FOCUS groups of former SNP voters are to be used as part of a Labour strategy to try attract votes for the party.

According to The Times, the work is being led by Deborah Mattinson, Keir Starmer’s director of strategy.

The responses will be used to inform an online advertising campaign to pinpoint online audiences and deliver tailored messaging.

Senior figures close to Starmer insist he has pinpointed a revival in Scotland since replacing Jeremy Corbyn but that he has always seen this as a long-term ambition given the party has only one of the country’s 59 MPs.

READ MORE: To See Ourselves: Why Scotland should see 2014 indyref documentary

A senior party source told The Times: “He (Starmer) thought it was ridiculous that we could get hammered in Scotland and parts of Wales and just hop up and say: ‘You got it wrong.’ He always wanted to show humility, listen and say: ‘This is what we are going to do.’”

Public polling gives Starmer mixed reviews in Scotland with the latest research by YouGov finding his popularity had fallen by 22 points and firmly into negative territory.

In a speech at the Progressive Britain Conference in London on Saturday, Starmer is expected to say that the Labour Party will “only restore hope in the country if we once again become the natural vehicle for working people”.

The Labour leader has come in for criticism of late after U-turning on his commitment to abolish tuition fees.

The SNP MP Deidre Brock said he had “abandoned” progressive values and that his “lurch to the right” had proved there is “little difference between him and (Rishi) Sunak.”

A Labour insider at Holyrood also told the newspaper: “Literally no one knows what Starmer stands for now. So the Scottish Labour leadership need to urgently come up with a way of ensuring that doesn’t infect us as well.”

However, senior Labour figures at Holyrood and Westminster dispute any suggestion Starmer hinders the party and say a key development is his close bond with Anas Sarwar.

A source said the new campaign to win over Scottish voters would harness “anything from commercial radio to gaming apps”.

“If you’re in the target voter pool the chances are you will see that advert tailored to you. Unionist voters will get a horse race message. Young people will get our plan to make the UK a clean energy superpower by 2030.

“The northeast of Scotland will be told about the just transition and 105,000 new jobs. It’s about identifying the most convincing arguments.”

The campaign will be allied with “listening tours” that Sarwar is undertaking on which he will be joined by Starmer.

A strategist said this was “informed by how the SNP came to power” as the party “realised in Scotland you can come to power by speaking to people directly”.

READ MORE: Lorna Slater ferry hire a 'non-issue' says Rum Community Trust

Ian Murray, Labour’s sole MP in Scotland, previously said his party were realistic challengers in 24 seats.

He said: “We have gone from a strategy of doing the best we possibly can to looking like we could contribute 20 per cent of the seats we need to get a majority.

“It’s a huge challenge because there are more places we need to focus. But it’s a great challenge to have.”