Membership surge raises the prospect of SNP becoming the third biggest party in UK-wide politics.
Membership surge raises the prospect of SNP becoming the third biggest party in UK-wide politics
The SNP will start their annual conference tomorrow with their heads held high, thanks again to dramatic polling results published yesterday by Ipsos Mori.
Contained within Ipsos’s regular political monitor for November, the data shows that of all those respondents certain to vote at the next election, UK wide, the SNP stands on eight per cent of the vote, just one per cent behind the UK-wide Liberal Democrats.
Coupled with the membership surge since the independence referendum, which has seen SNP membership outstrip that of the Liberal Democrats across the whole of the UK, the findings raise the intriguing prospect of the SNP becoming the third biggest political force in UK-wide politics.
The figures show that SNP membership now stands at over 84,000, compared to Liberal Democrat membership which is reportedly at 43,451.
When looking at the Scottish subset of the Ipsos Mori polling meanwhile, the SNP north of the border are on 59 per cent of the vote (up 39 points from the 2010 General Election), and Labour are on 14 per cent (down 28 points), just two percentage points ahead of the Conservatives in Scotland on 12 per cent.
Commenting on the findings, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay said:
“These are very encouraging results showing the SNP in a strong position ahead of next year’s General Election, but we are absolutely clear that there is no room for complacency, and there is a lot of hard work to be done over the coming weeks and months.
“This poll also shows that Labour support in Scotland is continuing to drift away – it’s clear Labour in Scotland are feeling the effects their decision to campaign shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in the No campaign.
“The complete collapse in Lib Dem support since they entered coalition with the Tories should serve as a warning to Labour – people in Scotland won’t be quick to forget or forgive a party willing to work hand-in-glove with a right wing Tory government engaged in a systematic attack on the poor.
“With membership now standing at more than 84,000 and with support continuing to grow, it’s clear that the people of Scotland trust the SNP to hold the Westminster parties to account on their Vow. If the UK parties fail to deliver, they will pay a heavy price at the ballot box.”
The findings will increase the pressure on broadcasters to include the SNP in the proposed leader’s debates in the run up to the General Election, and will once again ignite fears of a Labour meltdown north of the border.
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.