The papers: UKIP fallout and peace prize

There is plenty of reaction to the UK Independence Party's strong showing in by-elections in Clacton and Greater Manchester - and what it means for the more established Westminster parties.

The Times says pressure is growing on David Cameron to form an electoral pact with the party, after former Tory MP Douglas Carswell became UKIP's first elected MP.

The paper says Mr Cameron conceded that UKIP's surge could cost him the election - as senior Tories warned that Ed Miliband had taken a step closer to Downing Street.

As for Labour, it adds that election chief Douglas Alexander has been urging colleagues to calm down over the threat posed by UKIP after a "wobble in the ranks" over their strategy to combat Nigel Farage.

In a leading article, the Times says it is now clear that there is more to the UKIP surge than mid-term protest.

Times cartoonist Peter Brookes imitates a famous scene from the film The Shining - with Mr Farage breaking down the door to Number 10 with an axe and saying: "Here's Nigey!".

Image copyright AFP

The Daily Telegraph says Mr Cameron's reaction will be to unveil tough plans to restrict immigration from the EU "within weeks" to stop another UKIP MP being elected.

Sketch writer Michael Deacon describes what happened when he arrived in Clacton, the day after the night before.

"The very first sight to greet my eyes was this: Nigel Farage, fag in hand, standing beside white van, in front of a kebab shop," he writes.

"Almost all the boxes ticked. If only he had been holding a pint of beer, it would have made a perfect shot for the next UKIP poster campaign."

Columnist Charles Moore says the core voters of both the Conservative and Labour parties have spoken - and they are not a happy bunch.

The Telegraph comments: "In the wake of Thursday's by-election results, spokesmen for both the main parties were attempting to play down their significance.

"They will not succeed. Not since the SDP promised in 1981 to "break the mould of British politics" has an insurgent party posed such a direct threat to the established order as UKIP does today."


'Seismic jolt'

The Guardian focuses on the impact of the results on Labour, saying that Mr Miliband was under pressure to "harden" the party's approach to immigration and suggesting a prominent role for former Home Secretary Alan Johnson in the election campaign.

Political editor Patrick Wintour writes that Thursday's two by-elections provided a stunning coda to a party conference season dominated by one question - whether the creaking Westminster political system can respond to the contempt in which it is held.

Jonathan Freedland describes Mr Farage as the Captain Mainwaring of our time: "Like Mainwaring, he too has big dreams, leading a ragtag army of oddballs who regularly put a spoke in his wheel."

The Guardian says the immediate question is whether UKIP's successes will prove a curious footnote in the annals of history or one of those rare political nights that really does begin a new chapter.

The Independent also looks at Mr Miliband's position in the wake of the polls - it says senior Labour figures have warned that time is running out for him to convince voters that he would make a credible prime minister.

Politics professor John Curtice writes in the Independent that the claim a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote - or will let Mr Miliband in - can now be met with the riposte that it is a vote for a UKIP MP.

The Daily Mail says the three main parties had expected to be given a "bloody nose" - but what they got was "nothing less than a seismic jolt to the whole Westminster system".

The Daily Express says that with the election of Mr Carswell to the House of Commons it is clear UKIP cannot be just written off.

The Sun believes it is no wonder so many UKIP supporters "loathe the two-party tribalism that paralyses Westminster and fails Britain", while the Daily Mirror talks of "Westminster shock at UKIP earthquake".


Lesson in bravery

Children's education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan, is pictured prominently on the front pages of both the Guardian and the Times after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Campaigner Malala, the schoolgirl the Taliban could not silence, becomes youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient," exclaims the Guardian.

The paper says she was at school in Birmingham when the news broke, far away from the Swat Valley where she began her campaign for girls' right to education.

The Times, which calls it a lesson in bravery, says the day started much like any other for the 17-year-old.

"That all changed," it continues, "when she was interrupted in a chemistry lesson with news that she had become the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize".

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Columnist Janice Turner writes in the Times that Malala "knew her life was in danger, yet in a community where girls had no face, she remained visible, writing, studying, reading".

The Daily Telegraph says there were scenes of jubilation in her home town as her former teachers, classmates and relatives celebrated the award.

Telegraph columnist Judith Woods says Britain should take pride in the part it has played in Malala's life: "She has made her home in this country; she attends school here and is full of admiration for the opportunities and freedoms we offer."

In an editorial, the Independent says it was fitting the prize was awarded to Malala, jointly with Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.

"It is apposite that the committee should decide this year to bestow the prize on those who have endeavoured to improve the lot of children," it says.

"The world is a dark place for far too many young people; indeed, that has seemed not truer than in recent times."


Slow reading

The Times reports that Britain is about to witness the dawn of its first "Slow Reading" clubs. Unlike most most book clubs the point is not to discuss literature but read in uninterrupted silence, away from smartphones, texts and social media, the Times explains.

"The country's book lovers are about to rebel against the endless beeping and settle down in a comfy chair with a good novel and read in silence," it says.

The British clubs, which will be based at venues in east and north London, are an offshoot of a project in New Zealand. And the Times has some fun with a leader.

"The following is a public service editorial," it starts. "It is to be read at normal speed but without interruption. [Ping. Ignore.]"

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Finally, the Guardian looks ahead to the launch of football's Indian Super League, which has attracted star players such as Alessandro Del Piero and Nicolas Anelka.

The paper says organisers hope more than 100,000 people will attend the star-studded inaugural ceremony and opening match between Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City.

"After the Bollywood A-listers, the dancers, the singers, the cricketing heroes, the world's richest men and their wives and the local politicians have come and gone, it will be time for the beautiful game," writes Jason Burke in Delhi.

"At 6pm on Sunday, as the sun goes down in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, a hugely ambitious project will get under way: to convert 1.25 billion cricket-mad Indians to the joys of football."


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