Clinton pins her hopes on differential turnout

Hillary Clinton‘A surge in women and Hispanic early voters left Donald Trump facing an uphill struggle even before polling stations opened today as the most unpredictable US election in memory reached its climax. From the Democratic suburbs of Chicago to staunchly Republican rural Oklahoma, states that allow early voting have recorded record turnouts — a phenomenon expected to give Hillary Clinton the edge. The Democratic candidate went into polling day with a three-point lead over Mr Trump, according to an average of recent national polls by the Real Clear Politics website, meaning that the battle to become America’s 45th president remained too close to rule out a Brexit-style upset.’ – The Times (£)

  • The polls appear to be herding –
  • Trump’s aides ban him from Twitter – The Times (£)
  • The bare-knuckle fight to win the White House – The Times (£)
  • Final blitz of swing states – FT
  • Psychics, psychic animals and souvenir cups predict the outcome – The Times (£)
  • Social media bots attempt to influence the election – The Sun (£)



>Today: ToryDiary: A day to honour George Herbert Walker Bush, America’s best living former President

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: How would Trump and Clinton supporters react to defeat?

Davis looks for ways to ensure swift passage of Article 50 Bill

‘The Brexit Secretary accused pro-EU MPs of ‘going through the motions’ of accepting the referendum result while at the same time plotting to block the process. He said the ruling by the judges meant primary legislation would be required to trigger Article 50 – while stressing that the situation could change when the Supreme Court considers the case next month. Mr Davis also signalled that the government is prepared to pull out all the stops to rush law on to the statute books if it does suffer another defeat.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: Wallace and Williams on the Article 50 ruling

Tory MPs criticise Truss for her reluctant defence of judges

TRUSS Chancellor‘In a “vocal” exchange at a private meeting, the MPs accused Liz Truss of being too slow to give her support to judges who ruled against the government at the High Court last week. Ms Truss is understood to have said that her role as lord chancellor was not to defend the judges from “all comers” but only from government attack. Among those at the private meeting were several Tories with legal backgrounds. They are thought to have been less than impressed by Ms Truss’s slow and reluctant intervention. The justice secretary is said to have told them that her department had learnt its lessons and would be “on the front foot” when the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on the appeal.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Hands off the Daily Mail

Ganesh: The Prime Minister lacks leadership

‘The overall impression is of someone who has never really stopped being Home Secretary. Mrs May can work to a brief and hold a line against pressure. She has the stamina to bend the impersonal machinery of state to her will. She is, as coaches say of a certain kind of unsung footballer, a good professional. What a shame — for her, for us — that the job of national leadership requires a bit more. In a country where the monarch cannot make a political intervention, the prime minister is often the effective head of state. She must gauge the emotional condition of the people, reflecting it back in happy times, taking the heat out of it in fiery ones. It takes steel and silk. It takes, in the non-feudal sense of the word, class.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

  • But Geoffrey Boycott says she’s ‘brilliant’ – The Sun (£)
  • May is considering offering more detail on Brexit – FT
  • Lib Dem peer blasted for thinking about blocking Article 50 – The Sun (£)
  • Academic attempts to prosecute Vote Leave campaigners… – Daily Mail
  • …but he isn’t bothered about Stronger In untruths – The Sun Says (£)
  • City pressure group wants ‘no change’ – FT

May rejects visa relaxation on her India trip…

Conservative friends of India‘The prime minister told Narendra Modi, her Indian counterpart, that there would be no changes to the eligibility criteria for visas in the face of anger from British and Indian businesses. She also refused further demands to streamline the British visa system unless he agreed that India should do more to take back more migrants who overstay their welcome in the UK. Plans to speed up entry access for wealthy Indian businessmen was dismissed as tokenistic and her refusal to look again at the inclusion of students in the net migration target was also criticised.’ – The Times (£)

  • She told Modi to take back illegal immigrants if he wants visa changes – The Sun (£)
  • Britain has a duty to enforce visa controls – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Now Germany wants to send back migrant boats – Daily Mail
  • White collar EU migrants consider their futures – FT

>Yesterday: Amandeep Singh Bhogal on Comment: May must forge ahead with a new British-Indian partnership

…and waters down her plan for workers on boards

‘Theresa May has backed away from forcing employers to put workers on their boards after opposition from business groups and the Treasury. Companies will be encouraged to do more to involve workers — including handing them shares — but ministers won’t be “prescriptive” when a consultation is launched within weeks…Mrs May first raised the issue of workers sitting on boards during her leadership campaign, saying: “Big business needs to change. If I’m prime minister, we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards but employees as well,” she said in July. She also said that the make-up of boardrooms was too narrow.’ – The Times (£)

