Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and two other high ranking members of his Westminster team are to visit Scotland over the next few weeks, as the party seeks to persuade voters that it is a credible alternative to the SNP.
With less than 100 days to go until the Scottish Parliament election, Labour is still lagging far behind Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the polls. On Tuesday Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale told the UK shadow cabinet in London she planned to run an “upbeat” campaign in an attempt to reverse the party’s fortunes north of the border.
As well as Mr Corbyn, Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson and shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also intend to travel to Scotland in the coming weeks to bolster the party’s campaign efforts.
At the weekend, a Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times showed the Scottish Conservatives gaining ground on Labour, which saw its support fall to 21 per cent in the constituency vote.
A Labour spokesman said Ms Dugdale’s address to the shadow cabinet had been “well received” and that the party’s English MPs were keen to help with the campaign. However, he added that some were wary of being seen to “muscle in” on Scottish issues.
“People realise that we’re in slightly different territory now than we have been in the past,” he said. “They realise that the Scottish Parliament has got so much power now, especially with the new powers, and that this has to be an election about policy in Scotland and the politics of Scotland – not a UK election by proxy.”