25/05/2014 Sunday Politics East


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Good morning, welcome to the Sunday Politics. Senior Liberal Democrats


say the public has lost trust in Nick Clegg. They call for him to go


after the local election meltdown. And before the likely Europa rove a


catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the


UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the


UKIP Fox is in the Westminster henhouse.


UKIP Fox is in the Westminster Here in the east, Labour gains


Cambridge and builds in many of its strongholds. But it is stopped in


its tracks by the UKIP surge in key councils.


hall spread, the Liberal Democrats disappeared, UKIP


hall spread, the Liberal Democrats More analysis in just over half an


hour. Cooped up in the Sunday Politics


henhouse, our own boot should -- bunch of headless chickens. Nick


Watt, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh. The Liberal Democrats lost over 300


councillors on Thursday, on top of the losses in previous years, the


local government base has been whittled away in many parts of the


country. Members of the European Parliament will face a similar


comment when the results are announced tonight. A small but


growing chorus of Liberal Democrats have called on Nick Clegg to go.


This is what the candidate in West Dorset had to say.


People know that locally we worked incredibly hard on their councils


and as their MPs, but Nick Clegg is perceived to have not been


trustworthy in leadership. Do you trust him? He has lacked bone on


significant issues that are the core values of our party.


This is how the party president responded.


At this time, it would be foolish for us as a party to turn in on


ourselves. What has separated us from the Conservatives is, while


they have been like cats in a sack, we have stood united, and that is


what we will continue to do. The major reason why is because we


consented to the coalition, unlike the Conservatives. We had a vote,


and a full conference. Is there a growing question over


Nick Clegg's leadership? Different people have different views. My own


view is I need to consult my own activists and members before coming


to a conclusion. I am looking at holding a meeting for us to discuss


the issue. I have been told by some people they do not think a meeting


is required, they think he should stay, and other people have decided


he should go. As a responsible Democrat, I should consult the


members here before coming to my conclusions. What is your view at


the moment? I have got to listen to my members. But you must have some


kind of you. Because I have an open mind, I do not think he must stay, I


am willing to say I have not made my mind up. From a news point of view,


that is my official position. I can assure you there is not much news in


that! I said earlier I am not going to say he must go must stay, I am


consulting my members. But you must have some kind of view of your own


before you have listened to your members. There are people who are


wrongfully sanctioned and end up using food banks, I am upset about


that, because we should not allow... I do not mind having a


sanctioning system, that I get constituents who are put in this


position, we should not accept that. I rebel on the issue of a referendum


on membership of the EU. I am also concerned about the way the rules


have been changed in terms of how parents are treated in their ability


to take children to funerals out of school time. There are questions


about the leader's responsible T for those policies. Nick Clegg has made


it clear he is a staunch pro-European, he wants the Liberal


Democrats to be in, he does not want a referendum, if you lose a chunk of


your MEPs tonight, what does that say about how in June you are with


written public opinion? There are issues with how you publish your


policies. I do not agree 100% with what the government is doing or with


what Nick Clegg says. I do think we should stay within the EU, because


the alternative means we have less control over our borders. There is a


presentational issue, because what UKIP want, to leave the EU, is worse


in terms of control of borders, which is their main reason for


wanting to leave, which is strange. There are debate issues, but I have


got personal concerns, I do worry about the impact on my constituents


when they face wrongful sanctions. You have said that. A fellow Liberal


Democrat MP has compared Nick Clegg to a general at the Somme, causing


carnage amongst the troops. I am more interested in the policy


issues, are we doing the right things? I do think the coalition was


essential, we had to rescue the country from financial problems. My


own view on the issue of student finance, we did the right thing, in


accordance with the pledge, which was to get a better system, more


students are going to university, and more from disadvantaged


backgrounds. But there are issues. But Nick Clegg survive as leader


through till the next election? It depends what odds you will give me!


If you are not going to give me is, I am not going to get! If you listen


to John hemming, he has got nothing to worry about. He does have


something to worry about, they lost 300 seats, on the uniform swing, you


would see people like Vince cable and Simon Hughes lose their seats.


But nobody wants to be the one to we'll be nice, they would rather


wait until after the next election, and then rebuild the party. Yes,


there is no chance of him walking away. Somebody like Tim Farron or


Vince Cable, whoever the successor is, though have to close the dagger


ten months before an election, do they want that spectacle? If I were


Nick Clegg, I would walk away, it is reasonably obvious that the


left-wing voters who defect had towards the Labour Party in 2010


will not return while he is leader. And anything he was going to achieve


historically, the already has done. Unlike David Miliband, sorry, Ed


Miliband or David Cameron, he has transformed the identity of the


party, they are in government. Had it not been for him, they would have


continued to be the main protest party, rather than a party of


government. So he has got to take it all the way through until the


election. If he left now, he would look like he was a tenant in the


conservative house. What we are seeing is an operation to


destabilise Nick Clegg, but it is a Liberal Democrat one, so it is


chaotic. There are people who have never really been reconciled to the


coalition and to Nick Clegg, they are pushing for this. What is Nick


Clegg going to do, and Tim Farron? -- what is Vince Cable going to do?


