Rishi Sunak may have said he expects a General Election to take place in the second half of this year but two of Scotland’s political leaders are effectively starting their campaigns today.

Humza Yousaf, First Minister and SNP leader, is making a speech on the economy and independence in Glasgow.

While Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, speaks this morning in Rutherglen, returning to where his party scored a by-election victory last year.

The First Minister will make the first of a series of speeches on the Scottish Government’s ambition for a productive economy in an independent Scotland.

Speaking at Glasgow University he is expected to focus on industrial policy.

With a General Election certain to take place this year political leaders are already on campaign footing.

The two speeches on the same day mark the beginning of what will be a long campaign.

Sunak said last week: “My working assumption is we will have an election in the second part of this year.”

It is the clearest indication so far of a date, with the Prime Minister appearing to rule out a poll in the spring.

Speaking at Glasgow University, the First Minister is setting out his economic argument for independence.

The First Minister is expected to say “independence is urgent” because of the cost of living crisis.

He will say: “Because it is through independence, and in particular the powerful combination of independence and EU membership, that we can raise living standards.

“That doesn’t mean shouting independence ever louder.

“I believe it is our duty, as the Scottish Government, dedicated to working in the interests of the Scottish people, to set out an alternative path: one that leads to a renewed sense of possibility.

“It should then be for the people of Scotland to decide between those two futures.”

He will highlight Scotland’s “longstanding capabilities” in renewables, advanced engineering, food and drink, life sciences, creative industries and finance and business services as a cause for optimism of the opportunities in an independent Scotland.

Sarwar, meanwhile, will be setting out his priorities for 2024 at Rutherglen Town Hall, which will include an election campaign where he will be aiming to increase the number of Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster from its current two.

The Labour leader will pitch to independence supporters to look to Labour, in the year of an election, to remove the Tories from Downing Street.

He is expected to say: “So let me say to those that may have supported independence in the past, and may even consider it in the future.  

"I don't support independence, and I don’t support a referendum, but I accept that we need change right now. 

"We may ultimately disagree on the final destination for Scotland, but on this part of the journey, let's unite to change our country and get rid of this Tory government."