Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. What Titanium Ed Miliband and the Iron Lady have in common (Daily Telegraph)

With his love of bold ideas, the Labour leader is a pretender to the Thatcher legacy, writes Mary Riddell.

2. Cameron cannot revive Thatcherism (Financial Times)

The alliance of beliefs that formed an ideology no longer exists, says Richard Vinen.

3. After the bomb, mass hysteria is the Boston terrorist's greatest weapon (Guardian)

A Chinese proverb bids us ask what the enemy most wants us to do, writes Simon Jenkins. Boston's bomber craves publicity, reaction and retaliation.

4. How central banks beat deflation (Financial Times)

The success of inflation targeting gives policy makers room to risk expansionary measures, says Martin Wolf.

5. Today we bury the last prime minister of WWII (Times) (£)

Margaret Thatcher’s world view was formed by the fight against Hitler, writes Daniel Finkelstein. Now her generation has finally left the stage.

6. Boston bombings: resilience in the face of horror (Guardian)

Pressure for answers will inevitably grow, but what matters is due process, and answers that can stand up in court, says a Guardian editorial.

7. The 'socialist firebrand' Derek Hatton screwed Liverpool just as much as Margaret Thatcher did (Independent)

Thatcher may have neglected Liverpool in the first half of the 1980s, but Hatton and Militant’s grip on my city set progress back a generation, says Jane Merrick.

8. What Cameron must learn from the Lady (Daily Mail)

What Thatcher understood so well is that votes flow from doing what is right – not from merely trying to be popular, says a Daily Mail editorial.

9. It's time to bury not just Thatcher – but Thatcherism (Guardian)

She didn't save Britain or turn the economy round, says Seumas Milne. We need to break with her failed model to escape its baleful consequences.

10. Like the French, our ministers should declare their assets (Independent)

Where François Hollande has led, David Cameron should follow, says an Independent editorial.

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Why the Tories' falling poll lead is believable

Jeremy Corbyn has fought a good campaign, while Theresa May's has been a series of duff notes.

Taxi for Theresa May? The first poll since the Manchester bombing is out and it makes for grim reading in CCHQ.

The numbers that matter: the Conservatives are on 43%, Labour on 38%, the Liberal Democrats are on 10%, while Ukip are way down on 4%. On a uniform swing, far from strengthening her hand, the PM would be back in office with a majority of just two.

Frankly a PM who has left so many big hitters in her own party out in the cold is not going to last very long if that result is borne out on 8 June. But is it right?

The usual caveats apply - it's just one poll, you'd expect Labour to underperform its poll rating at this point, a danger that is heightened because much of the party's surge is from previous non-voters who are now saying they will vote for Jeremy Corbyn. There's a but coming, and it's a big one: the numbers make a lot of sense.

Jeremy Corbyn has fought a good campaign and he's unveiled a series of crowd-pleasing policies. The photographs and clips of him on the campaign trail look good and the party's messaging has been well-honed for television and radio. And that's being seen in the Labour leader's popularity ratings, which have risen throughout the campaign.

Theresa May's campaign, however, has been a series of duff notes that could have been almost designed to scare off voters. There was the biggie that was the social care blunder, of course. But don't underestimate the impact that May's very public support for bringing back fox-hunting had on socially liberal Conservative considerers, or the impact that going soft on banning the sale of ivory has in a nation of animal-lovers. Her biography and style might make her more appealing to floating voters than David Cameron's did, but she has none of his instinctive sense of what it is that people dislike about the Tory party - and as a result much of her message has been a series of signals to floating voters that the Tory party isn't for them.

Add that to the fact that wages are falling - no governing party has ever increased its strength in the Commons in a year when that has been the case - and the deterioration of the public realm, and the question becomes: why wouldn't Labour be pulling into contention?

At the start of the campaign, the Conservatives thought that they had two insurance policies: the first was Jeremy Corbyn, and the second was May's purple firewall: the padding of her lead with voters who backed Ukip in 2015 but supported the Conservatives in the local elections. You wouldn't bet that the first of those policies hadn't been mis-sold at this point. Much now hinges on the viability of the second.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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