By Bob Duncan

The SNP has increased its membership by almost a quarter in the last year alone, the party announced today, continuing to soar in marked contrast to the main Westminster parties.

Recent figures published today by the party show that there are now 24,732 members at the end of 2012. This compares to 20,139 at this point last year – a rise of 22.8%.

Last month a UK government study showed that the SNP’s booming membership is bucking the trend of decline in the UK-wide ranks of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories.

The paper, which was published by the House of Commons Library, shows membership of all three of the biggest Westminster parties declining significantly between 2003 and 2011.

SNP membership more than doubled in the same period and, according to today’s figures, has continued to increase sharply throughout 2012.

Between 2003 and 2011, individual party membership of the Tories across the UK declined by almost a third ( 31.5%), while the Lib Dems fell by a similar amount (31.0%), and Labour membership declined by a tenth (10.2%).

Over the same period, SNP membership more than doubled (an increase of 111.6%), before soaring by a further 22.8% in 2012.

Over a slightly longer period, between 1997 and 2011, the report shows that Labour membership fell by more than half (52.3%), demonstrating the degree of the party's long term decline in members.

Welcoming today’s figures, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP said:

“Membership of the SNP is booming - more than doubling between 2003 and 2011, and increasing by nearly a quarter in 2012 - which is a fantastic sign ahead of the referendum.

“More and more people are responding positively to our record in government and our vision of an independent Scotland, and want to play their part in bringing that about.

“Given that over 143,000 people have already signed the Yes declaration, it is clear that the positive case for Scotland's future is building momentum.

"In contrast to the SNP's rising membership, the plummeting figures  for the Westminster parties shows just how disillusioned people have become with what they have to offer."


# Nation Libre 2012-12-31 04:08
# RaboRuglen 2012-12-31 06:29
Hi there,

It would be interesting to know if the increase in membership was uniform across the the country, or concentrated in the traditional "Labour" areas of the Central Belt. If the second was to be the case it would be a further clear indication that the awaited slaughter of the Labour vote is imminent.

# RJBH 2012-12-31 08:01
Yup's a matter of interest to many, Just who exactly is still supporting Labour, especially in the light that Labour itself no longer a socialist party, it seems to offer nothing other than unionism for the benefit not of the people, but for "Labour" MPs.
# clootie 2012-12-31 14:40
"..........who is supporting Labour"

They have maintained a strong vote with the dead and via postal votes.
# Hugo 2012-12-31 08:58
. . people are responding positively to our record in government . . .

This is probably a major cause of SNP membership growth.
# farrochie 2012-12-31 09:46
Now if I can recruit another one in 2013...
If each of us can get a recruit in 2013...
That'll make the difference.
# amfraeembro 2012-12-31 11:22
According to the MSM it's been a terrible year for the SNP. I wonder what a good one would look like.
# Hugo 2012-12-31 15:51
May the SNP have many more bad years! lol
# Arraniki 2012-12-31 12:27
I needed a plumber last week to fix a burst pipe.

Job done, and noticing my SNP car sticker, he asked if I could sign him up.

Job done!
# bouzirouge 2012-12-31 13:34
What a success story for the SNP. As a daily visitor to these pages and an occasional visitor to toryhoose and labourhame, i can feel the difference between, on the one hand, the positive aspect of the yes lobby and on the other hand, the negative, depressing reading of the naysayers or better together mob. This site has daily postings. Always vibrant and interesting and not full of smug self-congratulating yes men. I read real people having a real debate. The no mob make for depressing reading. nothing on labourhame since the 25th of November. Toryhoose "account suspended" (did someone forget to put a shilling in the meter???) Says it all really. Who in their right mind would want to join their club? VOTE YES 2014.
# dadsarmy 2012-12-31 16:21
Very impressive. I tried to find Scottish Labour membership and the best I can do quickly is from this:

"Last year, Scottish party membership averaged just 205 per constituency, lower than any other UK region except ..."

So it's UK constituency, there are 59, so that makes 12,095 at the end of 2011.

Interesting comment there about Lamont:

"she is a centrist who doesn’t believe in universal benefits and who supported housing stock transfers"
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-31 20:53
Hi Dad,
Thanks. I read through your link but I'm left asking myself if the Labour party have this breakdown, talking about "affiliate" members then average constituancy member numbers, does the 205 per constituency include both ?

I think 205 actual individual members on average may be about correct, if it includes affiliates, then Labour really are in trouble.
The other obvious information they must have is the actual number of individual members by constituency. That would make interesting reading, but I'm sure it would be easier to crack Fort Knox that get that information out of them.

What we do know for sure is that the SNP have 24,732 members at the end of 2012. That must make uncomfortable reading for all other parties.
# Corm 2012-12-31 16:36
I dont know if the percentages being reported give the full picture really? I mean surely the "big three" have many more members than the SNP?

So a significant drop in a big party membership may look comparable/much worse to a small rise in SNP membership when reported as percentages of the existing totals.

Im sure the info in raw figures is our there. Anyone know a link to it?
# Taysider 2012-12-31 17:16
I'm not sure of the exact figures but I think the Tories have about 150,000 members UK wide and about 8,000 in Scotland. The Lib Dems have about 75,000 UK wide and some 4,000 in Scotland. Labour are very coy about their figures and count many Trades Union members where the TU is affiliated to Labour as members of the party but they probably don't have more than 10,000 true members in Scotland. It's almost certain the SNP has more members in Scotland than Lab, Con and LD put together.
# Henry 2012-12-31 18:03
I have to admit that I was a Labour voter having been a peer and friend to many miners' children back in the day. If you had told me then that I would vote anything other than Labour, I would not have believed you.
Forward 30 years and I am now a party member and activist for the SNP, so disillusioned have I become at the leadership of the Labour party both at Westminister and Holyrood. Successive Labour leaderships have not only convinced me to switch my vote but have pushed me further into joining the SNP and becoming involved - most recently in the local elections this year.
As far as I am concerned the only hope for the Labour movement lies with Alan Grogan and LFI. I am committed to the SNP this side of the referendum and for the first parliamentary term following a Yes vote (for stability). After that who knows, but I'll let Johann and her apparatchiks into a secret - it's all about the policies - not the faces.
# 1314 2012-12-31 18:20
Radio 4 World at One doing interview with UK parties - SNP tomorrow.
# Hirta 2012-12-31 18:56
Funny, I don't see mention of this on the BBC !

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