Scotland will “lead the way” in helping Labour win the next general election, Anas Sarwar will claim, as he accuses “complacent” SNP MPs of failing to defend the interests of voters north of the border.

The Scottish Labour leader will use a session with the Institute for Government think tank in London to highlight his party’s recent success in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Labour captured the seat in dramatic fashion earlier this month, with a swing of 20% away from the SNP.

READ MORE: Who are the Scottish Labour MP hopefuls?

Mr Sarwar will say that by-election showed that “Scotland will lead the way in the election of a Labour government”.

But he will use Tuesday’s in conversation event at the think tank to stress that “Scottish Labour MPs will not just be there to make up the numbers and to help get Labour over the line” as Sir Keir Starmer seeks to become the next Prime Minister.

The Herald: Scottish Labour's winning candidate in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by election, Michael Shanks, pictured at a victory rally. Photo Gordon Terris.

Instead, Mr Sarwar will say that “Scottish Labour MPs will be there to stand up for Scotland and deliver the change Scotland needs”.

READ MORE: Poll: Blow for Labour as YouGov puts SNP on top with bigger lead

A Labour government at Westminster will “fundamentally reset” the relationship with Holyrood, he will add, pledging that “devolution will be returned to its founding principles of co-operation, solidarity and delivering for the people of Scotland”.

Mr Sarwar will say: “The next general election will be one of the most significant in British political history. The election is about change – and the only party offering change is the Labour Party.

“For too long, the people of Scotland have been failed by complacent SNP MPs who are more interested in playing constitutional games than standing up for the people of Scotland and defending public services.

“Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster will be a strong voice for the people of Scotland and will use the power of government to represent the interests of the Scottish people.”

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar: Scottish Labour can beat SNP at general election

The Scottish Labour leader will add: “An incoming Labour government under Keir Starmer will fundamentally reset the relationship between Holyrood and Westminster.

“Under the SNP and the Tories, devolution has become about two governments fighting with each other and failing Scotland.

“With Labour, devolution will be returned to its founding principles of co-operation, solidarity and delivering for the people of Scotland – delivering the change that Scotland needs.”

Fabian Society analysis of a YouGov survey earlier this month suggests that Labour is on course to form a majority government at Westminster, with the party at 31% north of the border compared with the SNP’s 33%.

Labour’s current support includes 17% of people who voted SNP at the 2019 general election, the analysis shows.

More than 1.2 million Scots voted for the SNP in 2019, representing 45% of the vote, compared with Labour’s 512,000 votes and 18.6% vote share.

Scottish Fabians previously calculated that Labour needed the backing of one in five of those who voted SNP or Green at the last election to win 25 target seats and form a majority UK government.

The poll, carried out between October 2 and 6, was published after Labour’s thumping win in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election, where the party secured a 20-point win over the SNP.

Since the Rutherglen by-election the SNP has undertaken a reset of policies with First Minister Humza Yousaf using his speech to his party's conference last week to announce a freeze on council tax next year. 

The move was seen as a bid to win back middle class voters who may have switched their support to Labour amid concerns that rise would impact on their household budgets and add to their cost of living concerns.

Responding to Mr Sarwar's claims, the SNP’s Depute Westminster leader, Mhairi Black MP said:

“Anas Sarwar is right, Scottish Labour MPs won’t be there to make up the numbers - they won’t be there at all, as proved by Michael Shanks and Ian Murray’s failure to stand up for Scotland by backing the devolution of employment law in a recent vote."

“With the cost of living so high and the Tories’ desperately acting to overrule the Scottish Parliament and ride roughshod over the rights of workers and unions it’s important we take powers out of their hands - Labour offer no help in that whatsoever."

Katherine Sangster, national director of the Scottish Fabians, said: “Following the victory in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election, this research shows Labour is well positioned to win target seats across Scotland at the next election."