By Sean Martin
Membership of the SNP surpassed 75,000 this afternoon, meaning the party has trebled its numbers since the referendum less than two weeks ago.
Now comfortably the third largest political party in the whole of the United Kingdom, the SNP has added around 50,000 members since 18 September.
The party confirmed today it has been attracting new recruits from places traditionally viewed as Labour strongholds, with business convener Derek Mackay MSP insisting this is evidence of a more politically engaged electorate.
He said: “This new democratic movement in Scotland simply won’t accept the same old politics as usual from the No parties.
“Westminster now simply must deliver the real powers we need to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country for everyone who lives here. Failure to do so would be completely unacceptable.”
Mr Mackay also highlighted a recent poll which showed support for the SNP at 49 per cent – an increase on the levels polled prior to the party’s 2011 Scottish election landslide.
“The strong position of the SNP – standing at 49 per cent in the polls – contrasts sharply with the Westminster parties,” he said.
“We’ve now well overtaken the Lib Dems at UK level, and the Tories and Labour are tearing each other apart as their vow to the people of Scotland gets caught up in the infighting between Westminster factions.
“With this extraordinary growth in membership, it is clear that it is the SNP that the people of Scotland trust to hold the Westminster establishment to account on their view of substantial more powers for Scotland.”
The Scottish Green Party has also experienced a drastic increase in members since the referendum, now totalling almost 6,000 members and the SSP’s membership has increased from 1,000 to almost 4,000.
Green MSP for Lothian, Alison Johnstone, recently encouraged public engagement in the devolution talks despite the time constraints placed on Lord Smith of Kelvin, who is heading the process.
She added: “Greens were not campaigning for a wee version of Westminster. This debate has shown us that democracy begins at street level.”
News of continued membership growth for Yes-supporting political parties comes after Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed further cuts of £25bn are still to come if the Conservatives return to power after the 2015 general election.
In response the SNP’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, said such decisions proved the Conservatives “can’t be trusted with welfare and taxation” while also criticising Chancellor George Osborne’s latest benefit cuts.
He added: “In the same week that George Osborne announces benefit cuts that will cost families £500 per year and intensify the problem of in-work poverty, Mr Cameron has laughably claimed that the Tories are the party of ‘compassion and social justice’.
“To those who are currently relying on foodbanks to help them feed their families, the irony of his words will not be lost.”