Published:

US 1) The pollsters are wrong again: election is too close to call

“America’s destiny was last night on a knife edge as President Trump held key battleground states including Florida and Ohio keeping his hopes of re-election alive and dashing all thoughts of a landslide for Joe Biden. Counting is set to continue in the US election for several more days after three crucial Midwest states warned that there would be no final result on election night, as many had feared after a surge in postal voting. Mr Biden saw his hopes of flipping an early state evaporate in a higher turnout than 2016 but with a similar pattern to results. The first 32 of the 50 states called went the same way as four years ago as the big opinion poll lead given to the Democratic challenger in the run-up to polling day proved to be a mirage.” – The Times

  • Result may not be known until Friday as Biden’s hopes for landslide evaporate – Daily Telegraph
  • Count could last until Friday – Daily Mail
  • Democrat expresses confidence that he will be ultimate victor – FT

More:

  • Trump claims ‘I have frankly won’ as swing states go to wire – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump Tower in NYC becomes a fortress – Daily Mail
  • Unrest at White House as a tense America awaits result – Daily Telegraph
  • Democrat ‘confuses his two granddaughters and then introduces one of them as his dead son’ – Daily Mail

Results:

>Today: Video: WATCH: The polls are wrong again. Trump says he’s won (and prepares to contest the result if he hasn’t)

US 2) McConnell and Lindsey Graham re-elected in blow to Democrats’ Senate hopes

“Republican senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have fought off well-funded challengers in a major blow to the Democrats’ chances of taking control of the Senate. Democrats had spent some $125 million (£96.15 million) in what appears to have been the vain hope of dislodging two of the most crucial supporters of Donald Trump – Mr McConnell marshalling his agenda in the Senate, and Mr Graham acting as a loyal ally in the media. But according to early results on Tuesday, the incumbents had won re-election in Kentucky and South Carolina. Republicans are on course to retain control of the Senate – but Democrats have more than one route to secure the three or four seats needed to capture the majority for the first time in a decade.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Republicans confident they will keep Senate control – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Democracy can fail anywhere, even in America – Gideon Rachman, FT
  • Trumpism has been vindicated – Rosa Prince, FT
  • In a divided nation it’s no longer just the economy, stupid – Gerard Baker, The Times
  • Trump and Johnson have shown countries need leaders, not celebrity politicians – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

Johnson ‘set to avoid major Tory revolt over lockdown’…

“Boris Johnson is expected to avoid a major Conservative party rebellion in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday that is seeking to introduce tougher coronavirus lockdown measures in England. The new restrictions, due to come into force on Thursday and set to last until December 2, will require non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants to close. But unlike the nationwide lockdown earlier this year, schools, universities and nurseries will remain open. Mr Johnson’s government was expected to face a significant backbench rebellion, following widespread disapproval among Tory MPs at Number 10’s handling of the announcement over the weekend. A growing number of MPs also say the measures are draconian. There has also been disquiet from some scientists and MPs over the government’s use of one scientific model at the weekend which predicted there could be 4,000 deaths a day at the peak of a second wave of the virus.” – FT

  • Labour is set to help pass ‘economically destructive’ new curbs – Daily Mail

More:

  • Whitty suggests tier system likely to return in a month – The Times
  • Prime Minister ‘promises lockdown will end on December 2’ – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: How Conservative MPs should approach today’s vote on the Government’s lockdown plan

>Yesterday:

…amidst claims that Sunak is being ‘bounced’ into extending the furlough scheme package…

“The Prime Minister is ‘bouncing’ Rishi Sunak into ensuring money from the furlough scheme is available across the country once the national lockdown comes to an end. The Chancellor is being pressured into carrying out the commitment in order for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to receive the funds amid the country’s ongoing economic struggles, it has been claimed. It comes just days after the Prime Minister pledged to extend the Government’s  furlough payments throughout November and into December. An ally of Mr Sunak told The Times that the Chancellor had been ‘bounced’ into making a commitment that would allow any part of the country to receive furlough money. Sources said that while the details were still being refined, the Chancellor wanted the ‘mechanics ironed out’ before it was brought to the public.” – Daily Mail