Vince Cable is in China, on a business trip. It is like John


Major's toothache in 1990. What is Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick


Clegg, because he knows that his best chances of being leader are as


the Westland candidate, the person who picks up the mess in a year.


Vince Cable's only opportunity is on this side of the election. But you


say they are not a party of government, but what looks more


likely is overall the -- is no overall control. You might find a


common mission looking appealing. They could still hold the balance of


power. A lot of people in the Labour Party might say, let's just have a


minority government. 30 odds and sods who will not turn up to vote.


If they want to be up until 3am every morning, be like that! When


you were in short trousers, it was like that every night, it was great


fun! The Liberal Democrats will not provide confidence to a minority


government, they will pull the plug and behave ruthlessly. Does Nick leg


lead the Liberal Democrats into the next election? Yes. Yes. Yes. I am


sorry, Nick Clegg, you are finished! We will speak to Paddy


Ashdown in the second part of the show to speak about the Liberal


Democrats. The UKIP insurgency could not deliver the promised earthquake,


but it produced enough shock waves to discombobulated the established


parties. They are struggling to work out how to deal with them. We


watched it all unfold. Behind the scenes of any election


night is intensely busy. Those in charge of party strategy and


logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed


to make sure their spin on the results is what viewers remember and


take on board. A bit of a buzz of activity inside the BBC's studio,


kept and primed for the results. What this does not show due is the


exterior doubles up for hospital dramas like Holby City, there are


doorways that are mock-ups of accident and emergency, but the


electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into


intensive care, which ones are coming out of recovery and which


ones are in rude health. We joined David Dimbleby. Good evening,


welcome to the BBC's new election centre. When three big beasts become


for on the political field, things have changed. Eric Pickles says we


will be seen off next year, we will see you at Westminster! This party


is going to break through next year, and you never know, we might even


hold the balance of power. Old messages that gave voters in excuses


to go elsewhere on the ballot paper exposed the older players to


questions from within their ranks. In the hen house of the House of


Commons, the fox that wants to get in has ruffled feathers. The reason


they have had amazing success, a rapid rise, partly what Chuka Umunna


says about being a repository, but they have also managed to sound like


human beings, and that his Nigel Farage's eight victory. For some


conservatives, a pact was the best form of defence. It would be


preferable if all members of UKIP and voters became Tories overnight.


That seems to be an ambitious proposition. Therefore, we need to


do something that welcomes them on board in a slightly different way.


Labour had successes, but nobody but they're wizards of Spain was


completely buying a big success story. Gaffes behind the scenes and


strategic errors were levelled at those who have managed the campaign.


They have played a clever game, you shuffle bedecked around, and if UKIP


does quite well but not well enough, that helps Labour get in. That kind


of mindset will not win the general election, and we saw that in the tap


ticks and strategy, and that is why, on our leaflets for the European


elections, we chose deliberately not to attack UKIP, that was a bad


error. Not so, so somebody who has been in that spotlight. If you look


at the electoral maths, UKIP will still be aiming at the Tories in a


general election. They are the second party in Rotherham, Labour


will always hold what the room, it is safe, there is no point being


second in a safe seat. UKIP have taken Castle Point, a Tory seat they


will target. The question for the next election, can they make a


challenge? The Tories will be under the gun from UKIP. The substance of


these results is UKIP not in government, they do not have any


MPs, they do not run a single Council, at dismissing them ceased


to be an option. The question is, who will they heard most and how do


you smoke the keeper's threat? Joining me now, day about and


Patrick O'Flynn. Do you agree not enough was done for the elections?


No, we have very good results around Hammersmith and Fulham, Croydon,


Redbridge, and we picked off council wards in Haringey meaning that Lynne


Featherstone and Simon Hughes worked on. The Ashcroft polling shows that


in key marginals, we are well ahead and on course to win in 2015. I will


be putting Mr Ashcroft's poll to Eric Pickles shortly. On the basis


of the local elections your national share of the vote would be just 31%,


only two points ahead of the Tories, only two points ahead of Gordon


Brown's disastrous performance in 2010. Why so low? National share is


one thing but I am talking about what we are doing in the key


marginals. Clearly some were taken away from others like Rotherham but


we have got many voters back. You are only two points better than you


were in 2010 and use of your worst defeat in living memory.


