My first recollection of door knocking for the SNP was during a wintry Council by election in Broughty Ferry in the mid 80s. While the SNP won, support for independence was a long way behind support for our candidate, Ken Guild. Indeed, at 11-12%, it is interesting that now support for independence regularly exceeds four times that level. Perseverance pays!
Now, fresh off the back of three highly energised national assemblies – and as we look forward to SNP conference in Glasgow next month – I’m focused on ensuring that the SNP day of action on Saturday 29 September is a day to remember.
We are creating new materials which SNP activists will use to take the message of independence to people right across the country. And we’ll be listening to what voters have to say including what impact, if any, the UK leaving the EU has on their feelings towards the opportunities of an independent Scotland.
We are already seeing encouraging signs.
— Sunday National (@SunScotNational) September 15, 2018
Significantly, latest Social Attitudes Survey shows that the number of people who view independence as a positive for Scotland’s economy now exceeds those who believe otherwise.
A healthy strong economy is in everyone’s interests and with Brexit coming down the track for the UK, people are right to look for alternatives.
And the wonderfully named Best for Britain poll showed a majority would now back Scottish independence after the UK leaves the European Union.
These are just straws in the wind, suggesting the tide is turning in our favour, but we have much groundwork still to do.
I’m looking for large numbers of party members to join us on the Day of Action. The information that we glean that day will enhance our understanding of where the nation is.
And you might have heard, the SNP has now got 125,000 members – making us the second biggest political party in the UK, ahead of the Tories UK wide and proportionally ahead of Labour too.
— The SNP (@theSNP) September 13, 2018
The mini-surge earlier in the summer, following the Westminster walkout, saw 7,000 people join in just five days.
And as a report on the findings of an independent study by a prominent academic has revealed there has been a marked increase in the percentage of the new members who are under 35-year-old. 21 per cent in this younger age bracket represents double the percentage of young people that joined in the post-referendum surge of 2014.
I do hope to see and hear some of that new youthful energy that we are so privileged to have in our ranks a week on Saturday.
Over and above the doorstep conversations – and we’re aiming for 50,000 of them on one day – I’m really looking forward to mixing with new and old members and following the activity across the country on social media.
Keith Brown is SNP Depute Leader and Campaign Director.