This week’s data are a timely reminder that with less than seven weeks to go until polling day and Labour and the Tories neck and neck when recently published polls are averaged, the relationship between poll leads and who might become prime minister is not straightforward. Read more
UKIP candidate Douglas Carswell won 21,113 votes, or 59.7% of the total, in Thursday’s by-election. This was 12,404 more than Conservative candidate Giles Watline, who came in second with 8,709 votes, or 24.6%. Read more
He has been criticised in the past for offending women, gays and the Irish. Now Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, stands accused of insulting the people of Scotland and interfering in the country’s independence referendum on September 18, writes Jamie Smyth. Read more
By Emily Cadman and Henry Foy
Commuters in London are facing chaos on the way to work as RMT and TSSA unions strike against plans to close ticket offices and cut jobs, which Transport for London claim are essential to modernise.
FT reporter Bryce Elder found his local station, Ladbroke Grove, was closed when he had been expecting it to be open (photo left).
The last major strike was in 2007 and cost London an estimated £48m a day in lost productivity, according to the London Chamber of Commerce.
FT reporter Caroline Binham bumped into London Mayor Boris Johnson participating in the propaganda war at London Bridge station.
But aside from the politics about who is to blame, the challenge for most is simply to get to work.
And that is something which takes on a familiar pattern in the internet age: venting on Twitter. #tubestrike was choice more many this morning.
1. For most people it is likely to be as bad as you think it is going to be
By Sarah Neville
Comments to the FT from one of the most important figures in the NHS this morning ask the most fundamental question that can be asked about the NHS: in an era of austerity can a universal free health service survive?
Malcolm Grant, chairman of NHS England, told us that he thinks a future government will have to consider more widespread user charges in the health service unless the economy picks up.
Grant made clear that he would not support any departure from the defining principle of a free-at-the-point-of-use NHS. But that doesn’t matter – these are macro-economic decisions for government that fall beyond his remit. Read more
What was your response to the Budget? We asked readers on social media what the most important decisions were for them.
For Peter Curnow-Ford it was the stamp duty cut: Read more
The UK government has revealed the planned route of the second stage of the proposed high speed rail link from London to the north of England. Lex’s Stuart Kirk and Oliver Ralph discuss who’ll invest in a project where any returns would be a long way off.
From the FT’s Tech Hub:
A hacking group – no, not that one or the other one, a new one – has published scores of names and phone numbers that it says came from former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s address book Read more
From the FT’s Business blog:
Some have attributed Nick Clegg’s proposal to give every British voter a share in the UK’s state-owned banks (floated during a trade visit to Rio de Janeiro) to a combination of jet lag, domestic political calculation and Copacabana sunstroke. But the UK deputy prime minister’s suggestion has a long pedigree – longer than perhaps even he recognises. Read more
Britain went to the polls on Thursday in a mix of local elections in England and national polls for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Voters also have their say in a referendum on changing the electoral system to the alternative vote. Read more
Two tests await Ed Miliband, Labour leader, and his party: polls across the country, and a referendum on the alternative voting system for which he is a principal campaigner. George Parker, political editor, talks to the leader of the UK opposition about the upcoming ballots, his call for a cultural change in the City o f London, and the coalition government’s deficit reduction strategy. Read more
Nick Clegg has been warned by senior Conservative MPs that they will wreak revenge on him for the Liberal Democrats’ “Easter uprising”, including frustrating his plans for elections to the House of Lords. Read more
Here the FT’s South Asia bureau chief discusses the UK’s aid policy in India. What do you think David Cameron’s government should do? Join the debate in the comments section. Read more
From the FT’s Money Supply blog:
As far as Britain’s economy is concerned the spending review, just published, changes little. There was the “reprofiling” predicted first in the Financial Times, but it amounted to only £2bn a year of additional gross capital expenditure. This will not make the difference between stagnation and recovery. The Treasury is right: there is no Plan B. Read more