Tony Blair faced fresh Tory challenges over his departure from office yesterday as one of his biggest final ballot box tests remained poised on a knife edge.
Polls and punters in Scotland gave the Prime Minister's chances of avoiding a humiliation at the hands of the Scottish National Party a boost.
While still facing a bruising parting shot from voters in England, Wales and north of the border, the chances of Labour ceding power to the SNP appeared to have slimmed.
Bookmakers cut their price on Labour remaining the biggest party at Holyrood in the light of new polls showing a narrowed gap. Mr Blair has said he will make an announcement on his future next week, with the fallout from any heavy drubbing in the elections a headache for his successor.
Chancellor Gordon Brown - who looks certain to be that man - returned to Scotland yesterday for some last-minute campaigning.
But he faced fresh pressure from Tory leader David Cameron to hold a "snap" general election soon after taking over.
Mr Cameron renewed his demands after a BBC Newsnight opinion poll showed 73% of voters wanted a fresh poll "soon after" Mr Blair goes.