Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Egypt's hopes betrayed by Morsi (Guardian)

Bread, freedom and social justice were the demands of the revolution, writes Ahdaf Soueif. Instead Mohamed Morsi delivered bloodshed.

2. Against George Osborne's war on the poor (Independent)

The Chancellor used his Autumn Statement to attack many of the most vulnerable people in our society, says Owen Jones.

3. Conservatives should embrace gay marriage (Times) (£)

Angry voices in the Church and the party are out of touch with the country, says Tim Montgomerie. David Cameron must stand firm.

4. Why we are calling for an end to the war on drugs (Guardian)

The home affairs select committee wants a focus on treatment and an end to the policy of putting politics above evidence, writes Julian Huppert.

5. The fiscal cliff could split the Republicans (Financial Times)

If Obama persuades enough of the GOP to vote for a tax rise, the party may face civil war, says Edward Luce.

6. Ignore the doom merchants, Britain should get fracking (Daily Telegraph)

Shale gas is green, cheap and plentiful, says Boris Johnson. So why are opponents making such a fuss?

7. Those who would cancel a promise to black America (Guardian)

Racial inequality has deepened, yet Republicans want to ban affirmative action in college admissions, writes Gary Younge.

8. Politics have burst the Monti bubble (Financial Times)

Two things need fixing in Italy, both of which are beyond the scope of the technocrats, writes Wolfgang Munchau.

9. We are wallowing in Labour’s debt, so why is Ed blocking cuts? (Sun)

The Labour leader knows he is walking into a Tory trap and has decided it is worth the risk, writes Trevor Kavanagh.

10. Marriage matters, and it should be rewarded (Daily Telegraph)

Time is running out if David Cameron is to honour his pledge in the Coalition Agreement, writes Tim Loughton.

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.