by a Newsnet reporter
The SNP have revealed the extent of the parties growth in popularity 100 days on from their historic election victory in May by announcing they already have 400 potential candidates ready to fight next year’s council elections.
With applications now closed and assessment and selection procedures about to start, the party is gearing up for the local authority contests where they will be hoping to build on the 363 councillors they already have.
Welcoming the numbers the SNP’s business convener Derek Mackay said:
“The enthusiasm across the party membership to play a part in making Scotland a better country at every level is extremely exciting.
“100 days ago people across Scotland voted for a brighter future and for an end to the status quo when they rejected the nay sayers of opposition and backed the SNP’s team and vision for Scotland.”
Since the May election the SNP has won two council by-elections, taking control of Aberdeen City Council and seen 5 councillors defect to the party. Party membership is also on the increase with over 18,000 people now registered.
The council contests, to be held on May 3rd, will be used in order to determine whether the new LibDem leader Willie Rennie has been able to arrest the falling support in Scotland. Rennie leads just five MSPs in the Scottish parliament and any further losses are sure to be seen as failure.
Mr Mackay described Labour and the Tories as leaderless and directionless and added:
“We have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people keen and eager to play their part. 100 days after the SNP won the first ever majority in the Scottish Parliament the party is already looking ahead.
“It is hugely encouraging and inspiring to see so many people who have a strong track record in their communities looking to step up and become councillors.
“In just 264 days time Scotland can take the next step and support the election of councillors across the country who will work with the SNP team in government and who share that vision of a better future for all parts of Scotland.”