Ten thousand people have joined the Liberal Democrats since last Thursday’s general election, giving the party a welcome fillip after losing 48 of their 56 MPsin the vote.
The party said the fastest rate of growth in its history had pushed its overall membership to 55,649, which is still behind that of the Greens, SNP, Labour and the Conservatives.
More than half of the new Lib Dem members are aged under 35, with the oldest new member being 91. The vast majority (82%) have never been a member of the party; 72% have never previously been involved in any sort of campaign.
The Labour party has also reported 29,103 new members since polling day. The most recent number for the party’s overall membership, from 11 May, is 221,247. The Labour party does not release detailed information about its membership.
The president of the Liberal Democrats, Sal Brinton, attributed the surge in membership to the “liberal fightback”. “People were devastated by the results last week, but rather than sit back and lick their wounds, people have been invigorated and inspired,” she said.
“They are coming together to rebuild a strong, Liberal Democrat party, showing that the politics of hope and tolerance can thrive in the face of the politics of grievance and fear.”