Newspaper headlines: Tories increase poll lead - or do they?

By BBC News

  • Published
Ballot boxImage source, PA

Given that it's the first weekend following the announcement of a snap general election, politics unsurprisingly dominates the front pages.

Under the headline "May parks her tanks on Labour's lawn", the Sunday Times claims that the Conservative manifesto will include a pledge to cut household energy bills.

According to the paper, the Tories plan to cap the gas and electricity bills for the seven out of 10 households that pay standard variable tariffs. Tory sources tell the paper that it would mean 17 million families saving about £100 a year.

The paper also says the policy will be the centrepiece of a manifesto that will set out "a bold social vision for Britain" that will position the Conservatives firmly on ground usually occupied by Labour.

The Sunday Telegraph leads with a warning from the Conservative party chairman that voting for Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister would put the country's security at risk.

In what the paper calls a "very personal attack", Sir Patrick McLoughlin says the Labour leader couldn't be trusted to make "difficult decisions" in the event of a terrorist attack.

'Disorganised' Labour

On a similar theme, the Times has an interview with a Labour insider - Mr Corbyn's former communications and strategy adviser Harry Fletcher - who tells the paper the Labour leader "struggles to cope" with the demands of frontline politics, saying the atmosphere in his office is "fraught, tense and unhappy".

He says there was "no schedule, few team meetings", and describes how one day tens of thousands of emails to Mr Corbyn were discovered which had never been read.

But there's support for Mr Corbyn from the Sunday Mirror. Its editorial says although he may not to be everyone's taste, he is sincere in his wish to create a society that enriches all - not just the few.

The paper calls on Labour voters to put any concerns about him to one side and to stay loyal to the party, just as football fans stay loyal to their team through thick and thin - even if they may not agree with the manager.

However, the paper also has a Comres poll which it says will shock Mr Corbyn - it suggests the Conservatives are now on 50%, which the paper says is the party's highest level in more than 25 years.

French vote

There's better news for Jeremy Corbyn in the Mail on Sunday whose headline reads "Tory lead slashed in half after tax U-turn".

It says a Survation poll commissioned by the paper shows the Conservative lead over Labour falling to 11% because of the party's failure to rule out tax rises and or an end to pension guarantees.

The paper says the poll deals a blow to Theresa May's hopes of a landslide victory.

Politics on the the other side of the Channel also feature prominently in many of the papers, on the day that the French go to the polls to vote for a new president.

A poster of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen features on the front of the Times, with many papers pointing out that the country is at a crossroads.

With four candidates running almost neck and neck, the paper calls it the most uncertain presidential election of modern times.

It says more than 50,000 soldiers and police will be guarding the ballot boxes amid a heightened terror alert.

Rare document

The Sunday Express points out that because French elections rules forbid firearms close to polling stations, officials will have to call a special hotline to summon armed officers in case of an incident.

The Mail has remarkable news of the "holy grail" of American history being unearthed in Sussex.

It says only the second known parchment copy of the American Declaration of Independence has been found in Chichester.

It's believed to have been given to the 3rd Duke of Richmond by Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the United States.