Éire Ghaelach – Éire Shaor
Plaid Cymru has reported a 23% increase in membership over the last four months as the party’s leadership contest has stirred up new interest in the future direction of the Welsh nationalist movement. The possibility that it may move away from its traditional regionalist policy towards a more progressive form of nationalism, influenced by the electoral successes of the SNP in Scotland, seems to be a more attractive proposition for a younger generation of people in Wales. From the Guardian:
“The Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, has enjoyed an increase of 23% in membership over the last four months, it has emerged.
After a hugely disappointing showing at the assembly elections last year, Plaid set about relaunching itself and attracting new members. The surge has probably been helped by the search for a new leader to replace Ieuan Wyn Jones, who decided to step down following Plaid’s poor election results, and possibly by the UK-wide debate over the future of Scotland.
Plaid’s chief executive, Rhuanedd Richards, said: “In October we launched the most innovative membership drive we’ve ever undertaken as a party. Since then we have seen our membership figures surge as people join the party to play their part in moving Wales forward.
“Our membership has increased by 23%. We’re delighted not only to be welcoming so many former members back, but also welcoming many new members who have joined the party for the very first time.”
Last week, the party unveiled a report on how to reinvigorate the party, now the third biggest in the Welsh assembly behind Labour and the Tories. One of its conclusions was the party had to address the perception it was for Welsh speakers only.”
The news of Plaid’s increase in membership comes fast on the heels of similar growth for the SNP and a jump in new activists following the recent authoritarian intervention by the London government into the Scottish independence debate.