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Jul 18, 2013

The party's over: which clubs have the most members?

Australia's political parties are on the nose as they desperately try to sandbag dwindling membership. Crikey has investigated which parties, teams and clubs have the most members -- and you might be surprised at the results.

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16 thoughts on “The party’s over: which clubs have the most members?

  1. Douglas Evan

    A series of interesting comparisons. Here are a couple more. For a piece of writing I did some research into numbers. My source gave me a different membership number for the Liberals but the comparison with AFL Clubs is interesting.
    If we accept that the current ALP membership is 44,000 and the current Liberal Party membership is 78,000 Labor has about the same membership as the Adelaide Crows AFL club and the Liberals just exceed the somewhat more successful Collingwood Football Club.

    Australia’s population is roughly 22,300,000. A total of 719,582 Australians are members of an AFL Club.The ALP has 44,000 members and the Liberal Party has 78,000 members. My computer’s calculator tells me that this means:

    One in every 31 Australians belongs to an AFL club.
    One in every 506 Australians belongs to the ALP.
    One in every 286 Australians belongs to the Liberal Party.

    Australians are more than nine times more likely to belong to an AFL club than to the Liberal Party and about seventeen times more likely to belong to an AFL club than to the ALP.

    Writing for Inside Story Norman Abjorensen states that the median age of Victorian Liberal members in 2008 was 62 (presumably higher in 2013) against the median age of Victorians of 43. There is no reason to believe that the membership of their coalition partner the Nationals is more youthful. According to Latham, 55% of Labor’s national membership is in the ‘concessional’ membership category, largely retirees.

    Given the strong influence of the Union movement over the ALP you might expect that a high percentage of Labor members would be members of trade unions. You would be wrong. In his Quarterly Essay Latham claims that roughly 5800 unionists Australia wide belong to the ALP. About 16% of the membership. This is less than 0.5% of the membership of ALP affiliated unions, hardly a resounding vote of confidence in the continued relevance of the ALP by the members of the Unions whose dues bankroll the Party. For some really interesting further reading try.
    See also

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