THE SNP has lost almost a fifth of its members since the Covid pandemic, it has emerged.

Newly released accounts show the party had more than 125,000 members at the end of 2019, but just over 100,000 at the end of 2021.

However it is still the third largest party in the UK after Labour and the Tories. 

The SNP had around 25,000 members before the 2014 independence referendum, but the number shot up in the wake of the No result, topping 125,000.

That number held steady for several years, and on 31 December 2018, the SNP reported a membership of 125,534.

At the end of 2019 it was 125,691, or 3.2 per cent of the entire Scottish electorate.

The party accounts noted the combined membership of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties was then 1.7% of the UK electorate.

However in 2020, the year Covid struck and the country went into lockdown, the SNP’s membership plummeted as people tried to save money.

The SNP accounts for 2020 stated: “The overall number of members at year end was 105,393. All of those cancelling or lowering their membership payments listed the pandemic as the reason.”

Last year, the decline continued, and by December 31, membership stood at 103,884.

It means the membership fell by 21,807, or 17.3%, across just two years.

Despite the fall in membership numbers, the party has seen steadily increasing income from membership fees, which generated £2,247,344 in 2019, then  £2,430,010 in 2020.

Last year SNP membership income was £2,516,854.

An SNP spokesperson said: “The SNP is the only major UK political party to see a rise in membership income last year.

"Although our overall membership fell by 1.5%, that’s dwarfed by the mass exodus of 18% of Labour members and 25% of LibDems last year.”