Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. A Lab-Lib deal in 2015 may be Ed Miliband's only chance of government (Guardian)

If Labour is serious about being open to coalition in 2015, the party must ditch its autocratic way of doing things now, writes Martin Kettle.

2. Stop the plotting, Mr Cameron, and rediscover your will to win (Daily Telegraph)

The Tories should be working on bold policies, not planning for another coalition, says Iain Martin.

3. Don’t blindly trust guardians of security (Financial Times)

Before the leaks, we had little insight into the scale of the NSA’s access to information, writes John Gapper.

4. Why I’m torn between freedom and security (Times)

Was the detention of David Miranda an assault on the press or a necessary protection? It’s impossible to decide, says Matt Ridley.

5. Caught in the crossfire of an ever dirtier war (Daily Mail)

The harrowing images of hundreds of dead Syrian children and adults will test the diplomatic patience of the west to the limit, writes Michael Burleigh. 

6. An uneasy election that is Angela Merkel’s to lose (Independent)

The visit of the Chancellor to Dachau says a lot about her political strategy, writes Mary Dejevsky. 

7. Innovation needs help of an active state (Financial Times)

Productive public spending leads to growth, as illustrated by the US, writes Mariana Mazzucato.

8. Fracking faces a little local difficulty (Daily Telegraph)

A measly 1 per cent of the spoils is not enough to convince residents to put up with fracking, writes Isabel Hardman. 

9. This was a coup: we must support Egypt's people, not its generals (Guardian)

The west must not risk losing legitimacy across the Middle East, says Douglas Alexander. It has to be clear in backing democracy, and defy al-Qaida's hate.

10. The young need help, not condemnation (Independent)

Does Nick Hurd even know what ‘grit’ is, asks Jane Merrick. The situation ‘Neets’ are in is not their fault.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader. Getty
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Will Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister after the 2017 general election?

Can Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election? 

Jeremy Corbyn could be the next prime minister. Admittedly, it’s highly unlikely. After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. Labour behind in the latest general election polls and underperformed badly in the recent local elections. But since the election was called, Labour’s position in the polls has been improving. Can we trust the general election polls?

This isn’t the first vote of national significance since his election, however, since he was in office during the 2016 EU referendum. It’s also not Corbyn’s first serious challenge: after the Brexit vote, his MPs voted “no confidence” in him and Owen Smith challenged him for the leadership. Corbyn saw off that threat to his position convincingly, so can he pull out another electoral triumph and become prime minister? 

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister after the general election 2017?

Do the polls predict a Labour victory?

Since May 2015, the Conservative Party has consistently led in the polls. The latest polls give Labour ratings in the mid 30s, while the Conservatives are on the mid-40s. Recent improvements in Labour’s standing still leave Jeremy Corbyn a long way from becoming prime minister.

But should we believe the general election polls? Glen O’Hara, professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University, points out that the polls have been wrong before, and could be overstating Labour’s collapse. However, a 20-point gap is far outside the margin of error. A Corbyn win would be an unprecedented upset.

What is Labour's record on elections?

At the 2016 local elections, Labour did not gain any councils and lost 18 seats and 4 per cent of the vote. James Schneider, the co-founder of Momentum who is now Corbyn’s head of strategic communications, said this showed Labour was on the right trajectory, but it’s a disappointment for an opposition to make no gains. And at the Copeland by-election this February, Labour lost the seat to the Tories – the first government gain in a by-election since 1982.

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister? The verdict

Jeremy Corbyn’s path to power would be one of the greatest surprises in British politics. But unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. It would take some extraordinary events, but it could happen. Check out the latest odds to see how the markets rate his chances.

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