MEMBERSHIP of the Scottish National Party has soared to more than 120,000 following the EU referendum.

The SNP revealed yesterday that party membership has increased by 4,000 since the June 23 referendum in which the UK voted to leave the EU. All 32 local authority areas in Scotland voted to Remain with the national figure of 62 per cent in contrast to the overall UK result in which 51.9 per cent voted for Brexit.

The SNP enjoyed a massive surge in membership before and especially after the 2014 independence referendum. In 2013 the party had just over 20,000 members, but that number rose to 100,000 within months of the No vote in September, 2014, and has risen again since the vote for Brexit.

The rise in membership puts the SNP within hailing distance of overhauling the UK Conservative Party – thought to have less than 150,000 members – to become Britain’s second largest political party by membership.

Labour has in excess of 500,000 members with the pro-Corbyn surge adding 183,000 in recent days, but the SNP is far ahead of the UK Greens and Liberal Democrats, both thought to have under 70,000 members.

The SNP’s business convener, Derek Mackay MSP, said: “With membership now over 120,000, [it puts] the party in a strong position as we deliver our ambitious manifesto in government and lead the opposition to the Tories at Westminster.

“This extraordinary increase in membership makes clear that it is the SNP which people trust to stand up for Scotland’s best interests – in contrast to a Labour party in complete disarray north and south of the Border, and a Tory party which has taken Scotland to the brink of being dragged out of the EU.

“That membership has grown substantially since the EU referendum vote is testament to the strength of feeling in Scotland that we must not be dragged out of Europe against our will – and the SNP in government will continue to explore every option to maintain our EU status.”