CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

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1. A Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is most likely, but it's not sustainable (Guardian)

Labour voters who switch their allegiance to Nick Clegg will probably put David Cameron into No 10, says Jackie Ashley. But there will be huge strains on the new government if the two parties form an coalition.

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2. Only two can play - which leaves no room for Labour (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Mandelson's leg-up to Clegg may prove costly in what is essentially a two-party system, says Boris Johnson. It is now possible that we could not only see an absolute Tory majority, but the implosion of Labour.

3. Influence of Lib Dems in hung parliament depends on staying ahead of Labour (Independent)

John Curtice analyses opinion poll results in the wake of the second televised debate, finding considerable evidence pointing to the Lib Dem vote being relatively soft.

4. A second Clegg bounce cannot be ruled out (Financial Times)

It would be foolish to rule out a second Lib Dem surge, says Richard Reeves. As things stand, the party is likely to push Labour into third place -- an outcome considered wildly implausible just two weeks ago.

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5. MP numbers should not be cut (Guardian)

Cameron's plan to cut the number of MPs might win some cheers, but, Peter Preston argues, it shrinks democracy, diminishing the chances of holding the executive to account, and reducing constituency representation.

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6. We are recruiting a new legion of the lost (Times)

There are a million 18 to 24-year-olds looking for work. Libby Purves posits that joblessness on this scale is a mass psychological disaster, and that we should roll back regulation to encourage employers to take a punt on the young.

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7. Sheer power and unwarranted privilege (Independent)

The leading article discusses the pressure on Goldman Sachs. Apart from ethical and legal concerns, the real issue is the sheer economic and political power that a select group of giant financial firms have accumulated.

8. Please, no more guff about change and fairness. What about the fiscal crisis? (Guardian)

John Lanchester says that in the third TV debate the party leaders must spell out in detail the swingeing cuts they'll soon be forced to make. The political parties are currently treating voters like they don't want to hear the truth.

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9. Red Mist (Times)

An editorial looks at the political crisis in Thailand, saying that speedy democratic elections could rescue the country from mob politics and civil war.

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10. Obama's triumph leaves voters cold (Financial Times)

Everything is going Barack Obama's way, from healthcare reform to financial regulation. Why then, asks Clive Crook, are the Democrats poll ratings so dismal? It comes down to concerns over taxation and the size of the state.


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