Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Labour has faced its demons, but the Tories are still ruled by theirs (Guardian)

Ed Miliband spent the past year laying building blocks for his policies, while the Conservatives wallowed in their old nastiness, writes Polly Toynbee.

2. Obama fails to correct Egyptian mistake (Financial Times)

The president did not undermine implicit US support for the military, writes Ian Bremmer.

3. Ignore the (other) advice, Ed. Be your own man (Times)

The Labour leader should argue for his egalitarian vision and policies that close the gap between rich and poor, says Philip Collins.

4. Forget the nostalgia for British Rail – our trains are better than ever (Guardian)

Passengers may be grumbling about the planned fare increases, but on balance rail privatisation has been a huge success, writes Ian Birrell.

5. How the wealthy keep themselves on top (Financial Times)

The more unequal a society, the greater the incentive for the rich to pull up the ladder behind them, writes Tim Harford.

6. The west must finally see Egypt as it is, not as we would like it to be (Independent)

The western world cannot afford an Egypt mired in protracted disorder, but the unpredictability of its neighbourhood excludes the usual treatment, writes Mary Dejevsky. 

7. Promote women, but not the wrong ones (Daily Telegraph)

David Cameron’s target of a third of his ministers being female risks a 'tokenism’ reshuffle, says Isabel Hardman. 

8. A German ally in the war against Brussels (Daily Mail)

How inconvenient it must be for the Prime Minister's opponents that he can now point to the support of the most influential country in mainland Europe, says a Daily Mail editorial. 

9. Is Ed Miliband's Labour Party prepared to do or say anything at all? (Independent)

Maybe the shadow cabinet have converted to a branch of Buddhism, writes Mark Steel. The only time they've tried to appear decisive was when they got into an argument with Unite.

10. François Hollande should have joined les grands départs (Times)

In a country devoted to its August holiday shutdown, the stay-at-home President has attracted only ridicule, writes Charles Bremner.

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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.