The SNP’s biggest ever Spring Conference opens in Glasgow today, as figures show party membership has soared with a 12 per cent increase since the New Year.

The SNP leader Alex Salmond is expected to tell delegates that “Home Rule with independence beats Tory rule from Westminster any day”.

The First Minister will also use this year’s speech to launch the SNP’s local government election campaign with Glasgow being one of the key areas the party hope to challenge Labour.

The Party have made huge progress since their last Spring Conference – also held in Glasgow – one year ago.

The SNP went into their 2011 Spring Conference with poll ratings 15 per cent behind Labour yet went on to win the Scottish Parliament elections, winning an extra 22 seats and gaining a historic and unprecedented overall majority. 

In Glasgow itself, historically a Labour stronghold, the Holyrood election saw the SNP become the largest party – winning seven seats compared to Labour’s six.  SNP supporter’s will be hoping for a similar result in the local elections on May 3rd.

Speaking in advance of the SNP Conference, being held in the SECC – with around 2,000 delegates, members, exhibitors, observers and media expected over the weekend – the SNP’s Business Convener, Derek Mackay MSP, said:

“We go into this year’s conference in upbeat mood as party members from across Scotland gather in Glasgow – making it our biggest ever Spring conference – estimated to bring an economic boost to the city economy of over £1 million.

“We also gather as our party membership continues to rise – with nearly 2,400 new members since the New Year – a 12 per cent increase.  

“Last year in Glasgow we were preparing for what became a historic result in May with the election of the first ever majority SNP Government.

“We won last year’s elections, we are working hard to win this years local government elections for the people of Scotland and we are working to win the referendum for Scotland’s future.”

Mr Mackay said that whilst the party were doing everything it could to build the recovery, independence would allow much more to be done.

Listing the steps the Scottish Government had taken including prioritising capital projects such as new schools and hospitals, helping businesses with a Scottish Investment bank and freezing the council tax he added:

“The SNP Scottish Government is doing everything possible within current powers to build for recovery, … However with the powers of independence we could do much more – as will be outlined this weekend.”

 

See a conference podcast with BBC Scotland’s Brian Taylor interviewing SNP Depute leader Nicola Sturgeon: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17302094

A live video stream of the conference can be viewed here: http://www.snp.org/media-centre


Comments  

 
#
cjmjr
2012-03-10 10:35

Very best wishes for a successfull conference and good luck in the Council Elections.
 
 
#
RTP
2012-03-10 11:31

Tried to hear BT webchat with Nicola nothing on screen but the clock running down ,gremlins or just the BBC messing about at the SNP.


Oh just tried again message “this content dosen’t seem to be working”
 
 
#
RTP
2012-03-10 12:41

Noticed this on BBC site.


SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon answerered your questions, hosted by Brian Taylor

An on-demand version will appear soon
 
 
#
Wee-Scamp
2012-03-10 13:17

Sadly the live stream from the conference doesn’t appear to be working
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2012-03-10 13:30

Break for lunch.
 

 
#
Arbroath1320
2012-03-10 13:20

If the SNP membership numbers can be increased by 12% in, effectively, 2 months, what’t the chances that the membership numbers will have increased by around 75% by the end of the year?

I know, highly unlikely but hey, 12% in 2 months extrapolated out gives 72% so why not? 😀
 
 
#
GerrySNP
2012-03-12 20:21

Even more than that – Derek McKay’s arithmetic is slightly askew. If we have had 2400 new members and I know the starting figure was less than 12000, then the %age increase is actually 5% – even better for the future!
 

 
#
alicmurray
2012-03-10 14:58

Conference on BBC2 at 2pm to 4pm
 
 
#
Suomi
2012-03-10 16:17

Long may it continue.I guess that SNP membership must be around 23,000 now.Does any one have the exact figure and how that compares with the membership of other parties? My impression is that SNP and Greem membership is increasing and Labour,Liberal and Conservative membership is in decline?
 
 
#
cokynutjoe
2012-03-10 18:47

This 66 year auld has very differing views about absolute monarchists & Jacobites.
However, despite the Multi Question Referendum, or, Brian’s a Blether asking the same old question over & over again, and the usual downbeat performance from Cassandra Curtice,the conference looked good.
Johann Lamont must be spitting feathers, I didn’t hear the FM mention her by name? a bit of a contrast there!
 
 
#
Caledonian Lass
2012-03-11 00:32

(Quoting cokynutjoe:

This 66 year auld has very differing views about absolute monarchists & Jacobites.
However, despite the Multi Question Referendum, or, Brian’s a Blether asking the same old question over & over again, and the usual downbeat performance from Cassandra Curtice,the conference looked good.
Johann Lamont must be spitting feathers, I didn’t hear the FM mention her by name? a bit of a contrast there!



It seems the BBC have found a sure cure for insomnia in the shape of Professor John Curtice. Honestly, I nearly fell asleep listening to his droning voice and negative statements. Heaven preserve us from pontificating ‘pundits’.

Luckily enough, I didn’t doze off and thoroughly enjoyed the conference. The only fly in the ointment was that the usual suspects from the BBC kept sticking their collective oar in to ask stupid questions.

I notice they didn’t show the Newsnet stand – the background for interviews was against the WWF stand.

 

 
#
Wee-Scamp
2012-03-10 21:13

Another reason to vote “YES”…

telegraph.co.uk/…/…
 
 
#
Rannoch
2012-03-11 05:51

SNP membership on 31 Dec 2011 was 20,139
 
 
#
Suomi
2012-03-11 10:25

Okay Rannoch,so current SNP membership must be approaching 23,000.Anyone kow wat the membership figures are for Labour,LiBDems and Conservatives.The last estmate that I swa for the LIBDEMS was 4,000 members.
 
 
#
GerrySNP
2012-03-12 20:23

Even 5% on 20,000 should suggest 21,000
 
 
#
GerrySNP
2012-03-12 20:24

12% wwould mean 22,400
 

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