Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Vote Red Ed, get Red Len as the Labour dinosaurs roar back to life (Daily Mail)

The McCluskey intervention sums up how little has changed in Labour since its dark, wilderness years of the 1980s, says Simon Heffer.

2. Will Merkel be the Abe Lincoln of her age? (Daily Telegraph)

The fate of Europe – and Britain – depends on what the German Chancellor does next, says Jeremy Warner.

3. Miliband believes the age of Ed began in 2008 (Times)

The truth is that the Labour leader will do politics the same as everyone else, but he will try to do economics differently, writes Philip Collins.

4. More reform, less austerity for Europe (Financial Times)

The War of the Coding Error is a reminder that the economy is too vital to be left to economists, says Philip Stephens.

5. At last, it’s official: spending more doesn’t make public services better (Daily Telegraph)

New research suggests that cutting government down to size will leave Britain stronger and more socially cohesive, writes Fraser Nelson.

6. Press regulation: Time for a ceasefire (Guardian)

The few who still understand the arguments about the post-Leveson royal charter are dead, mad or past caring, says a Guardian editorial.

7. Turning the Page (Times)

An independent Royal Charter would ensure press regulation that was robust and independent but still voluntary and consistent with a free press, says a Times editorial.

8. The important lessons China has for the world (Independent)

A US billlionaire is setting up a $300m scholarship scheme at to fund Americans studying Shanghai’s elite Tsinghua University, writes Peter Popham. But what will they actually learn?

9. The pros and cons of a floating currency (Financial Times)

The UK has monetary and fiscal policy autonomy but had little adjustment in the current account, writes Martin Wolf.

10. As an old empire emerges from Europe's new alliances, Cameron will be left behind (Independent)

If the PM thinks he can ally himself with the ‘new Europeans’ to reform the EU, he has another thing coming, says Mary Dejevsky. These countries now have their own agenda.

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I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn

All the recent polling suggests Andy Burnham is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy Corbyn, says Diana Johnson MP.

Tom Blenkinsop MP on the New Statesman website today says he is giving his second preference to Andy Burnham as he thinks that Andy has the best chance of beating Jeremy.

This is on the basis that if Yvette goes out first all her second preferences will swing behind Andy, whereas if Andy goes out first then his second preferences, due to the broad alliance he has created behind his campaign, will all or largely switch to the other male candidate, Jeremy.

Let's take a deep breath and try and think through what will be the effect of preferential voting in the Labour leadership.

First of all, it is very difficult to know how second preferences will switch. From my telephone canvassing there is some rather interesting voting going on, but I don't accept that Tom’s analysis is correct. I have certainly picked up growing support for Yvette in recent weeks.

In fact you can argue the reverse of Tom’s analysis is true – Andy has moved further away from the centre and, as a result, his pitch to those like Tom who are supporting Liz first is now narrower. As a result, Yvette is more likely to pick up those second preferences.

Stats from the Yvette For Labour team show Yvette picking up the majority of second preferences from all candidates – from the Progress wing supporting Liz to the softer left fans of Jeremy – and Andy's supporters too. Their figures show many undecideds opting for Yvette as their first preference, as well as others choosing to switch their first preference to Yvette from one of the other candidates. It's for this reason I still believe only Yvette has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy and then to go on to win in 2020.

It's interesting that Andy has not been willing to make it clear that second preferences should go to Yvette or Liz. Yvette has been very clear that she would encourage second preferences to be for Andy or Liz.

Having watched Andy on Sky's Murnaghan show this morning, he categorically states that Labour will not get beyond first base with the electorate at a general election if we are not economically credible and that fundamentally Jeremy's economic plans do not add up. So, I am unsure why Andy is so unwilling to be clear on second preferences.

All the recent polling suggests Andy is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy. He trails fourth in London – where a huge proportion of our electorate is based.

So I would urge Tom to reflect more widely on who is best placed to provide the strongest opposition to the Tories, appeal to the widest group of voters and reach out to the communities we need to win back. I believe that this has to be Yvette.

The Newsnight focus group a few days ago showed that Yvette is best placed to win back those former Labour voters we will need in 2020.

Labour will pay a massive price if we ignore this.

Diana Johnson is the Labour MP for Hull North.