Nick Clegg
Thousands of voters have joined the Liberal Democrats after they lost the election and Nick Clegg resign Getty

The Liberal Democrats have seen their membership figures surge after their embarrassing defeat at the general election, which left the party with just eight MPs in the House of Commons.

The miserable result prompted former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to quit as the party's chief, triggering a leadership contest as the Liberal Democrats pondered whether the price of office was worth it.

But it has not all been bad news since the Liberal Democrats were crushed in the polls. The party has more than 10,000 new members since the 7 May vote, pushing the total figure past 55,600 (The Labour party has also reported 29,103 new members since polling day. The most recent number for the party's overall membership, from 11 May, is 221,247).

The Liberal Democrats claimed more than half of the new members are under 35 and a vast majority (82%) have never joined a political party before. On top of that, most (72%) have never been involved in any sort of campaign.

IBTimes UK delved underneath the data and talked to some of the new members to figure out what their main motivation for joining the Liberal Democrats was.

Name: Tom Rye

Age: 23

Occupation: Teacher and fundraiser (GettingBethBetter)

Location: Yeovil

"I have a strong interest in politics and I always found a reason to not join a party and criticised them. I did some canvassing with the Liberal Democrats in my constituency in the run-up to the election, but I put myself off joining the party.

"But when the Liberal Democrats lost all of those MPs I was concerned that a strong liberal voice was being lost from the House of Commons and I felt it was very important that the voice remained. I feel that people haven't realised the ideology they voted for by getting the Conservatives in."

Name: Thomas Liebers

Age: 34

Occupation: Bio-pharmaceutical professional

Location: Richmond

"I've actually been politically minded for quite some time. I looked around in the political landscape in the UK and the Liberal Democrats are the party that I'm most affiliated with.

"I believe that their centre-ground approach is the main selling point – that little bit of heart, as they put it, to balance of some of the more radical policies that the Conservatives proposed.

"I'm not saying that everything is wrong that Conservatives do. In fact, I agree with them on budgetary responsibility but I think it's important to have a big of balance on the centre ground.

"I joined the party quite quickly following the election to be able to also take part in the leadership election. I also hope to engage with the local party very soon to start taking part in activities where I live."

Name: Clare Miles

Age: 45

Occupation: N/A

Location: East Lothian

"I've pretty much always voted for the Liberal Democrats at most general elections but I've been a passive supporter. I actually voted tactically this time for Labour to try to keep the SNP out, which unfortunately didn't work in my seat. I really wish I voted with my heart, my conscience.

"[I went for Ed Miliband's party] because East Lothian has always been a Labour seat before and the Liberal Democrats have never really had a chance. Previously I voted for them but I felt very strongly that I didn't want the SNP candidate to be elected. I felt bad about my vote.

"It had never occurred to me before [to join the Liberal Democrats]. But I had a look at their website and I didn't realise that members could influence the party's policy and I also noticed that it wasn't that expensive to join a political party.

"[On top of that] when Nick Clegg resigned I thought his resignation speech was really very, very dignified. I felt I wanted to do something and make a stand."

Name: Tony Hart

Age: 30

Occupation: Wedding photographer

Location: Hampshire

"It's a whole host of reasons. First and foremost, I've been pretty engaged with this election. Not in any formal capacity but as a member of the public and a watcher of politics.

"I'm disappointed with the election result in many ways. In particular, I feel that there's a class of politician that has been done away with in this election.

"The likes of Vince Cable and David Laws and Clegg as a leader. I look at the Liberal Democrats and I think that they are a party with a lot of quality and high up leadership essentially. While I don't wholly believe in party politics, I align most closely with the Liberal Democrats."