Scottish Labour deputy leader Kezia Dugdale has revealed she would like to lead the party, claiming it is “time for a new generation”.
The Lothian MSP announced she planned to launch a leadership campaign when Jim Murphy formally hands in his resignation next month.
The 33-year-old was elected to the Scottish Parliament four years ago and became deputy leader in December.
She is currently favourite for the post, but is expected to come up against Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh who has also expressed an interest in standing, but has yet to make a formal declaration.
Whoever wins will have the task of rebuilding Scottish Labour following its near election wipeout when it lost 40 or its 41 Scottish seats in the Commons.
Ms Dugdale said she intended to transform the party for the good of the country.
The Lothian MSP said she would formally launch her campaign next month, after the party had set out the rules and timetable for the leadership contest.
“This is a moment when Scottish Labour must and will change. It’s time for a new generation with a vision for the future of Scotland,” she said.
“Labour lost badly in the general election. Nothing we can say or do will disguise that fact. The job of our next leader isn’t to explain away that loss or find excuses – it’s to understand why people were so reluctant to vote for us and find a way of regaining the trust of the people of Scotland.
“I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge Scottish Labour faces. But we’ve been the insurgent force before, pushing back against the political establishment and winning great victories and profound social change.
“We will be that force again. Our values are what we will carry forward with us – all the rest is baggage.”
While Ms Dugdale said her party had a “mountain to climb”, she argued that she offered “a fresh start for Scottish Labour”.
“The great social change we fight for is not a partisan cause. I can be a unifying figure across our party and our country,” she said.
“As the daughter of two teachers I know the value of education. At its best it can transform the life chances of young people, no matter their background.
“The only way we can secure a fairer, brighter tomorrow for Scotland is by giving our young people a better start in life today. As Scottish Labour leader that’s what I would work for every single day.”