Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Mo Farah's joyful embrace of Britishness points the way to a more integrated future (Daily Mail)

The Games showed this country’s diverse identity in its very best light, made and re-made by natives and strangers through sheer determination, writes Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

2. Give John Major the credit he's due (Guardian)

As we celebrate Team GB's Olympic success, spare a thought for the 'unknown prime minister' who made it possible, says Geoffrey Wheatcroft.

3. Not a Palin, but still a gamble: meet Paul Ryan (Times) (£)

Mitt Romney’s running-mate will make the election a contest between two visions, not just a referendum on Obama, writes Tim Montgomerie.

4. A principled but doomed running mate (Financial Times)

Ryan represents a big step in the direction of conservative honesty, writes Jacob Weisberg.

5. London and Team GB – take a bow. You’ve dazzled the world (Daily Telegraph)

This glorious festival hasn’t changed us, but it has shown just what we’re capable of, says Boris Johnson.

6. GB shows we can truly excel (Sun)

As a nation we can win gold as a global trading nation freed from the tentacles of European bureaucracy, says Trevor Kavanagh.

7. Cameron must now embrace the spirit of the Games (Independent)

The Olympics should inspire the PM to be bold – and to return to the themes of the Big Society, says Ian Birrell.

8. Our new approach to aid is a worthy legacy (Daily Telegraph)

We must harness the Olympic spirit to stop hunger blighting the lives of millions, argues Michael Howard.

9. Assad’s fall presents Turkey with another dilemma (Financial Times)

Erdogan’s efforts to address Kurdish grievances are no longer enough, writes David Gardner.

10. The Beastie Boy who really is a role model – to rock stars (Guardian)

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's will refuses permission for his music to feature in ads, writes John Harris. Even the Clash couldn't manage that.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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