Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Both Tories and Labour need to bridge the north-south divide (Observer)

The party leaders must find a way to heal this geographical schism if they ever want to claim a national mandate, writes Andrew Rawnsley.

2. We’ve added a vanload of shame to the silence on immigration (Sunday Times) (£)

Indira Knight against the nasty bilboards driven around London last week: "In the UK illegally? GO HOME OR FACE ARREST."

3. Written off – but John Kerry is defying the defeatists (Independent)

World View: The fledgling US Secretary of State's surprising progress towards Israeli-Palestinian talks has made him a hero... for now at least, says Alistair Dawber.

4. Ubran Apartheid in Vietnam (IHT)

Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world whose citizens must live where they’re registered or ask the government’s permission to relocate, by Lien Hoang.

5. For Ed Miliband and the Labour Party it’s back to 1982 all over again (Telegraph)

Everything that Tony Blair accomplished by way of bringing the party into touch with modern Britain is being undone before our eyes, writes Janet Daley.

6. The Arab spring is being stifled by the force of arms (Observer)

Middle East: there is no clear condemnation from the international community of political change delivered at gunpoint, writes Nabila Ramdani.

7. O Lord, make us ethically pure — but not yet (Sunday Times) (£)

Rod Liddle on Welby's Wonga wobble.

8. The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging (Financial Times) (£)

The US and UK should ditch their obsessions with residential property, writes Adam Posen.

9. This has been a good week to be a republican (Independent)

You wouldn't know it from the deference of the royal baby coverage, but a poll this month showed more than half of us weren't bothered, writes Joan Smith.

10. Bank notes need more women (Observer)

Jane Austen will be gracing a tenner. But what about all those other famous females? asks Victoria Coren.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

0800 7318496