That is the totality. What matters is seat by seat, that is what the


Republicans found in the presidential elections. Patrick


O'Flynn, you performed well in the local election but it wasn't an


earthquake. It is definitely true that Labour did well in London but


that is a double-edged sword because you have an increasing disconnect


between the metropolis and the rest of the country. Our vote share was


somewhat depressed not just because London is one of our weakest part of


the country but because most of the warts in London were 3-member wards


and we were typically only putting up one candidate. Even when they


fared well, it still tracked down the projected national share. I


think we did well, and what was particularly good was getting the


target seat list becoming clear before our eyes. Suzanne Evans said


that basically smart folk don't vote for UKIP. I think that is a tiny


fragment of what she said. She said London is its own entity and is


increasingly different from the rest of the country. One of the things


that is different from London as opposed to Rotherham is that we have


very big parties. I have a few thousand people in mind, Rotherham


has a few hundred. People don't go and knock on doors and talk to


people, in London we have always had to do that. London is full of young


voters, full of ethnically diverse voters, that is why you are not


doing well, you don't appeal to live there. I think London in general has


a very different attitude to mass uncontrolled immigration. Londoners


know that if an immigrant moves in next door to you, to use Nigel


Farage's phrase, the world doesn't end tomorrow. People in the big


cities know that, that is the point. What Diane Abbott is doing is try to


convince London of its moral superiority so I am delighted... It


is a simple fact that immigrants do not end the world if they move in


next door. The economic recovery is getting more robust by the month,


you have a seriously to ship problem according to many people on your own


site. Maybe you're 31% of the vote is as good as it gets. Those who go


round bitching about Ed Miliband have been doing that before the


result. We have all polled very well. Ed Miliband does not polled


very well. He has actually fashioned some really effective policies.


Unemployment is tumbling, inflation is falling, growth is strengthening,


and you have a leader who claims there is a cost of living crisis and


he doesn't have a clue about his own cost of living. I think that was


poor staff work. That he doesn't know what goes in his own shopping


basket? I think his own staff could have prepared him for that. My point


is that the numbers are looking better, we know that, but people


don't feel better off. Then why are all consumer index polls better?


They are feeling confident. They may be saying that, but people are


worried about their future, their children's future. That is not what


you buy today or tomorrow. If you ask people about their future and


their children's future and prospects, they feel frightened.


What will be a good result for you in the general election? We need to


see Nigel Farage elected as an MP and he mustn't go there on his own.


How many people do you think will be with him? Who knows, but we will


have 20 to 30 target seat and if you put together the clusters we got in


last year's County elections with the one we got this year, you can


have a good guess at where they are. A number of people who voted


for you and Thursday say they are going to back to the three main


parties in general election. It would be foolish of me to say that


they are going to stay. Some have said they have just lent their votes


but voters hate being taken for granted. It is up to us to broaden


our agenda, and build on our strengths, work on our weaknesses.


Ed Miliband may have to do a deal with him. We have been here before,


but the UKIP bubble is going to burst and that may happen around the


time of Newark. Are you going to win Newark now? We are going to give it


a really good crack. We love being the underdog, we don't see it as


being the big goal -- the be all and end all. If you're going to get a


big bounce off the elections, not to go and win your shows people who


govern in Parliament, they don't vote for you. It is Labour who have


given up the campaign already so we need a really big swing in our


favour and we will give it a great crack. The bubble will burst at the


Newark by-election, trust me. Have you been to Newark? Newark will see


from local people... Where is it? It is outside the M25, I can tell you


that. My point is that we are set for victory in 2015. I want to run


this clip and get your take on it, an interview that Nigel Farage did


with LBC. What they do is they have an auditor to make sure they spend


their money in accordance with their rules. You say that is if there is


something wrong with it. Hang on, hang on. This is Patrick O'Flynn, is


this a friend in the media or a member of the political class? Do


you regret doing that now? What were you doing? No, I was trying to get


Nigel Farage to a more important interview with Sunday Times that had


painstakingly organised. He was on there? I have told the LBC people


next door that he was running over. So you interrupted a live interview


and you don't regret that? No, because just between us I wasn't a


massive enthusiast for that interview taking place at all. I


know what James O'Brien is like and I knew it wouldn't be particularly


edifying. But your boss wasn't happy with the intervention. Sometimes the


boss gets shirty. We all upset our boss every now and again, but anyway


you could be an MEP by this time tomorrow and you won't have to do


this job any more. You can then just count your salary and your expenses.


I will make the contribution my party leader asked me to, to restore


Britain to being a self-governing country. Are you going to stay in


the job or not? I would not be able to do the job in the same way but I


would maybe have some kind of overview. We will leave it there.


