David Cameron and Boris Johnson campaign in Newark ahead of the by-election on 5 June. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Tories ahead in Newark by-election poll, but Ukip could still win

With a week to go, the party's eight-point lead is too small for comfort.

Downing Street will be sighing with relief at the first poll published on the Newark by-election. After a week of intense publicity for Ukip on the back of their victory in the European elections, the poll puts the Tories eight points ahead of the Farageists on 36 per cent (down 18 points on their general election share), with Ukip on 28 per cent (up 24), Labour just behind on 27 (up four) and the Lib Dems on a dismal 5 per cent (down five).

The poll will be seen as confirmation that the Tories are on course to hold the seat vacated by Patrick Mercer last month. Should they do so, it will be the first time they have won a by-election as a governing party since 1989. Ukip has not been aided by its decision to select the former Conservative MEP Roger Helmer, whose past comments include describing rape victims as sharing "the blame" and being gay as "abnormal and undesirable", as its candidate. At a moment when Ukip is attempting to detoxify its brand among centrist voters, Helmer was a bizarre choice. One Tory told that me "Attacking Helmer is like shooting fish in a barrel".

But while the Tories are in front, the 21 per cent swing to Ukip shows that the momentum is with Farage's party (which traditionally surges late in by-election). More than half (51 per cent) of its supporters voted Conservative in 2010, with 16 per cent coming from Labour and 12 per cent from the Lib Dems. With just under a week to go, a late Ukip surge can't be ruled out. Had Farage dared to stand himself, they could be in front already.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland