The Conservative Party may no longer be the second biggest party in the UK

Theresa May in Westminster at PMQs
Support us and go ad-free

After a difficult week, the Conservative Party may have to face up to some more bad news today. A massive surge in SNP membership means it’s likely now the UK’s second largest party, relegating Theresa May’s party to third place.

SNP members walked out of the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) on 13 June. In the following 24 hours, over 5,000 people joined the party.

According to the latest figures released by the SNP, at least 7,526 people have joined the party since the walkout. In April 2018, Conservative Party membership was reported at just 124,000, while SNP membership sat at 118,200. The influx of members takes the SNP’s estimated total to around 125,700.

SNP Walkout

During PMQs, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford was thrown out the chamber, prompting the rest of the party’s 35 MPs to follow:

The move stemmed from anger towards the previous day’s debate. Only 15 minutes were allocated to discuss how Brexit issues related to the devolved administrations. And no Scottish MP was given an opportunity to speak.

The Scottish Parliament voted not to give its consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill. But the UK government pressed on regardless. Ministers at Holyrood accused the Conservatives of a “power grab”, with decision making over some previously devolved areas staying at Westminster.

“Petty w***rs”

If the Conservative Party has fallen behind the SNP in terms of membership figures, the blame will surely lie at the door of its MPs.

Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger shouted “suicide” when an SNP MP asked what options were available for Scotland post-Brexit. The comment caused outrage among members and mental health campaigners. But Grainger doubled down, calling the party a bunch of “petty wankers”.

Scottish secretary David Mundell also opened his party up to criticism north of the border. Responding to questions in the commons, Mundell said Scotland is “not a partner of the United Kingdom, but part of the United Kingdom”:

Recent actions have even led to some in the media claiming the Tories are doing the SNP a “huge favour”:

‘Hands off our Parliament’

Since the walkout, thousands across Scotland have been taking to the streets. In Glasgow, crowds gathered at the statue of Donald Dewar, who championed the creation of the Scottish Parliament:

While hundreds took to the Scottish Parliament itself in Edinburgh:

Indyref2?

Four years after the referendum, the independence movement in Scotland seems to have found a renewed vigour. Record numbers marched through Glasgow at the recent All Under One Banner march. And the release of papers such as the Growth Commission has reignited the economic debate.

There has been much disagreement around the Growth Commission within the independence movement. And the SNP-led Glasgow City Council’s continued support for an arms fair in the city has also come under fire from both SNP members and the wider movement.

But the current fight-back against the Conservative government does seem to have truly brought the factions together under one loose banner again. The announcement of another vote on Scotland’s future seems inevitable if pressure from the grassroots is maintained. What happens then is anyone’s guess.

Get Involved!

Join us, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

Featured Image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed