A 500 per cent rise in membership has seen Shetland SNP appoint new staff to handle the surge in numbers.
The Shetland branch AGM at Clickimin on Saturday also saw the election of new convener Robbie McGregor, while his long-standing predecessor Charlie Gallagher stood down to become deputy convener. He will also continue as branch delegate for the national council of the SNP.
Peter Dodge remains as treasurer and Kate Massie was elected branch secretary.
The increase in workload for the branch also necessitated the election of Angela Sutherland as branch organiser,
with Louise Giblin taking on the roles of woman’s officer and political education officer and Douglas Young branch press and publicity officer.
The rise in Shetland membership has even outstripped the national growth from 25,000 to 93,000 since the referendum, making the SNP the third largest political party in Britain in terms of membership and not far behind the Conservative party.
Mr Young said that additional office bearers were required to cope with surging membership in the Isles.
He added: “Since the independence referendum the Shetland Branch has expanded by more than 500 per cent causing a huge increase in workload.”
Mr Young said it was difficult to attribute the rise in membership to any one cause but it appeared there had been far greater political engagement since the start of the referendum campaign.
“We thought there might be a temporary bounce and neither we nor the main party were ready for a sustained increase in membership.
“The main thing is the engagement with the entire electorate in Scotland. Everyone has become politically engaged – some of that must be from the yes campaign.
“Another thing we are getting is a lot of women have come into the SNP in Shetland and from the yes campaign a lot of the young ones since given the vote have joined.”