IN Renfrewshire seats sit two of Scottish Labour's big beasts.

Shadow Foreign Secretary and election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander, is in one of the Paisley constituencies and Scottish Party Leader, Jim Murphy, next door in East Renfrewshire.

No-one is indispensible of course but the future vision of Labour after the General Election has these two at its centre.

Mr Alexander would no doubt be destined for one of the great offices of state at Westminster if Ed Miliband forms a government and Mr Murphy has his eyes on the First Minister job at Holyrood.

While the SNP are expected to challenge Labour in every one of the seats the party holds, it has been the Conservatives who have been closest in East Renfrewshire and who Mr Murphy took the seat from in a surprise 1997 win in then Eastwood.

The SNP were fourth in 2010 more than 20,000 votes behind Jim Murphy and trailing the Tories and LibDems.

If the SNP take a large number of votes from Labour and the Conservatives win back some Labour votes, then there is the prospect of the seat returning to the Tories and not going to the SNP.

Mr Murphy however has increased his vote and has been a popular MP in the area, which could stave off the flight of voters expected in other seats.

He does still have the conundrum of standing for MP but on record as wanting to be at Holyrood the following year to solve.

Mr Murphy has yet to set out his plan after 2016.

When he finally confirmed he was standing in May, he said: "As I have said many times before, I am the Labour candidate for East Renfrewshire against the Tories in May and Labour's candidate for First Minister in 2016."

He also said: "The choice facing voters in East Renfrewshire is much the same as the one facing the rest of Scotland, it's between Labour and the Tories. Any seat the SNP take makes it more likely the Tories are the largest party and David Cameron returns to power by the back door."

Conservative candidate, David Montgomery is a surgeon who left the NHs to work as UK and Ireland oncology medical director for a big pharmaceutical company.

He said: "The Conservative support in East Renfrewshire has been consistent. There is also many who have voted Conservative and Labour and don't identify with either one, who would be swing voters.

"The SNP surge nationally concerns people in East Renfrewshire. What it appears to be doing is eroding the Labour vote.

"I'm not looking to sneak through the middle I am out promoting the record in Government of the Conservatives and the policies for the future to grow the economy."

In Paisley and Renfrewshire South one of the most experienced politicians in the country is up against the youngest SNP candidate.

Douglas Alexander has a majority of 16,000 over the SNP and his experience and electoral strategy role will make him a difficult MP to defeat.

His challenge is from 20 year old Glasgow University student Mhairi Black, a Yes Scotland activist who became noticed at public meetings during the referendum and then made a speech at the party conference in November.

In Paisley and Renfrewshire North, which includes towns including Renfrew, Erskine and Linwood, Labour's Jim Sheridan is defending a 15,000 majority from the SNP in a seat there the Tories were not too far behind in third.

Further down the Clyde Iain McKenzie is the Labour MP who won his seat in Inverclyde following the death of popular MP David Cairns in 2011.

The rise of the SNP was evident in that poll when Anne McLaughlin increased the party vote by 15% but such was the majority she was still almost 6000 behind.

She has left a strong base for Ronnie Cowan the SNP challenger to build on.