A theory (Guardian comment):
“For the last twenty or so years the Tories have neglected their structure of local branches. As a result they now have a tiny membership. Their declared figure of 124,000 is almost certainly falsely inflated. If you do the arithmetic on their declared income from subs, the only membership figure that makes any sense is somewhere around 41,000.
As a result many local branches are moribund and have been for years. Local branches were not just sources of income. They were also schools for rising talent. So with no schools for rising talent for quite some time, the Tories now do not have any talent at any level of their organisation.”