IF any confirmation were needed that Labour’s fortunes in Scotland have hit rock bottom, then the sight of the mighty socialist bastion of Glasgow crumbling to the Nationalists in next May’s local elections would be it. The symbolism of the loss of Scotland’s largest city to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP after half a century or more of Labour control would be yet another powerful sign that the nation’s political landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade or so.

After suffering the embarrassment of losing all but one of its 41 Westminster seats at the 2015 General Election, and after being shunted into third place behind the Conservatives at this year’s Holyrood poll, internal figures point to the completion of a trinity of humiliation this spring with Scottish Labour not only losing Glasgow in the local elections but also polling just 15 per cent across Scotland; behind the Tories on 25 points and the SNP on 45. On the basis of such figures Kezia Dugdale’s party could see most of the councils it controls slip out of its hands.

But what is equally startling in the numbers is that almost a quarter of one-time Labour supporters are considering switching to Ruth Davidson’s Conservatives. In this age when identity politics seems to be taking hold, the battle lines are being drawn sharply between the pro-independence SNP and the pro-Union Tories with Labour left in no man’s land.

Ms Dugdale has now joined those who seem to believe the last redoubt of the Union is federalism. Steven Purcell, the former Labour leader of Glasgow City Council, writing in this newspaper, dismisses her call for a new Act of Union as a “distraction” and urges her to focus on championing the cause of the 62 per cent of Scots who voted to stay in the EU. He recalls a conversation with Donald Dewar when the late First Minister told him: “Whoever gets to the flag first, it is their values that will dominate this new Scotland”. “Labour did not drop the flag,” notes Mr Purcell, “we gave it away. This mindset cannot be allowed to continue. Labour can be relevant again, winning hearts and minds, if it re-embraces its radical spirit of Home Rule.”

If the party’s fortunes were not bad enough in Scotland, its position in England and Wales is also perilous. Jeremy Corbyn today uses his New Year message to pitch himself as the man to understand voters’ disillusionment with politics-as-usual, pledging to champion the causes of the ordinary worker and to take on the social and economic injustices of the Tory Establishment.

The media strategy appears to be to give the veteran left-winger a 2017 makeover so he can ride the populist wave that swept Donald Trump to power in Washington against all the odds. But there are also council elections in England in May and, after taking a drubbing in two recent Westminster by-elections, Mr Corbyn faces another in Cumbria some time before the spring.

A new year might, as the Labour leader suggests, afford his party a “fresh start” but if the elections in the spring turn out as bad as internal polling suggests, then it could be the beginning of the end not just for Ms Dugdale but for Mr Corbyn too.