Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Snowy funeral doesn't herald a Korean spring (Times) (£)

No one expected Kim Jong Il to rule for 17 years, says Richard Lloyd Parry. So it is hard to see what might make the dynasty topple now.

2. Kim Jong-il's funeral was a lesson in epic film-making (Guardian)

We shouldn't be surprised by the cinematic touches to the Dear Leader's funeral, says David Cohen -- he did write a book on the art of directing.

3. Arab Spring: the revolution has only just begun (Daily Telegraph)

Shashank Joshi writes that the Middle East faces a long, bumpy and bloody ride as nations struggle to build a new order while battling internal factions and outside interference.

4. How Labour can avoid the Tory trap (Guardian)

Gregg McClymont and Ben Jackson warn that Miliband's party should focus on growth and improving living standards for the majority, and not get caught up in the cuts.

5. The Tories must lead our soul-search on capitalism (Financial Times)

They should make the case for reform of the market system, writes Jesse Norman.

6. It's modernisation, not morality, that is the dirty word of politics (Daily Telegraph)

The future belongs to leaders unashamedly shaped by personal beliefs and convictions, says Peter Oborne.

7. A welcome reprieve for the eurozone -- but only a reprieve (Independent)

This leading article laments the fact that even now, the contradictions at the heart of the crisis remain unresolved.

8. Grim lessons from the 30 years war (Financial Times)

Europeans have been delaying making hard decisions for a long time, says Wolfgang Munchau.

9. Goodbye, Europe, a New World awaits us (Times) (£)

David Aaronovitch argues that not being in the EU doesn't mean not being in anything. So let's rejoin America, a land where we can truly be free.

10. Brazil's success heralds the new world order (Independent)

John Kampfner says that this historic economic shift has huge implications for our sense of identity and our role in the world.

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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