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How many members do the Irish parties really have ?

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  • 06-07-2017 12:03pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 15


    We were told for years that FG had up to 100k members, but recently the truth came out that they only had 20k members and only 10k of them bothered to vote in the leadership election. So what is the real membership figures for other parties I wonder ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭Jolly Red Giant


    We were told for years that FG had up to 100k members, but recently the truth came out that they only had 20k members and only 10k of them bothered to vote in the leadership election. So what is the real membership figures for other parties I wonder ?
    Much of the membership of the larger parties is a 'paper' membership - often signed up by TDs or people aspiring to be TDs as voting fodder in conventions and occasional canvass fodder in elections.

    FF are less than FG - they took a serious hit as a result of the crash - and their membership was in decline well before that. I would be surprised if they topped 10,000.

    The LP would claim about 5,000 - but it is very much a paper membership - there are many constituencies where the LP doesn't exist and even where they have TDs many of the branches are paper branches. Their active layer is probably 400-500 at most.

    SF would have a large membership that would tend to be more active than the other three. There membership in the North is bigger than the South, They are definitely bigger than the LP in the South but would still not be in the range of FF/FG. Probably in the 5,000-7,000 range.

    GP is a very loose party - even in areas where that would be known for 'green / ecological / hippie lifestyles the GP would have very few people who would do any work for them. It is more a layer of people who would come to the odd meeting and vote for them. I'd be surprised if there was more than a few hundred.

    SDs probably have a couple of hundred based around their TDs. In my area they ran a candidate in the last election but they have no functioning branch, and the membership is the candidate, her family and some friends.

    I4C aren't a party.

    WUAG has less than 100

    Solidarity/PBP - both are a different kettle of fish to the rest of the parties in that they are activist parties rather than conventional electoral parties. A significant number of the membership would regularly engage in political activity, some every week. Both groups are separate and would probably have a similar membership - about 1,000 each. Hundreds of people have applied to join Solidarity since the Jobstown verdict.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,646 ✭✭✭washman3


    Can somebody explain to me why a person would want to be a 'member of a party'...??
    Sound to me like people that are leading a very sad life.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,332 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    washman3 wrote: »
    Can somebody explain to me why a person would want to be a 'member of a party'...??
    Sound to me like people that are leading a very sad life.

    I say the same thing about people who watch cricket matches instead of GAA or hurling. Horses for courses.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,350 Mod ✭✭✭✭Quin_Dub


    washman3 wrote: »
    Can somebody explain to me why a person would want to be a 'member of a party'...??
    Sound to me like people that are leading a very sad life.
    I say the same thing about people who watch cricket matches instead of GAA or hurling. Horses for courses.

    Whilst I don't think it's "sad", I struggle to understand the point of it, unless you have a desire to be active or potentially run for office.

    What you you get as a regular member of the local party?

    I assume that you get to vote in local candidate selection elections - Do you also get to vote at national party level or are those votes limited to the local cumann representative?

    Is that it though?

    I mean, I'm fairly politically engaged (obviously) and keep myself very up to date on stuff, but I cannot envisage a scenario where I'd have any interest in joining a political party.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,646 ✭✭✭washman3


    I suppose 'party members' a bit of leverage when they want to get daughter Sile a job in the 'civil service' or fast track son Sean's planning permission in the flood plain beside his daddy's farm.
    When I look at those that canvas for politicians at election time, one can only despair.:(


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    washman3 wrote: »
    Can somebody explain to me why a person would want to be a 'member of a party'...??
    Sound to me like people that are leading a very sad life.
    washman3 wrote: »
    When I look at those that canvas for politicians at election time, one can only despair.:(

    Well at least they are willing to get up and do something to further their beliefs. If you don't get involved, then your criticism is worthless since even you don't think they are worth pursuing!


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