More than three quarters of Labour Party members are now drawn from the most affluent social classes in Britain, making somewhat of a mockery of Jeremy Corbyn’s claim to be leading a workers’ movement.
Professor Tim Bale’s Party Members Project finds that 77% of surveyed Labour members are in the ABC1 social group. ABC1s are Britain’s richest and most-educated, working in professional or managerial jobs. The proportion of ABC1 Labour members has also increased since the last survey (and since Corbyn became leader); ABC1 members are up 7% from from 70% in 2015.
The C2DE classes, who work in manual jobs, and whom Labour traditionally represents, now account for just 23% of the party’s membership.
The 2017 ESRC survey of Labour members was a repeat of a similar study carried out in 2015. It suggests Labour has had a surge in the number of women members with the percentage rising from 38% to 47%. More than half of members are graduates, with an average age of 53 and fairly affluent, with 77% of those surveyed from an ABC1 social group, up from 70% in 2015.