Rise of interest in political parties in the Western Isles

The number of card-carrying members of the SNP has more than doubled in the last few weeks in the Western Isles, with more than 300 islanders joining the party since the referendum polling day on 18 September.

Western Isles SNP has welcomed their new members at a time when an unprecedented 50,000 new people throughout Scotland have joined up in the space of a fortnight to bring the total membership of the SNP nationally to almost 78,000.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “Nobody could have predicted that there would be this huge surge of people wanting to join the SNP. At one point last week, someone in Scotland was joining the SNP every 15 seconds, and the party’s website could not cope with the traffic.

“This has been reflected locally too, with the party’s membership in the islands swollen to over twice its size of just a few days ago. Over 520 islanders are now members of the SNP, and this total continues to rise by the day.

“What all that tells us is that the referendum campaign has energised and motivated a new generation of people to get real powers for Scotland and to become politically active in a way many have never been before.”

The Western Isles Association of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party also recently reported a rise in membership, along with “considerable interest and support expressed by the general public at the policies and standpoints of the Party”.