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Parties, movements and the 2014 Scottish independence referendum: Explaining the post-referendum party membership surges

Bennie, Lynn and Mitchell, James and Johns, Robert (2021) 'Parties, movements and the 2014 Scottish independence referendum: Explaining the post-referendum party membership surges.' Party Politics, 27 (6). pp. 1184-1197. ISSN 1354-0688

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Abstract

Some political parties have experienced a resurgence in membership. This article seeks to explain membership surges in the Scottish National Party and Scottish Greens following the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and an unusually movement-like campaign. Using data from a 2016–17 survey of the parties’ memberships, we examine why large numbers joined these pro-independence parties following defeat in the referendum. We demonstrate that the new members had experienced a sense of belonging to a Yes movement during the campaign but were not intensely active; and reasons for joining the parties look more conventional than movement-based. We argue that the referendum created a unique platform for the parties to advertise their objectives on the constitution and other policy areas and thus attract new recruits, few of whom were seeking to maintain the participatory activities that flourished during the referendum. The minority that are active movement-oriented joiners look the least likely to be satisfied by party membership.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: movements, party membership, referendums, Scottish Greens, SNP
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28350

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