Morning call: the pick of the papers

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

1. Viscount Astor, you really are a class apart (Observer)

The rich bleat that times are hard and there's a socialist conspiracy to rob them of their wealth and property. Nonsense, says Nick Cohen.

2. There's more to politics than nice v nasty (Sunday Telegraph)

Newt Gingrich's attack on Mitt Romney was not merely a longing for revenge, says Janet Daley.

3. What a tragic wasted opportunity to present a true portrait of the Iron Lady (Observer)

Phyllida Lloyd has really missed a trick with her film about Margaret Thatcher, writes Stewart Lee.

4. This is new all right. It just isn't enough (Independent on Sunday)

Labour's acceptance yesterday of the Tory case for cuts is welcome, but Miliband and Balls still look like a losing team, says John Rentoul.

5. Mitt's Big Love (New York Times)

Democrats and independents may have fallen out of love with President Obama, but Republicans and independents can't fall in love with Mitt Romney, writes Maureen Dowd.

6. The Lords are the only decent politicians left (Mail on Sunday)

Suzanne Moore on the Welfare Reform Bill.

7. Looks do count, Ed, but it's conviction that voters like most (Independent on Sunday)

Janet Street-Porter claims that Miliband exudes desperation, and that's never an appealing quality in any man.

8. A tale of two Camerons and a return to Victorian values (Sunday Telegraph)

HS2 demonstrates how the PM's visionary instincts are prevailing over his love of the countryside, writes Matthew D'Ancona.

9. Why is Europe a dirty word? (New York Times)

Quelle horreur! One of the uglier revelations about President Obama emerging from the Republican primaries is that he is trying to turn the United States into Europe, writes Nicholas Kristof.

10. Ken Clarke is ready to betray 800 years of British justice (Observer)

The security and justice green paper threatens to deprive us of one of the vital traditions of common law, writes Henry Porter.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader. Getty
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Will Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister after the 2017 general election?

Can Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election? 

Jeremy Corbyn could be the next prime minister. Admittedly, it’s highly unlikely. After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. Labour behind in the latest general election polls and underperformed badly in the recent local elections. But since the election was called, Labour’s position in the polls has been improving. Can we trust the general election polls?

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 Corbyn’s 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 after the general election 2017?

Do the polls predict a Labour victory?

Since May 2015, the Conservative Party has consistently led in the polls. The latest polls give Labour ratings in the mid 30s, while the Conservatives are on the mid-40s. Recent improvements in Labour’s standing still leave Jeremy Corbyn a long way from becoming prime minister.

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.

What is Labour's record on elections?

At the 2016 local elections, Labour did not gain any councils and lost 18 seats and 4 per cent 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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