West Australian ALP State Secretary Simon Mead has accused Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd of missing the point in their efforts to reenergise Labor's membership, saying inept communication has driven new members out the door within months of their arrival.

The crucial intervention highlighting the issue of membership "churn" on the eve of the party's national conference will add to calls for the prime minister to articulate a clear narrative to stop interest levels waning as tumbleweeds infest Labor's few remaining active branches.