party's fortunes 23rd July 2015, The Independent: Just who are these Labour Party members who will be choosing the new leader? 
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/data-info/
 
Title UK Party Supporters Survey 2015, Round 1 
Description Survey of party identifiers of six largest parties in the UK (N = 6378): *1142 Conservative Party Members *1136 Labour Party Members *1004 Liberal Democrat Party Members *1071 United Kingdom Independence Party Members *1029 Green party Members *996 Scottish National Party Members Fieldwork: May 2015 (fielded by YouGov, just after the May 2015 General Election) Questions on: demographics, attitudes, previous vote, motivations to join parties, participation activity 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not yet known if parties have changed anything due to our research, but our dataset had plenty of public/media impact. Written by us using this dataset: 8th January, 2016, LSE British Politics and Policy blog, by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti: Ideology is in the eye of the beholder: How British party supporters see themselves, their parties, and their rivals Some citation of this dataset in the media: 15th January 2016, The Independent: Britain could be more left-wing than people assume, study finds 14th January 2016, EurekAlert!: UK's political center ground could be further to the left than thought, research suggests 12th January 2016, New Statesman: What killed the BNP? It's not extinct, but it might as well be 10th January 2016, Matters of Fact blog: Odd one out: Lib Dems and a progressive alliance 8th January 2016, Labour List: Could Corbyn's position strengthen further? Labour supporters still more left wing than party 
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/data-info/
 
Description ECPR - 26th PhD Summer School in Political Parties, Political Parties in Times of Crisis - University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Paul Webb, co-investigator on the Party Members project, spoke to international PhD students and academics about our research on party members demographics and campaigning activities as part of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) Summer School, organized at the University of Nottingham: "Assessing Party Organizational Change: Participation, Representation and Power"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersprojectorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/2016ecprsummerschoolonparties_notting...
 
Description Electoral Reform Society-McDougall Trust: "Why do people join political parties today, and what do they do for them?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to professional practitioners and politicians about our research on party members demographics and campaigning activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description Engagement with broadcasting media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Various national and international media interviews and contributions on party members via radio and TV interview and mentions (after providing data to journalists). See list of contribution in URL below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/pmp-in-the-media-2/
 
Description Engagement with print and online media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Various national and international media interviews and contributions on party members via articles and online-posts or by providing data to journalists. See list of contribution in URL below
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/pmp-in-the-media-2/
 
Description Fringe events at 2015 Party Annual Conferences: Conservative, Labour, and Lib Dem. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Fringe events at Party conferences where we spoke (on panels organised by think tanks) to party members and politicians about our research and shared some of our findings with them: we had an audience of 75 at CPC, 50 at LPC and 100+ at LDPC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description Launch of the Political Studies Association - Early Career Network (ECN), Houses of Parliament, London. "Politics in Interesting Times, findings from the ESRC Party Members Project in the UK" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Monica Poletti, post-doctoral research fellow on the Party Members project, spoke to PhD and early career researchers about our research on Labour's new party members demographics and campaigning activities, and about her early-career researcher experience in the UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.psa.ac.uk/psa-communities/early-career-network/events/launch-political-studies-associati...
 
Description Project's Facebook page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Updates any member of the public on our ongoing research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/esrcpartymembersproject/
 
Description Project's Twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Updates any member of the public on our ongoing research and passes on interesting work on membership which appears in the media and elsewhere.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL https://twitter.com/ESRCPtyMembers
 
Description Project's Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Showcases and updates any member of the public on our ongoing research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://esrcpartymembersproject.org
 
Description SPIR, Queen Mary University of London: Candidate selection: a view from the grassroots. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Department seminar. Spoke to other researchers about our research on party members view of party candidates socio-demographic characteristics. "Candidate selection: a view from the grassroots."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description Social Market Foundation (SMF) 2016. Ask the expert seminar: 'Revolting peasants?' Labour's changing membership: who they are and what they want" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to practitioners about our research on Labour's new members demographics and campaigning activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.smf.co.uk/%EF%BB%BFask-the-expert-revolting-peasants-labours-changing-membership-who-they...
 
Description Sussex University talk: "The report of my death was an exaggeration". Party membership in 21st century Britain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to researchers, students and practitioners about party membership in general and our research on demographics and campaigning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description Sussex University: "So who really does the donkey work? Comparing the election campaign activity of party members and party supporters" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Department seminar. Spoke to other researchers about our research on party members and party supporters demographics and campaigning activities: "So who really does the donkey work? Comparing the election campaign activity of party members and party supporters"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description The Representative Audit of Britain Project workshop, Birbeck University of London, UK: Candidate selection: a view from the grassroots. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to other researchers about our research on party members preferences of party candidates socio-demographic characteristics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description University of Exeter presentation: "Party Members in the UK: Some Initial Findings" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to other researchers about our research on party members and supporters demographics and campaigning activities, as well as party views on candidates: ""Party Members in the UK: Some Initial Findings"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/
 
Description Workshop - Party Leadership and Intra-Party Politics, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Spoke to other researchers about our research on party members demographics and campaigning activities: "What do grassroots members do for their parties during election campaigns - and why do they do it? Explaining the activism of British party members in the general election of 2015"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://esrcpartymembersproject.org/events/