THE fledgling left-wing coalition dubbed the Scottish Syriza is to receive strategic advice from the real thing ahead of next year's Holyrood elections.

The new electoral pact, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party and the grassroots Scottish Left Project, will meet representatives of Greece's ruling party Syriza in Edinburgh today, as well as members of Spain's left-wing Podemos movement.

The gathering is expected to discuss tactics for the 2016 election, when the new Scottish anti-austerity coalition hopes to return Socialist MSPs through the regional list system.

The development comes just days after Quebec Solidaire, the radical coalition in Quebec's National Assembly, agreed to give its support to the Scottish alliance.

Delegates unanimously backed the move at their conference in Montreal last week, at which Scottish trade union activist Cat Boyd spoke on the Left's post-referendum revival.

Amir Khadir, a Quebec Solidaire National Assembly member, said: "Austerity, whether British or Canadian, has left the vulnerable behind and impoverished ordinary people.

"But there is hope, as Cat Boyd reminded us about the struggle of ordinary people in Scotland and how Yes voters said Yes to a new and different country.

"The rising momentum behind the Scottish Left Project gives us hope and courage to fight for justice at home and solidarity abroad."

The Sunday Herald revealed last month that the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and Scottish Left Project plan to stand candidates under a new shared platform next May, despite misgivings among some SSP members that the party's identity could be diluted.

The new alliance has yet to be named, but United Left and Scottish Left are possibilities.

Former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars said he was "delighted" at the prospect of a pact.

He said: "Because of the problems with the Labour party, there are now opportunities for a non-Labour left, which was quite fractured, to come together.

"I think it would be a very good thing if a new socialist Left developed in Scotland, and stood for elections. I'd be a liar if I said anything different.

"If socialists can get together in a new coalition then I am delighted, absolutely delighted.

"And if my colleagues in the SNP are unhappy about that, well, I've got nothing against them."

He added: "I'm not saying that the SNP has become overmighty at the moment, but I think in a democracy it is not healthy for the parties or society to have one party that's dominant for too long. There have to be alternatives available to people."

SSP co-convenor Colin Fox added: "Sunday's meeting is to learn from Syriza and Podemos's experience. Podemos have just fought regional elections in Spain. I would expect to get endorsements from Syriza and Podemos later this year."

A Scottish Left Project spokesperson said: "Just as Quebec Solidaire support the development of the radical left in Scotland, we support their campaign in Quebec.

"After a period of decline, the forces of the radical left are now in the ascendency as the international fight back against austerity intensifies.

"'We are also working with representatives of Syriza, and are looking to see how a variety of their organisational and political techniques could be implemented in Scotland.

"It is not about creating a carbon copy, but it is important that we can take advice, learn from and work with those on the radical left who have experience of electoral breakthroughs.'

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: "It's no surprise to see this group modelling itself on a party currently presiding over the most chaotic economy in Europe.

"I'm sure they can come up with enough of their own crazily damaging ideas without getting input from other radical left-wingers."