More Scots Join SNP in a Week Than Scottish Labour’s Total Membership

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Labour's Alistair Darling (L) and SNP leader Alex Salmond shake hands at the second television debate over Scottish independence at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow August 25, 2014 David Cheskin/Pool/Reuters

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has doubled its membership since its independence campaign ended in a narrow defeat last Thursday, overtaking the Lib Dems as the third largest UK political party.

Since last Thursday's vote the party has gained 22,104 new members by Monday evening, taking its total membership to 47,746. The influx of new members has continued and as of Tuesday afternoon SNP membership exceeds 50,000, meaning the SNP now have more members than the Liberal Democrats’ entire UK-wide membership of 43,451 according to their own estimates. 

The surge in support for the SNP also means more Scots have joined the nationalist party in thje last five days than the total number of Scottish Labour Party members according to their most up-to-date figures (13,135 in 2010).

A Labour Party spokesman said that Scottish membership had increased “by the hundreds” during the referendum campaign, but declined to give full up-to-date membership figures.

Scottish Labour’s Twitter bio claims it is Scotland’s largest political party, despite having 40,000 fewer followers than the SNP’s, which also lays claim to the title of the largest party.

Meanwhile, as the Labour Party conference entered its second day on Tuesday, disillusioned Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrat voters have been taking to Twitter, renouncing their former parties and embracing the SNP.

One user echoed a tweet posted by many Scots over the last two days, writing:

Another user joked about Scottish Labour’s reluctance to publish their own membership figures:

The social media campaign which saw the SNP-backed Yes campaign earn the support of 45% of Scots, now fuels a social protest movement, which has gathered momentum over the last four days and aims to oust mainstream Westminster parties from Scotland.

Yes badges on profile pictures have been replaced by ones signifying the 45% of Scots who voted for independence, as the Facebook page “We are the 45%” has amassed more than 164,000 likes since it was created on Thursday.

One of the biggest emergent groups for independence since the negative result in the referendum, the Butterfly Movement, called for Scots “to ignore that Westminster even exists” on Monday.

“We dreamed ourselves free, we each felt the beauty of that freedom, and now we must make it a lived reality,” a statement on the group’s website read.

Correction: This article originally referred to the Scottish Nationalist Party, when of course we were referring to Scotland's main nationalist party, the Scottish National Party (SNP).