CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Novelty won't sustain this alliance (Independent)

David Cameron has always been a brilliant choreographer, and he will manage the Tory right and the Lib Dem left with attentive charm. However, Steve Richards points out, ideology does matter, and the coalition cannot last long.

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2. Cameron's daring will change politics for ever (Times)

Daniel Finkelstein argues that a Tory partnership with the Liberal Democrats has wiped out the anti-Conservative majority at a stroke. Cameron now has the potential to lift himself and the party above normal partisan politics.

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3. The political infighting won't be over until we have another election (Daily Telegraph)

Simon Heffer predicts that the coalition government will be unsatisfactory and short-lived. The parties have agreed to the pact, but neither will like what it means in practice.

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4. Congratulations, Mr Cameron. Now learn the lessons of a dismal campaign (Guardian)

Tim Montgomerie looks back at the Conservative election campaign. The Tory leader is No 10-bound, but a sensible strategy would have put him there last week with no need for alliances

5. A coalition with the Tories comes with huge risks for Clegg (Independent)

One of the paradoxes of the third party is that it wanted and yet feared a hung parliament, observes Andrew Grice, who explores the negotiating process of the past few days. Was Nick Clegg's true intention always to do a deal with the Tories?

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6. Brace yourself, Britain, for higher taxation (Financial Times)

The British have no appetite for fewer public services, but, as John Kay points out, Britain cannot aspire to continental European levels of public services with lower tax rates. Much of the rebalancing of public finances will come from higher taxes.

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7. As a fraught Tory-Lib Dem era begins, Labour must renew itself once more (Guardian)

Cameron has limped into No 10 and Clegg may pay heavily in vote losses for the Lib Dems. But now, argues Jonathan Freedland, Labour, recast as truly progressive, can forge a bright future for itself.

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8. Labour's leadership needs the stamp of a genuinely new era (Independent)

Donald Macintyre argues that Labour needs to occupy the opposition benches with its taste for power intact, as it failed to do after Margaret Thatcher's victory in 1979.

9. Stop making sacrifices to the market gods (Times)

Anatole Kaletsky warns that politicians are being bullied into making rash decisions to satisfy arbitrary deadlines laid down by supposedly implacable financial markets. Instead, more attention should be paid to deeper economic and business interests.

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10. Governments up the stakes in their fight with markets (Financial Times)

The eurozone must create a system that recognises and responds to reality, writes Martin Wolf. In the eurozone's first crisis, governments must confront big choices -- including the need for greater integration or disintegration.

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Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader. Getty
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Can Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election?

Does the Labour leader have a chance of becoming prime minister?

 

After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. This isn’t the first vote of national significance since his election, however, since he was in office during the 2016 EU referendum.

It’s also not his first serious challenge: after the Brexit vote, his MPs voted “no confidence” in him and Owen Smith challenged him for the leadership. Corbyn saw off that threat to his position convincingly, so can he pull out another electoral triumph and become prime minister?

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister? The polls

Since May 2015, the Conservative Party has consistently led in the polls. The latest polls gives Labour ratings in the mid-20s, while the Conservatives are on the mid-40s – numbers which, if borne out at the polls, would give Labour its worst result since 1935.

But should we believe the general election polls? Glen O’Hara, professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University, points out that the polls have been wrong before, and could be overstating Labour’s collapse. However, a 20-point gap is far outside the margin of error. A Corbyn win would be an unprecedented upset.

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister? Electoral record

At the 2016 local elections, Labour did not gain any councils and lost 18 seats and 4% of the vote. James Schneider, the co-founder of Momentum who is now Corbyn’s head of strategic communications, said this showed Labour was on the right trajectory, but it’s a disappointment for an opposition to make no gains. And at the Copeland by-election this February, Labour lost the seat to the Tories – the first government gain in a by-election since 1982.

Can  Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister? The verdict

Jeremy Corbyn’s path to power would be one of the greatest surprises in British politics. But unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. It would take some extraordinary events, but it could happen. Check out the latest odds to see how the markets rate his chances.

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