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Yvette Cooper Is Going To Ask SNP Voters Why They Hate Labour

The Labour leadership candidate will travel north of the border to ask people why they turned from her party to the SNP. But what will they tell her?

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Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper is travelling to Scotland to try to win back voters who have turned to the SNP.

The shadow home secretary will visit Glasgow to meet disillusioned Labour voters who switched to the Scottish nationalists in last month's general election.

The SNP won a historic landslide by securing 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland, leaving Labour with just one MP after losing 40 seats. It is now vital for Labour to win back support in Scotland if it wants to win power in 2020.

Cooper will travel north of the border on Friday as part of her new "Win Back" campaign, which will see her tour the UK to persuade former Labour voters to trust the party again. In Glasgow she will meet with around 50 people who voted Labour in 2010 but have since turned to the SNP.

Given the scale of Labour's defeat in Scotland, she might not find the experience pleasant. Aides told BuzzFeed News she will ask voters why they moved away from Labour and will also use the event to "test her own ideas" for the party's future.

She will later meet with outgoing Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and his likely successor, Kezia Dugdale.

A source close to Cooper told BuzzFeed News: "There is no doubt Labour has a mountain to climb in Scotland. Our loss was devastating. But that's why we need a leader willing and able to take on that challenge – to listen to those who have voted Labour but now back the SNP and work together with colleagues in Scottish Labour to develop a strong and compelling vision for Scotland's future.

"That's why Yvette has made it an early priority of her leadership campaign to visit Scotland."

Cooper is aiming to be the first party leadership candidate to visit Scotland as the race to succeed Ed Miliband hots up. She is battling Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall, and Mary Creagh for the top job; the winner will be announced in September.

Cooper is also planning a series of visits to other areas where her party struggled. These are expected to include Kent, where some Labour voters turned to UKIP, and the Midlands, where Labour lost some votes to the Tories.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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