• Liberal Democrats;
  • Scotland;
  • local parties

The Liberal Democrats have become synonymous with the idea of ‘community politics’. This means being active in communities between elections in order to build a profile from which the party benefits at subsequent elections. This article examines the constituency organisation of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in order to ask how deserved the reputation for ‘community politics’ is in the Scottish context. It assesses how extensive the party organisation is, and how active that organisation is both between and during election campaigns. The first section of the article assesses the importance of local parties. The second section examines the extent of Scottish Liberal Democrat membership and societal penetration. The third and fourth sections address levels of activity between and during elections. The article concludes with a short assessment of the implications for the party.