Labour catches up with the SNP but still set to lose half of MPs in Scotland

Guy Bentley
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Is Jim Murphy on a roll? (Source: Getty)

The Labour party in Scotland has some reason for cheer according to the latest opinion polls.

The party, which was increasingly looking like it was set for a bloodbath in Scotland, has slashed the SNP's poll lead by seven percentage points.

A new Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times showed the SNP on 41 per cent leading Labour by 10 points.

The figures show something of recovery for Labour north of the border after the election of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader.

Murphy, widely viewed as being on the Blairite wing of the party, recently hired political strategist John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Murphy caused quite a stir among London Labour MPs after promising 1,000 extra nurses in Scotland funded by a mansion tax, which would overwhelmingly be raised from London.

Hackney MP Diane Abbot took exception to the pledge, saying Murphy "just thinks he can buy Scottish votes with money expropriated from London".

While Labour may not be in the doldrums today's opinion poll would still translate into 35 seats for SNP, a massive increase from the six they currently hold. In what will be one of the tightest General Elections in living memory, the SNP's performance could decide the this year's result.

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