  • Jenrick is forced to admit there was no full report made on the economic impact of new lockdown – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What matters most for deciding on lockdown is hospitalisations – not deaths

…as Mordaunt says the UK can expect at least three Covid waves with lockdowns

“The UK should be braced for at least a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and further lockdowns, a minister has said as Tory sceptics warned they would not vote to extend England’s four-week shutdown. Penny Mordaunt, the paymaster general, told MPs on Tuesday that there could yet be a rolling series of lockdowns – but argued this was not evidence that the measure was ineffective. It came as the former chief whip, Mark Harper, criticised a lack of engagement with Conservative backbenchers before a Commons vote on England’s lockdown on Wednesday, and said the government would be forced to rely on Labour votes to pass any extension beyond 2 December. Ministers expect a moderate number of Conservative MPs to rebel but Labour support means the measures are guaranteed to pass. Speaking in parliament, Mordaunt said the government was “hopeful of being able to unlock in December but they are being driven by the data”.” – The Guardian

  • Ease coronavirus isolation rules so moonshot tests viable, advisers tell Johnson – The Times
  • UK in talks with Palantir over test-and-trace programme – FT
  • Sturgeon warns parts of Scotland face tougher restrictions – Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Steve Baker MP: I cannot support this second lockdown

“The judgment call is that if one believes the fundamentals of the disease will be changed through testing, treatments and vaccines, then it may be an advantage to have a month of painful lockdown now to reduce prevalence and avoid the elevated plateau of disease later. Clearly officials are optimistic about changing the fundamentals soon. Otherwise, I think they would not recommend lockdown. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced. Compliance must be high, a month may not be long enough, the breakthroughs may not come, and so on. And if we really are locking down for this purpose, keeping schools open is a huge compromise. Most importantly, the cost-benefit is today a guess… I am sorry that I do not feel able to impose the undoubted costs of lockdown on the basis of the necessary balancing judgment calls. It is with a heavy heart that I plan to vote against this measure, but I will condemn no one for supporting lockdown if they think it will minimise harm.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Conservatives need to rediscover reality – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • Surge in infections left us with little choice but to accept this lockdown – Priti Patel MP, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • MPs do not have the indisputable evidence to justify a second lockdown – The Sun

>Yesterday:

Britain ‘nets fishing win’ as Brussels agree post-Brexit rules to ‘double’ catch

“Britain netted a fishing win as Brussels agreed post-Brexit rules that massively increased our catch. Michel Barnier conceded it would be based on new scientific criteria that could see UK quotas double. But in a compromise, a final decision on the exact numbers both sides can land will not be thrashed out until long after the trade deal is struck. The move is to ensure the row over access to waters does not derail those talks. PM Boris Johnson has told Brussels chiefs the final Brexit deal must deliver a huge increase in catches for British fishermen. But No10 has offered to phase the new regime in over three years to make the change less painful for European countries… In another boost, BMW said it remained committed to Britain even if there was No Deal.” – The Sun

  • Whitehall dismisses SNP claims Scotland was ‘ignored’ in Brexit talks – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Martin Howe QC in Comment: Two critical questions Johnson must answer on any EU deal

Bailey attacks Khan over plan to quit City Hall

“Sadiq Khan has confirmed his staff will move from the iconic City Hall building by the River Thames in a cost-cutting drive, amid claims the mayor will retain an office for himself back in Central London. The Mayor of London has decided to move the Greater London Authority (GLA) to a cheaper office block owned by the authority in the Royal Docks, in East London. The move will save £61m over five years, Mr Khan claimed, pledging to spend the savings on the police, the London Fire Brigade and key transport services. But his Conservative rival at next year’s election, Shaun Bailey, claimed Mr Khan would retain an office in Central London in a Transport for London building in Southwark, while his staff travel to work four miles away. Council minutes show plans to give Mr Khan two offices, with a space for him on both sites.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Crossrail 2 plans shelved as part of £1.8bn TfL funding deal – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • The US liberal establishment has learned nothing – Gavin Haynes, UnHerd
  • America gets the divided election result it deserves – Daniel DePetris, The Spectator
  • What we know, and what we don’t, about the US election – Oliver Wiseman, The Critic
  • The case for a Royal Overseas Regiment – Henry Hill, CapX

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