IF some pollsters are accurate the hackneyed line about pandas and MPs could be reworked to target a guy called Willie Bain.

Amid yet more predictions of Labour wipe-outs, one recent poll had the MP for Glasgow North East as Labour's last man standing in Scotland. In that scenario the former law lecturer becomes his party's David Mundell, its sole MP north of the Border yet Secretary of State in a Miliband government.

All ifs, whats and maybes but it has thrust a very under-the-radar campaign and low-key yet industrious candidate into the spotlight.

The constituency runs from the sandstone tenements and young professionals of Dennistoun to the multiple deprivation statistics in former industrial powerhouses of Springburn and Possil, the post-war schemes and ageing settled communities of Barmulloch and Riddrie and the new-build brick estates and 4x4s of Robroyston.

With the exception of four years in the 1930s when the Tories won it by 34 votes, it has been Labour since 1922.

But last September the area voted massively in favour of independence, with some of the biggest Yes votes nationally.

"I'll be voting SNP", one resident tells the party candidate Anne McLaughlin. "That's just the way it is now."

Loyalties are shifting.

Even to residents of Glasgow, the north east is peripheral, detached from the rest of the city by the M8. Much of the regeneration changing the face of elsewhere is yet to visibly transform the constituency.

A lot of what's 'worst' about Glasgow is often worst in the north east: addiction levels, worklessness, depopulation and territorial violence.

It rarely makes the news. Last year it hit the headlines when the Commonwealth Games organisers planned to make a global spectacle of the televised demolition of the notorious Red Road Flats, totems of how the 1960s vision for Glasgow failed to flourish.

Before that it was the resignation of former Commons speaker Michael Martin, which not only heralded Mr Bain's parliamentary career but augured the MPs' expenses scandal and the wave of UK-wide 'anti-Westminster establishment' politics.

It did his successor no harm though. The 2009 by-election gave Mr Bain a local profile the envy of many MPs, he retained the networks and enduring popularity of the Martin dynasty and, in 2010, secured almost 70 per cent of the vote. New Labour, academic and policy-driven, Mr Bain is everything Mr Martin wasn't.

The streets around the infamous Barlinnie Jail are prime Bain terrain. Solid inter-war houses with neat gardens, these are home to an older demographic where the local bowling green is at capacity on Friday afternoon.

His team, with a strong contingent of city councillors, target known voters.

On the doors his pitch is its either his team or the Tories, it's a marginal seat and there's only six days to decide. Residents, not the candidate, mention the SNP.

"On May 7 people have a choice of two people for Prime Minister and none is called Nicola" he says afterwards.

"Loyalties have been changed by the referendum", he admits, "but there record levels of engagement with politics and I've treated every single election I've been involved in as a marginal. We want Scotland in Government not just Parliament."

What successes can he point to? Saving jobs at a local engineering firm, constituents' benefits battles, advancing plans with the Scotland Office for Red Road, the demolition plans for which he found repellent.

Ms McLaughlin's headquarters is in a industrial complex close to the motorway, not the best for passing voters but ideal for a machine-like campaign.

In Colston, a team of 10 mostly recent recruits to political campaigning sees many assumptions of the area's electorate bear out.

The older the resident, the more inclined to say Labour. Families and the under-50s are much more receptive to Ms McLaughlin's team and message. Here, as on Mr Bain's beat though, many have given up on the electoral politics.

In a neat 1990s cul-d-sac Lily and her neighbour are enthusiastic converts. "I've brainwashed my husband now too" she says.

Further along, Brendan Reilly, a Labour-turned-SNP voter, is surprised by his neighbours' allegiances.

"I thought they were unionist types, you know with the football team they all support. But we've all been conned by Tony Blair."

According to one opponent Ms McLaughlin's style and campaign literature is "a bit Hello Magazine". "She's as likely to give you a hug on the doorstep as a lecture. And that worries me. It plays well with some folk."

"During the referendum many of those who voted Yes said they would remain Labour. But now they're openly telling us they're switching to the SNP. The image of them standing alongside the Tories is what pushed them.

"This is constant across all age groups in all parts of the constituency."

A colleague once dubbed her 'the Lorraine Kelly of SNP politics'. She might just stand in the way of a new round of panda jokes.