What's the Ukip effect? Does it help Ed Miliband, as some of his supporters suggest? Or, as the more jittery members of that party believe, will it ultimately hurt Mr Miliband just as much as David Cameron. Research based on the British Electoral Study sheds further light. One in five of the 10 million who supported the Conservatives in 2010 are on the verge of defecting to Ukip, as Labour look set to lose 500,000 votes of their own.
“Millions of Tory voters to pick Ukip” is our splash; “Ukip ‘twice as dangerous’ to Tory election prospects as to Labour’s” reports Andy Grice for the i. The Guardian, meanwhile, lends its focus to the potential Lib Dem wipeout instead: the data indicates that the Coalition's second party could be reduced to under 20 seats, far below most estimates.
The study suggests that the Ukip surge is largely down to the main parties’ movement towards the middle ground. Labour, they suggest, had already lost out the voters of its supposed "core" during their years in office, now it is the Conservatives who are shedding votes to Ukip.
Nigel Farage likes to trot out the idea that there's little to choose between David Cameron and Ed Miliband. The concerning thing for the PM is that today's research suggests the voters may well agree.
Natasha Bolter, a Labour defector who made a star turn at Ukip's conference in Doncaster, has quit Nigel Frage's party, claiming that she was sexually harassed by its general secretary, Steve Bird, and reporting that her complaints about sexism and racism were ignored by the party. "Ukip's star woman quits after sex claims" is the Times' splash. Our take is here.
CAMERON VERSUS ISLAMIC STATE
David Cameron flies to Turkey today for talks with the country's Prime Minister and President about the "shared threat" of returning Islamic State fighters. Turkey must provide a better early warning system about British jihadis, the PM will say. Chris Hope is in Turkey with the story.
Lord Mandelson has warned Labour that it must reach "beyond our core" if it is to win the election in five months. Calling the election a "six party race", Lord Mandelson said: "There is no point in just talking to Labour voters, because, put simply, there are not eough of them to win an election by depending on our current Labour voters alone." The Labour grandee made the remarks at a Policy Network event - the Huffington Post's Ned Simons was in the audience.ALL ABOARD THE OUTRAGE BUS
Baroness Jenkin is under fire after appearing to suggest that poor people fall into food poverty because they "do not know how to cook", Matt Holehouse reports. "I had a large bowl of porridge today. It cost 4p," the peer said, "A large bowl of sugary cereal will cost 25p". "Let them eat porridge!" is the Indy's splash. "Sweeping and clumsy," says the Sun's leader, "But not heartless." "Too many families across the whole social spectrum lack those skills. That's all the peer was saying." The Baroness has since apologised.
THE LONG ARM OF THE CLAU
Jean-Claude Juncker must push the European Union to investigate the scandal around tax deals for big firms, 41 journalists including the editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Rachel Olldroyd, have argued in a letter to the Guardian.
GRAYLING'S GOT 99 PROBLEMS
The Coalition looks likely to suffer its 100th defeat in the Lords today as the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill returns to the Lords today, with the crossbench peer and QC Lord Pannick flying back from Russia late last night for the occasion.CRUSHGATE
The Candy Crush saga rolls on for another day, as Parliamentary officials opened an investigation...into a breach of filming rules in Commons committee rooms. "Candy Crass" is the Sun's take.
You can get in touch with me by pressing "reply" or on Twitter. Our cartoon is the work of Christian Adams - a gallery of his work is available here.
HOW HAVE THE POLLS MOVED IN THE LAST MONTH?
Conservatives 32% Labour 33% Liberal Democrats 7% Ukip 17% Green 6% (Ashcroft-ComRes-Populus-YouGov, 02.12.2014-09.12.2014)
Ashcroft: Con 31% Lab 30% LD 8% Ukip 19% Green 5%
Populus: Con 33% Lab 36% Ukip 14% LD 9% Green 4%
YouGov: Con 33% Lab 34% LD 6% Ukip 15% Green 6%
TOO MANY TWEETS...
@stephentall: I have never played Candy Crush. I am the 1%.
From the Telegraph
Philip Johnston - The Coalition flunked its great opportunity to rethink the state
James Kirkup - The missing piece from our foodbank debate
Rachel Sylvester - This is Tory civil war, not a rift with the church(Times)
Seb Payne - Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage are pursuing the same electoral strategy (Spectator)
0900 LONDON: MPs take evidence on electricity market reform.
0930 LONDON: MPs hear evidence on Whitehall's capacity to meet future challenges. Witnesses at Public Administration Committee include Jon Day, Head, Joint Intelligence Committee, Dr Campbell McCafferty OBE, Director, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, and Professor David Walker, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.
0945 LONDON: Boris Johnson and Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe walkabout to make announcement on future of New Scotland Yard.
1000 LONDON: "Britain against cancer" conference hosted by All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer. Speakers will include APPG chair John Baron launching its new report NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and the Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.
1100 LONDON: Boris Johnson to launch new initiative to increase ethnic minority applicants to the Met.
1430 LONDON: Jeremy Hunt gives evidence to MPs on health and social care expenditure.
1535 LONDON: Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin appears before House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on HS2.
1830 LONDON: Chuka Umunna at Progress in conversation event. The shadow business secretary will be in conversation with John Rentoul of the Independent on Sunday.
TODAY IN PARLIAMENT
A Ten Minute Rule Motion: Funeral Services.
Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill - Committee of the whole House.
A short debate on patient safety and medical innovation.
0930: Education of children with cerebral palsy.
1100: Performance of General Dental Council.
1600: Secondary education in Skelmersdale.
1630: Power cuts in North Finchley.
Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - Consideration of Commons amendments.
Childcare Payments Bill - Second reading, committee of the whole House, report stage and third reading.