EXCL Labour membership on course to hit half a million again in boost for Jeremy Corbyn
Labour's membership is on course to hit half a million again following a surge in applications after the general election was called.
PoliticsHome understands that the number of people in the party bottomed out at around 475,000, down from a peak of 564,000 at the end of 2017.
However, it has now gone up again to more than 480,000 and party bosses are confident it will break through the half million barrier in time for the election.
A Labour source said: "Since the election was called, our mass membership has risen to the challenge.
"We’ve been campaigning across the country and the small donations are coming in fast. Come rain, wind or shine, our members are ready to transform our country."
PoliticsHome revealed in July that Labour's membership had dipped below half a million after tens of thousands quit the party.
Despite that, senior figures, including Jeremy Corbyn, have continued to insist that there are more than half a million in the party.
It is understood that the overall figure includes tens of thousands of members whose subscriptions are in arrears.
Nevertheless, the fact that the number of people joining the party is on the rise again is a huge boost for Jeremy Corbyn with just over a month until the 12 December polling day.
Meanwhile, Labour has raised more than £1 million in small donations since the election was called 10 days ago.
The average donation was £26.
In the first two days of the campaign, the party raised almost as much as it did in the first fortnight of the 2017 election campaign.
Andrew Gwynne, Labour's campaign co-ordinator, said: "I am delighted that our campaign has inspired people all over the country to make small donations to help our people powered movement bring real change to Britain.
"People know that a Labour government will be on the side of our NHS, not Donald Trump and on the side of millions of workers who pay their taxes and serve our communities, not the wealthy few who fund the Conservative Party.
"Our movement is powered by people and volunteers making small contributions they can afford, because they want to change the country for the better."