The MoD plans to raise £1 billion from selling sites

Ministry of Defence‘More than 50 army barracks, naval sites and airfields used by thousands of troops will be sold off under plans to shrink the size of the defence estate by nearly a third. The Ministry of Defence aims to raise £1 billion by selling 91 sites, including five golf courses, by 2040, it said last night. Some 35 of the facilities had already been announced. The MoD will invest more than £4 billion in improving what is left of the defence estate, including housing for military families. The move has been described as the biggest shake-up of the defence estate since the Second World War.’ – The Times (£)

  • NATO brings 300,000 troops onto shorter alert time – Daily Mail
  • US defence chiefs give Britain major fighter jet deal – The Sun (£)
  • Calls for Putin to discipline deputy defence minister over wife’s under-dressed photographs – Daily Mail

IFS warns of £25 billion fiscal gap

‘Philip Hammond will have to confront a £25bn hole in the public finances in his Autumn Statement as UK growth and tax revenues fall short of projections, according to a leading economic think-tank. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says borrowing will be £31bn a year higher than expected by 2019-20, only partially offset by savings from the UK no longer contributing to the EU budget, which could help reduce spending by about £6bn a year. This is in sharp contrast to figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which forecast in March that the public finances would improve from a £76bn deficit last year to a £10bn budget surplus by 2019-20.’ – FT

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: Cutting Universal Credit work allowances would harm those in greatest need of help

Percy urges ‘Poldark for the North’, but declines to audition

Percy-Andrew‘TV makers should produce a ‘Poldark for the North’ that exploits the natural beauty of the north of England in the same way as Poldark embraced Cornwall, the northern powerhouse minister has urged. Andrew Percy said landscapes from the ‘windswept moors of Yorkshire to the craggy peaks of the Pennines’ were home to scores of stories ripe to be televised – including Dickens’ Hard Times and Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley. But the Minister insisted he was not bidding for a starring role – warning he did not quite ‘have the body’ to follow Poldark star Aidan Turner.’ – Daily Mail

MPs find hidden camera in their meeting room during Sports Direct visit

‘A group of MPs claim to have found a recording device during private discussions after an unannounced visit to Sports Direct’s controversial warehouse in Derbyshire. Members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee travelled to Shirebrook for an on-the-spot inspection on Monday afternoon and were taken on a three-hour tour of the premises. After the visit, the six MPs headed for a private room to discuss their impressions when they said a recording device was found, with one MP posting pictures on Twitter. Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, revealed the camera was planted by a woman dropping off coronation chicken sandwiches.’ – Daily Mail

Labour’s Richmond Park candidate wants toilet paper banned (and Corbyn to quit)

toilet-paper‘Labour’s candidate in the Richmond Park by-election has said he wants to ban loo paper and bring in “automatic bidets” or “butt cleaners”. Christian Wolmar revealed he no longer uses loo roll as he called for Britain to adopt the “hands-free spray toilet”. He suggested that only reason that loo paper has survived into the 21st century is because the “derrière is so, well, derrière.”…In June he told Jeremy Corbyn his “time was up” and called on him to do the “honourable” thing and resign, despite backing his original leadership bid in 2015. In a second tweet, which since been deleted, he said: “Every hour that Jeremy Corbyn does not resign, means another hour of lost opportunity to attack the Tories.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour’s latest attempt to establish a Brexit policy ends in farce

Are students guilty of being Generation Snowflake, or are we just old fogies?

‘Parents were appalled. They were desperate to be mates with their kids, but who was this priggish, alien species so brazenly ignoring the freedoms for which Mum and Dad had fought so hard? A bunch of bed-wetters, that’s who. Dangerous, anti-free speech, anti-democratic bed-wetters. The former enfant terrible novelist, Bret Easton Ellis, 52, wailed: “Oh, little snowflakes, when did you all become society matrons clutching your pearls in horror at someone who has an opinion about something, a way of expressing themselves that’s not the mirror image of yours?” Or could you take a step back and see this as the cry of every codger since codgers evolved? “The youth today need to toughen up.” It’s no coincidence that the speakers most famously resisted by British student unions, such as Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel, are triple their age.’ – Helen Rumbelow, The Times (£)

  • University rugby team puts Palestinian flag on their strip – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Police hunt Tesco Bank thieves – Daily Mail
  • Sir Jimmy Young has died – Daily Mail
  • China deploys chequebook diplomacy in South East Asia – FT
  • Whistleblower accuses the CPS of being scared of prosecuting so-called ‘honour’ crimes – Daily Telegraph
  • Scientists call for wind farms to be turned off at night to save bats – The Times (£)
  • Snow expected for Eastern England – Daily Telegraph