UKIP Membership 'Set to Overtake Liberal Democrats'
The UK Independence Party have released new figures showing that membership of the anti-EU party has risen to its highest level yet, surpassing 37,000 members. The party claims that it has had to deal with a "backlog" of membership applications as the campaign for the European Elections continues.
The party said this morning that the total membership is now 37,005, and added that new applications are "flooding in every day". If the current rate of new members continues, the party will overtake the Liberal Democrats by the next General Election. The junior coalition partners currently have 44,000 members.
The Liberal Democrats have been particularly hardly hit since entering into the coalition government with the Conservatives. Last year, their membership had fallen by 35 percent since the last General Election, and they were also over £400,000 in debt.
The Conservative Party's membership figures have also recently been under scrutiny following rumours that it had dropped below 100,000 for the first time. Although the party does not normally issue official membership figures, it was forced to declare that it had 134,000 members in September last year. This represents a halving of the membership since David Cameron became leader.
UKIP's communications director, Patrick O'Flynn, said: "These are very exciting times for UKIP. People from right across Britain are still responding to Nigel Farage's invitation to come and join his People's Army.
"I would like to thank our membership team for all their hard work processing unprecedented numbers of applications."
The party also reports that its social media presence is growing, with its official Facebook page reaching 100,000 'likes' on Thursday. Since then, it also already grown to over 110,000. It is now catching up with the Conservatives' page, which has 170,000 'likes', and Labour's, which has just over 165,000. It is already ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who have just 94,000 'likes'.