SCOTTISH Labour's bid to hold on to its Westminster contingent is being hampered amid claims that too much of the party's energy is being used to save one Glasgow MP.

Sources have told this newspaper that the party is showing favouritism towards shadow Scotland Secretary Margaret Curran by staging high-profile events in her constituency.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that Scottish Labour, which has 40 MPs north of the border, is facing huge losses to the SNP.

Loading article content

Some predictions have Jim Murphy's party reduced to single digits, with Labour even being tipped to lose seats vacated by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

The returns are particularly bad in former Labour heartlands that voted Yes in September's referendum, such as Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.

The prospect of having to defend nearly every one of its Scottish seats, rather than the traditional practice of focusing on a handful of constituencies, has triggered an internal debate in Labour about where resources should be targeted.

Party insiders believe Curran's Glasgow East seat, which she won in 2010 with a 11,840 majority, is receiving special treatment.

In February, Labour launched its Changing Scotland campaign at a venue in Glasgow's Tollcross area, which is in the heart of Curran's patch.

Days later, Brown delivered a keynote speech at Parkhead Congregational Church outlining his vision of an "economic revolution" in Scotland - a location that was again in Curran's seat.

When Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls visited Scotland earlier this month, his location was Walker Precision Engineering in Curran's constituency.

A party insider said: "Margaret is getting a terrible reception on the doorstep, and the more hostility she gets, the more resources she wants for a seat nobody thinks we are going to hold."

Another Scottish Labour source said: "Margaret has always been out for herself and Jim needs to have a word with her. It will be a blow to Labour if we lose our Scottish Secretary but we can take comfort in the knowledge that the IQ of the Westminster group will rise when Margaret goes."

However, a source close to the MP denied the claims, saying that the Brown speech had been organised in 2014 and the Balls visit has been Curran's only Shadow Cabinet event.

He said of the favouritism suggestion: "This is nonsense. We have been open about the voters we need to speak to before polling day - the 190,381 Scots who voted yes but haven't voted for the SNP. That's where our efforts are focussed.

"If people want to stop the Tories they need to vote Labour wherever they are in the country. That's how we will ensure we boot David Cameron out of Downing Street in less than nine weeks time."

Concern has also been expressed about resources disproportionately favouring the west of Scotland, where it is seen that some seats are almost certain to fall to the SNP.

Murphy, who in a recent opinion poll was only marginally ahead of the Nationalists, has said he sees the key voters living in and around Glasgow.

Natalie McGarry, Glasgow East's SNP candidate, said:

"As Labour councillors were reluctantly dragged off to Edinburgh to listen to Ed Miliband yesterday, SNP members were out in numbers listening to people in communities in Glasgow East and across Scotland.

"This may also indicate continued bad blood in Scottish Labour over the effective ousting of Johann Lamont as leader at the end of last year - but that matters little to the people who live in Glasgow East, who increasingly are turning to the SNP to deliver a strong voice for Scotland."