Post-poll speculation and Moyes 'scuffle' - front pages

  • 23 May 2014
UKIP candidates

Print deadlines may mean that the newspapers are unable to report on the results of the local elections - let alone the European election - but that doesn't prevent them assessing the likely impact of what they believe will be the outcome.

The Daily Express headlines its coverage "The 'earthquake' election" and repeats UKIP leader Nigel Farage's assertion that "things will never quite be the same again" once results confirm a surge in support for his party.

The Daily Star picks up the same theme with its headline "Yes, the Earth has moved for UKIP", explaining that Mr Farage had tweeted that it was time to "cause a political earthquake".

The Guardian describes the UKIP campaign as a "one-man juggernaut" but says the three main political parties face a "weekend of inquests" with the European results still another two days away.

The Daily Mirror hails it as a "Catastrophe for ConDems" with the Tories tipped to finish third in the European poll and the Lib Dems predicted to lose all of their 11 MEPs. "Broken Clegg" is how the Sun sums it up.

However, the Times's front-page lead suggests it's "Knives out for Miliband" with the Labour leader facing anger from within his own party if they are beaten by UKIP in the European vote.

The Daily Mail says some Labour MPs are warning that Mr Miliband is "proving a liability on the doorstep - even more so than Gordon Brown".

And the Independent says the safest prediction ahead of the results is the "electoral annihilation" of the BNP as a political force.

The Daily Telegraph gives space over to the Conservative Party's biggest Europhile Kenneth Clarke who explains why he believes the EU is important to British business interests.

In an opinion piece, he does not mention UKIP but writes: "Those campaigning for an exit disregard the reality of Britain's clout in Brussels at the nation's peril. In doing so, they are aligning themselves with the vested interests that clog up our commerce with bureaucracy, rather than staying to finish off the job of bringing them to heel."

Migration nation

"Migration is out of control" is the Daily Express's front-page take on the figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, that show there was an increase in immigrants from the EU in 2013.

The Times points out that the "significant" rise was announced on the day of the local and European elections and it gave a "late boost" to UKIP.

The Daily Mail is more forthright in its editorial, calling the timing an "election day gift to UKIP". It adds that the other three parties risk alienating voters "who, rightly, do not consider it racist to be concerned by the strain that EU migration is placing on housing, schools and social cohesion".

The Daily Mirror points out that David Cameron's pledge to slash immigration to the tens of thousands is now "in tatters".

David Goodhart, chairman of think tank Demos, writes an opinion piece for the Financial Times, in which he says the debate about immigration controls "is over, as 75% of the population think immigration is too high and all three main parties agree, albeit reluctantly in the case of Labour and the Liberal Democrats".

One year on

Image caption Fusilier Lee Rigby's widow Rebecca inspects tributes laid at the scene of his death, including one from his three-year-old son

Pictures of Fusilier Lee Rigby's widow crying at a memorial service held to mark a year since his murder are featured in every tabloid newspaper.

The Daily Star also pictures the football shirt-shaped floral tribute from his son Jack and focuses on the three-year-old's name on the accompanying card.

The Sun explains that hundreds of bikers rode in procession through Woolwich in his memory and the Daily Mirror shows many of them marching in his honour.

Paul Harris, writing for the Daily Mail, notes that there is no official memorial on the street where he died but the crowds who attended "made sure that Fusilier Rigby, drummer, proud father and loving son, was not forgotten".

Royal row

For the third day running, the Daily Mail's front-page focus is on Prince Charles, demonstrating its belief that if you break an exclusive royal story, you should continue to run with it.

It reports that Russian diplomats, fresh from meeting British counterparts to demand an explanation over the royal heir's "Nazi" comments about Vladimir Putin, are now questioning whether Prince Charles is fit to be king one day.

A Times editorial explains that "this is personal" for President Putin as his father was severely wounded in World War Two, his grandfather was killed by the Germans and his older brother died as a baby during the siege of Leningrad.

But the paper points out that Prince Charles had "clearly not intended to insult the Russian president nor the Russian nation". It points out it was a judgement on current events and a legitimate topic of conversation given that the prince was talking to a Polish war refugee.

A cartoon by Matt on the front page of the Daily Telegraph imagines an airdrop of Duchy Original Biscuits on the Russia-Ukraine border.

It does not offer any explanation as to whether this would be seen as a peace offering or a hostile act.