Newspaper headlines: 'Down to the wire' election and Labour's 'plonker'

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA Media

The Guardian reports that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are embarking on a frantic final 24 hours of campaigning, with both sides insisting that the general election remains closely fought.

Labour strategists have told HuffPost UK that they believe the whole election could hang on the "undecideds", those who supported the party in 2017 but who have told canvassers they still haven't made up their minds.

The Matt cartoon in the Daily Telegraph picks up on one of the campaign's underlying themes: It features a voter saying: "I've told every candidate that I'm voting for them. This election is all about honesty and trust."

"Britain's future down to the wire" is the front page headline in the Daily Mail, which, like many of the papers, has been poring over the latest polling evidence.

"Corbyn closes on Johnson as race tightens" declares the i newspaper, which in common with the Times says the prime minister can't be sure of securing a Commons majority.

The prime minister has given an interview to the Telegraph in which he says the criminal justice system "isn't delivering" and promises tougher sentences for terrorists, sex offenders and violent criminals if the Conservatives are re-elected.

He also says it's necessary to "put your arms around kids" before they get dragged into crime, by improving youth services.

But Mr Johnson comes in for criticism on the front of the Daily Mirror. It highlights a claim by the father of Jack Merritt, who was killed in the London Bridge attack, that the prime minister saw his son's death not as a tragedy, but as an opportunity to score points in the election.

The online Independent says David Merritt's intervention could not have come at a more sensitive time for Mr Johnson.

Hope for the future

The Daily Express describes how the shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, "took a wrecking ball" to the Labour Party as he was secretly recorded telling a Tory activist that voters couldn't stand Jeremy Corbyn.

"Pure Laurel and Hardy as a politician falls flat on his face," is how Quentin Letts in the Times sums up Mr Ashworth's comments.

And on the eve of polling day, several papers nail their colours to the mast. The Guardian urges voters to seize what it calls a "fleeting chance to stop the pro-Brexit Tory Party in its tracks".

Despite listing a range of misgivings, the paper concludes that a vote for the Labour Party offers the best hope for the future.

It also calls on people to back other candidates with the best chance of beating the Conservatives - from the SNP, the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid Cymru to pro-European independents.

The Sun, which has been relentless in its criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour, declares that Boris Johnson "ticks all the boxes" and has the potential to be a great prime minister.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Daily Mail, in a full-page editorial, also comes down firmly on the side of the Conservatives, telling its readers, "Don't sleepwalk into catastrophe. You must use your vote - and stop us plunging into the greatest crisis since the war."

The Daily Mirror explains in a two-page spread why it thinks only one party can rebuild the country after what it calls "nine years of Tory misrule."

"Vote Labour for the sake of your children," it says.

The Times believes the country faces a choice between a party that can deliver Brexit and one that will deliver economic mayhem. For that reason, the paper says it's supporting the Conservatives.

Pictures of Boris Johnson at the controls of a bulldozer ploughing through a polystyrene brick wall at a JCB factory are manna from heaven for the sketch-writers.

As grand entrances go, it was a shameless piece of attention-grabbing, says Henry Deedes in the Mail.

The Telegraph's Michael Deacon wonders, though, whether it sent out quite the right message. It created an awful lot of mess, he says, and concluded with Mr Johnson sauntering blithely from the scene, while ordinary workers were left to pick up the pieces.

Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

Away from the election, the Times reports that one of Britain's wealthiest men is under police investigation over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

It says the businessman, whose identity is protected by court orders, agreed financial settlements last year with two former female employees. But these agreements didn't stop the women from making a criminal complaint - which one of them has now done.

And finally, the Telegraph publishes a list of topical words, names and phrases which have caused most problems for radio and television newsreaders in 2019.

Thankfully, the paper accompanies the article with a pronunciation guide, so here goes with just some of them: The French protest movement, Gilet Jaunes (zhEE-lay zhOHn), Greta Thunberg (graY-tah tOOn-bairk) and Flygskam (flEEg-skam) - a Swedish term translated as "flight shame", used in efforts to cut carbon emissions.