THE SNP have received more than 5000 applications for membership since the results of the General Election were announced, it has been revealed.

The party, which won 47 out of 59 seats across Scotland on December 13 – 12 more than in 2017 – took votes from all the major parties. Now they claim that the increasing interest in the party, and the wider independence movement, is clear and growing.

In response, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week called for the Scottish Parliament to be given permanent powers to hold subsequent referendums on independence and published The Right To Choose, a 38-page document proposing the devolution of powers to Holyrood. Boris Johnson has yet to respond.

The National:

Some have argued that tactically voting for the pro-Remain party was also behind SNP successes. However, the independence-supporting Scottish Greens also reported a membership increase of more than 100 people in the weekend following the election.

There are more than half a million signatures on the SNP’s independence website, which claims it is now time for another referendum.

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So far 14,000 people have registered on Facebook to attend All Under One Banner’s March for Independence on January 11, with a further 40,000 noting their interest. The Scottish Conservatives said it could not reveal whether there had been any change to its membership numbers since the election period and Scottish Labour did not respond to a request from the Sunday National for its figures.

Despite initial signs that Labour’s position on a referendum was softening, the party has still to declare its support and whipped its MSPs to vote against the SNP Government’s Referendum Bill last week.

Monica Lennon and Neil Findlay both abstained. Other key Labour figures backing a referendum include former first minister Henry McLeish and Labour councillor Alison Evison.

SNP business convener Kirsten Oswald MP said: “We have had an overwhelming response since the General Election from people applying to join the SNP from across the country.

“As well as this spike in membership applications, last week saw the pledge for independence reach the milestone of 500,000 signatories and of course there are now a dozen new SNP MPs fighting to make Scotland’s voice heard at Westminster."

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The MP – who earlier this month won her East Renfrewshire seat back from Tory Paul Masterton – added: “Scotland voted overwhelmingly to reject Boris Johnson and his extreme Tory Government’s devastating plans for Brexit and austerity.

“The SNP winning over 80% of the seats in Scotland and the Tories losing most of their seats highlights just how different the path is that Scotland is taking compared to south of the Border.

“We are greatly encouraged that increasing numbers of people recognise that the only alternative to being stuck in an isolationist right-wing UK is as an independent country – and a clear way to help make that happen is by joining and supporting the SNP.”

The SNP has had a consistent rise in its membership in recent years. According to the party’s figures, it soared from just 25,200 in 2013 to more than 90,000 in 2014, the year of the first independence referendum. As of December 2018, it had 125,500 members, but a figure for 2019 is not yet available.