Monday 18 December 2017

Here's what happened on the election trail today

With nine days to go until voters head to the polling stations, here are the highlights of the day.

By Zaina Alibhai

The Labour Party crawled closer to the Conservatives in the polls, Jeremy Corbyn failed to provide the costing of his manifesto pledge and Theresa May received a scathing review from a former colleague: here’s what happened today on the General Election trail.

Quote of the day

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“He will find himself alone and naked in the negotiating chamber of the European Union” – May took aim at the Labour leader and said that his grilling with Jeremy Paxman proved he was unprepared to lead the country through Brexit negotiations.

Who’s had a good day?

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Corbyn was revealed to be tweeted about more than twice as much as May during their Monday night interviews.

There were 239,700 mentions of the Labour leader compared to the 107,800 about May over the 90-minute period.

However, May produced the biggest spikes in Twitter activity which at its peak – the end of her questioning by the audience – spurred more than 188 tweets per second.

Who’s had a bad day?

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May’s efforts at Brexit negotiations received a scathing response from the Evening Standard, a publication which is edited by her former Conservative cabinet member George Osborne.

The paper said the UK’s negotiations “could not have got off to a worse start” and added the Conservative election campaign had “meandered from an abortive attempt to launch a personality cult around Mrs May to the self-inflicted wound of the most disastrous manifesto in recent history and – after the atrocity in Manchester – shrill attacks on Mr Corbyn’s appeasement of terrorism”.

Ouch.

Tweet of the day

Following their individual interviews with Paxman, Corbyn shared a clip from the Channel 4 showdown that had been edited to show what a head-to-head interview from the leaders would’ve been like.

The prime minister had previously declined to have a joint grilling with her opponent.

Picture of the day

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Corbyn met staff and children of Marsham Street Community Nursery in Westminster, as he pushed his party’s pledge to overhaul childcare provision.

Gaffe of the day

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Corbyn stumbled when quizzed about the costing of his manifesto pledge to provide free care to all two to four-year-olds.

Featuring on Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour, the Labour leader was asked repeatedly to give a cost for the proposed plan, pausing several times before asking: “Can we come back to that in a moment?”.

Host Emma Barnett later presented Corbyn with figures estimated by Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.

What do the polls say?

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With nine days to go until the General Election, Labour are closing the gap with the Conservatives and have gained one percentage point to 36% while the Tories have dropped one to 44%.

The Lib Dems, Ukip and Green remain as they have since Sunday.

Press Association

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