SCOTTISH Labour are reportedly struggling to find candidates for 33 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster constituencies.

With a General Election likely to come sooner rather than later, party HQ is urging local activists to put their names forward. The embarrassing revelation comes as Shadow chancellor John McDonnell travels to Glasgow today for a party event where he’ll tell members that Labour’s “time is coming”.

According to the report in the Times, Labour need candidates for all the constituencies in Aberdeen and Dundee, and for East Renfrewshire, which was held by Jim Murphy between 1997 and 2015. Party bosses have been forced to extend a deadline for applications.

In an email to members earlier this week, Lorna Finlayson, the Scottish party’s interim general secretary, said: “We have extended the deadline for applications from members who wish to put themselves forward as a Labour candidate in a general election when it is called.”

Last week, a YouGov poll said Labour would be all but wiped out in Scotland in a snap General Election. It suggested that only Edinburgh South’s Ian Murray would keep his seat.

Of the 1052 adults in Scotland who were questioned, only 7% thought that Richard Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader, was doing a good job, while 53% didn’t even know who he was.

The National: Richard Leonard

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In May’s European elections, the party came in fifth, securing less than 10% of the vote, down from 26% just five years ago.

Speaking at event alongside Leonard in central Glasgow this morning, McDonnell is expected to tell activists that the party have been “presented with the opportunity of a lifetime”.

The frontbencher will say: “Our time is coming. And it may be coming quicker than anyone expected. That’s why I’m here today – with an election maybe just around the corner – to support Richard Leonard and talk about what we can achieve together.

“A far-right nationalist Conservative Party will stop at nothing to deliver a No-Deal Brexit, screwing over whoever it wants in the process, continuing austerity and failing to lift a finger to tackle the climate emergency.

“And north of the Border, a Scottish National Party government who have passed on Tory austerity to Scottish councils and users of public services and who – despite all the rhetoric – have failed to deliver the investment needed so the jobs building our sustainable future are coming to Scotland.”

John McNally, the SNP MP for Falkirk, said Labour are “in dire straits”.

He added: “And no wonder, they’ve been posted missing on the biggest issues of the day — failing to stand up to the Tories, and failing to oppose Brexit.”