Election fall-out and cheap holidays feature on Sunday's front pages

David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, and Ed Miliband Image copyright Reuters/AFP/AFP/AFP

Thursday's local elections provoke a good deal of comment and speculation in the Sunday papers, with the effectiveness - or not - of the main party leaders and the outcome of next year's general election to the fore.

The Sun on Sunday focuses on a poll carried out for it by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft which, the paper says, "sets out a nightmare scenario for David Cameron".

The paper says Labour leader Ed Miliband will be "swept to power by the UKIP tidal wave" as Conservative voters switch to Nigel Farage's party, thus allowing Labour to win power by default. While a week is a long time in politics, its editorial concludes, "David Cameron might worry that a year is not long enough".

But, according to the Observer's Andrew Rawnsley, Labour is also running out of time to fix its own problems. A "poor campaign and unimpressive results are bringing a lot of anxiety about the party's prospects to the surface" and "this isn't the place Labour wants to be 12 months away from a general election".

The paper's lead story, meanwhile, says UKIP itself is to target at least 20 constituency seats at next year's general election as part of an "all-out assault" on the Commons. It reports senior officials as saying the party will identify "specific, mainly marginal seats, where it now has a strong base of councillors", in a move replicating tactics that helped the Lib Dems progress in the 1990s.

The Sunday People remains convinced, however, that UKIP is "a party of protest not a party of government".

In its editorial, it says that while Mr Farage is a "skilful politician... there is no one else among his ragtag of bobtails and boobles fit to fill a Cabinet seat".

Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has his own battle ahead, according to the Independent on Sunday. The paper says he is "facing a showdown" with senior colleagues who are demanding he reconsider his position as head of the party

Citing "party sources", the paper says the move could pave the way for Business Secretary Vince Cable, as a possible "unity candidate", to "take over in a 'coronation' before next year's general election".

And the prime minister himself is taken to task in the Sunday Times by Conservative colleague David Davis. Writing in the paper, the "standard bearer of the Tory right" urges Mr Cameron to bring forward his EU referendum, claiming that his policy on Europe lacks "both clarity and credibility".

However, the Sunday Telegraph says Mr Cameron is drawing up new immigration laws "in response to rising anger" over the number of EU immigrants moving to Britain.

The paper says details could be announced in the Queen's Speech next week and "even stronger measures to block Europeans from poor countries coming to Britain for work" are expected in the Tories' election manifesto.

California shooting

Image copyright Reuters

A good deal of coverage is given over to the shooting dead of six people near Santa Barbara in California.

The Sunday Mirror claims the "baby-faced killer", believed to be the son of a Hollywood filmmaker, "vowed to 'annihilate' girls at his university" in a video posted online.

The Mail on Sunday devotes its front page to a photograph of the gunman and quotes his Kent-based grandmother as saying "he was a very disturbed boy".

And the Sunday Express reports that the gunman was questioned by police "several weeks" ago after his family were alarmed by videos "regarding suicide and killing of people".

Holiday good... and bad news

The Sunday Express claims "families are snapping up the cheapest breaks in five years" thanks to a strong pound and a competitive holiday market.

The US and Europe have become "bargain-hunters' paradises" the paper says, with flights across the Atlantic staring at £300, while costs in resorts in Spain and the Algarve "a third cheaper than in 2009".

However, the Express also claims, in another report on the same page, that a "record number of holidaymakers complained about lengthy passport application delays last year".

It cites a Passport Office official as saying the "improving economy and a rise in holiday bookings" was to blame for "300 extra requests since January".

Holiday news of another variety features on the front page of the Sunday Times.

A group of families is to begin legal action against Education Secretary Michael Gove over his crackdown on parents taking their children on holidays during term-time, according to the paper.

The paper says the action has the support of a "petition signed by more than 200,000 parents", claiming the rules are a "breach of the human right to a family life".

In an editorial, the Times says the issue is "what many parents see as the true class struggle". While it applauds maximum school attendance and, as a general rule, holidays in term-time should be discouraged, it "should not become a bitter battleground between parents and head teachers. In life, and in education, a little flexibility is always a good thing".

'Pay as you Goggle'

The hit Channel 4 show, Gogglebox, faces the axe after a "pay row erupted between its stars and the producers," according to the Daily Star Sunday.

The paper claims "some of the cast were upset that their £15-a-night wage will not go up" despite the Bafta-winning programme pulling in 2.7 million viewers.

One cast member told the paper the families featured only "get their leccy bill and takeaways covered".

In contrast, the Sunday People claims that "controversial Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is on the verge of signing a new £12m deal with the BBC", a "mouth-watering" agreement which would keep him at the corporation until 2018.