Tories must come clean on membership figures - ex-chairman
Grant Shapps stated "transparency" on club numbers changed into crucial even though the determine regarded to be "embarrassing".
The birthday celebration closing posted figures in 2013, while it had 149,800 individuals however has refused to post an replace for the reason that then.
Activists and teachers have envisioned it has fallen to 100,000, or much less.
That could make the Conservatives the fourth biggest birthday celebration inside the UK, at the back of Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, in keeping with politics professor and birthday party club professional Tim Bale, assuming their opponents have "held above 100,000".
'Difficult and embarrassing'
Labour's club has surged to extra than 500,000 beneath Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP and Lib Dems have additionally visiblewill increase in latest years, despite the fact that the SNP, with an anticipated 118,000 contributors, have slipped lower backbarely from their put up-independence referendum height.
The Conservative Party stated it did now not touch upon club figures.
Mr Shapps stated David Cameron had "taken a few convincing" to launch the figures on the quit of 2013.
The then Tory chief believed it might be a "tough and embarrassing discern to put up", stated Mr Shapps, who becomebirthday celebration chairman on the time.
But the Tory MP stated he had argued, in a written submission to Mr Cameron, that it might be "embarrassing now not to put up the figures and it'll assist us growth the club - and it did".
Mr Shapps stated "coming smooth approximately club is step primary" in rebuilding the Conservative Party's campaigning electricity beforehand of the subsequent trendy election
He stated potential individuals needed to accept a motive to enroll in the celebration - and he referred to as for them to take delivery of a say in coverage formation, as they had been within the Lib Dems and Labour.
He additionally argued for the put up of birthday party chairman, presently held through Sir Patrick McLoughlin, to be made an elected function.
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John Strafford, of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, stated he had heard from neighborhood birthday party resources that the club will be as little as 70,000, even though a Tory supply has informed the BBC it's far "notably better" than that, with out announcing what it become.
Mr Strafford stated a complete photo could now not emerge till March while human beings had renewed their subscriptions.
He stated greater than 1/2 of nearby institutions had fewer than one hundred contributors - and he warned that if not anything became accomplished to make participants sense greater concerned "Labour will wipe the ground with us at the subsequent wellknown election".
at the birthday celebration's 2017 preferred election marketing campaign, through former cupboard minister, Sir Eric Pickles, known as for pressing motion to boom club and the birthday party has stated it's miles "within the procedure of taking ahead his guidelines".
Latest available membership estimates
Labour - About 552,000 as of June 2017
Conservatives - About 149,800 as of December 2013
Scottish National Party - About 118,000 as of August 2017
Liberal Democrats - About 103,000 as of September 2017
Green Party of England and Wales - 55,500 as of March 2017
UK Independence Party - 39,000 as of July 2016
Plaid Cymru - About 8,300 as of 2017
Some Tory activists have expressed problem approximately the birthday party's club profile, after a document by way of Tim Bale's Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London cautioned at the least forty four% of individuals have been over sixty five and seventy one% had been male.
But, the record pressured, "not one of the events has were given a great deal to jot down domestic approximately with regards to younger human beings" and "Labour participants are not, on common, that a whole lot more youthful than grassroots Tories".
A extra disturbing problem for the birthday party, it counseled, changed into that Conservative individuals appear like the maximum upset approximately how they may be handled via their management.
Just 28% of Conservatives trust they've a large say on coverage in comparison to a few quarters of Lib Dems and SNP individuals and sixty one% of Labour participants, the survey observed.
Conservative individuals "did much less on nearly each depend than their opposite numbers in different events" to assist their birthday celebration at some point of ultimate yr's widespread election and the distinction become "in particular marked" to be used of social media, the file stated, which may also assist to give an explanation for Labour's "relatively marvelous overall performance".
Political events are below no duty to put up club figures - and the Conservatives aren't the best celebration to refuse to accomplish that whilst the numbers are idea to be falling.
UKIP remaining posted a club determine in July 2016, while it stood at 39,000.
According to grassroots internet site Conservative Home, the Conservative Party's club can also have fallen via 1 / 4 from some thing it became in 2016, precipitated in component through Tories who voted for Remain within the EU referendum now not renewing their subscription.
But, the website provides, calculating a club determine is hard due to the fact the facts is held by means of nearby birthday party branches and there isn't a vital sign in.