Scottish pro-independence parties report membership surge

Sep 22, 2014, 09:29 IST | PTI

London: Scottish pro-independence parties reported a surge in membership over the weekend as campaigners vowed to continue to fight after a split with the United Kingdom was rejected in a referendum.

The Scottish National Party said its servers were struggling to cope with 11,000 new membership requests in the 75 hours following the referendum on Thursday, when it had 25,600 members.

The SNP's leader Alex Salmond announced he would step down as Scottish First Minister after 55 per cent of voters rejected independence, and British Prime Minister David Cameron said the question had been settled for a lifetime.

However, supporters of independence vowed to continue the campaign on social media, many including the figure "45" in their profile pictures to represent the percentage that voted for the split.

"As a former Labour councillor of 15 years I have today joined the SNP," wrote pro-independence aviation consultant John Baillie on Twitter, who was previously the Labour Party leader on South Ayrshire Council.

"On Friday I mainly felt angry, yesterday I just felt sad, today I joined the SNP. Never give up on what you believe in," wrote @Kels450 yesterday. The pro-independence Scottish Green Party said its membership had increased by 2,000 since Thursday.

The referendum campaign had seen a huge rise in engagement in politics, and voter turnout of 84.5 per cent and over 90 per cent in some areas broke previous records in Britain.

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