Party politics is all fired up after Referendum

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People are joining local political parties in unprecedented numbers in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum.

The SNP’s Linlithgow Branch has tripled its membership from 75 to over 200 in the fortnight since the referendum was held.

And the Lothian branch of the Scottish Green Party is considering setting up a Linlithgow branch to cope with the influx of new members from the town.

On the other side of the referendum divide, the Bo’ness Labour Party has noted a “marked rise” in its branch membership – going from 35 to 38 members over the same period.

Kenny Anderson, chair of Linlithgow’s SNP branch, said: “The increase in our membership is not really that surprising given the level of engagement with politics during the referendum campaign.

“The Yes campaign was such a vibrant and positive campaign that people want to continue to be part of that type of politics.”

Christine Mahony, one of the new additions to the local SNP branch, had never been a member of a political party before.

She said: “The Scottish referendum campaign was the most electrifying political campaign I’ve ever lived through.

“Everyone – rich, poor, young, old, well educated or not – on the streets, in the pubs, at bus stops and in their homes were all talking about the issues.

“After the No vote I felt that I could not let all that energy dissipate; so I joined the SNP to support the idea of a better Scotland and a better life for people who live here.”

Michael Burnett, branch secretary at Bo’ness Labour Party said: “One great legacy of the referendum campaign is the increase in the number of people who now want to contribute to improving our society.

“This can be done in a number of ways, not just joining a political party; from getting involved in community groups to supporting single issue campaigns.”