SNP membership passes 20,000 as LibDems face electoral meltdown
Scottish news: SNP membership rockets as LibDems crash
by Aya Kawanishi
Scottish National Party (SNP) membership is racing towards half of the LibDem UK total as the Coalition party hemorrhaged members on a UK basis between 2010 and 2011.
The SNP said its membership soared from 16,232 in 2010 to 20,139 in 2011 in its financial statement submitted to the Electoral Commision, whereas the LibDems are reported to have suffered a drop from 65,038 to 48,934 members across the UK during the same period.
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The Labour Party also saw a slight decline in its UK membership, from 193,300 in 2010 to 193,261 in 2011.
All registered political parties are required to submit their annual financial reports to the Electoral Commission under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 but including membership figures is voluntary.
In what seems like a meltdown of LibDem members, an SNP spokesperson commented: “The Lib Dems have become a non-entity in the Scottish political arena”.
A declining trend in party membership is ubiquitous on a UK level. One recent government report in June said that the UK has one of the lowest rates of party membership in Europe with only 1.0% of the electorate joining one of the main parties in 2010, compared to an estimated 3.8% in 1983.
The same source showed that prior to 2010 - whilst the major parties including Labour, Conservative and the LibDems saw a fall in the number of its members - the SNP was one of the two parties along with the Green Party which seemed to be on the rise in terms of membership between 2007 and 2010.
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