Yesterday Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman, produced a mammoth


opinion poll of more than 26,000 voters in 26 marginal


constituencies, crucial seat that will decide the outcome of the


general election next year. In 26 constituencies people were asked


which party's candidate they would support, and Labour took a healthy


12 point lead, implying a swing of 6.5% from Conservatives to Labour


from the last general election. That implies Labour would topple 83 Tory


MPs. The poll also shows UKIP in second place in four seats, and


three of them are Labour seats. Michael Ashcroft says a quarter of


those who say they would vote UKIP supported the Tories at the last


election. As many as have switched from Labour and the Lib Dems


combined. The communities Secretary Eric


Pickles joins me now. The Ashcroft Paul that gives Labour a massive 12


point lead in the crucial marginal constituencies, you would lose 83


MPs if this was repeated in an election. It doesn't get worse than


that, does it? Yesterday I went through that Paul in great detail,


and what it shows is that in a number of key seats we are ahead,


and somewhere behind, and I think is Michael rightly shows... You are


behind in most of them. This is a snapshot and we have a year in which


the economy is going to be improving, and we have a year to say


to those candidates that are fighting those key seats, look, just


around the corner people are ahead in the same kind of seat as you and


we need to redouble our efforts. The Tory brand is dying in major parts


of the country, you are the walking dead in Scotland, and now London,


huge chunks of London are becoming a no-go zone for you. That's not true


with regard to the northern seats. Tell me what seats you have? In


terms of councillors we are the largest party in local government.


After four years in power... You are smiling but no political party has


ever done that. You haven't got a single councillor in the great city


of Manchester. We have councillors in Bradford and Leeds, we have


more... You haven't got an MP in any of the big cities? We have more


councillors in the north of England than Labour. A quarter of those who


say they would vote UKIP and did vote UKIP supported the Tories at


the last election. Why are so many of your 2010 voters now so


disillusioned? Any election will bring a degree of churning, and we


hope to get as many back as we can, but we also want to get Liberal


Democrats, people who voted for the Lib Dems and the Labour Party. If we


concentrate on one part of the electorate, then we won't take power


and I believe we will because I believe we represent a wide spectrum


of opinion in this country and I believe that delivering a long-term


economic plan, delivering prosperity into people 's pockets will be felt.


On the basis of the local election results, you would not pick up a


single Labour seat in the general election. You make the point that it


is about local elections. Seats that Labour should have taken from us


they didn't, which is important... I am asking what possible Labour seat


you would hope to win after the results on Thursday. Local elections


are local elections. The national election will have a much bigger


turnout, it will be one year from now, we will be able to demonstrate


to the population that the trends we are seeing already in terms of the


success of our long-term economic plan, they will be feeling that in


their pockets. People need to feel secure about their jobs and feel


that their children have a future. Maybe so many of your people are


defecting to UKIP because on issues that they really care about like


mass immigration, you don't keep your promises.


We have reduced immigration and the amount of pull factors. Let me give


you the figures. You have said a couple of things are not true. You


promised to cut net immigration to under 100,000 by 2015, last year it


rose by 50,000, 212,000. You have broken your promise. We still intend


to reduce the amount from non-EU countries. I want to be clear, I


have no problem with people coming here who want to work and pay their


national insurance and tax, to help fund the health service. What I have


objection to our people coming here to get the additional benefits. You


made the promise. It is our intention to deliver it. People


defect to UKIP because mainstream politicians to -- like yourself do


not give straight answers. Can you be straight, you will not hit your


immigration target by the election, correct? We will announce measures


that. People factor. Will you hit your target? It is a year from now,


it is our intention to move towards the target. Is it your intention, do


you say you will hit your target of under 100,000 net migration by the


election? We will do our damnedest. But you will not make it. I do not


know that to be fact. They also vote UKIP cos they do not trust you and


Europe, David Cameron has promised a referendum, he has vowed to resign


if he does not deliver one, but still your voters vote for UKIP.


There were reasons why people voted for UKIP. A great deal of anger


about the political system, about the Metropolitan elite that they see


running programmes like this and the political programmes. We need to


listen to their concerns and address them. David Cameron has got a better


record on delivery. He vetoed a treaty, he stopped us having to bail


out the currency. Why are you likely to convert a night in the European


elections? If you do come third, it will show they do not trust you on


Europe. Next year, we will face a general election, about having money


in people's pockets, about who will run the country. David Davis wants


to China and get the voters to trust the Tories on the referendum, he was


the pledge to be brought forward to 2016. He is a clever guy. But if you


are going to try to negotiate a better deal to give the population a


better choice, you cannot do that in a year, you will require two years.


You are an Essex MP, you know about Essex people, it must be depressing


that they are now voting for UKIP. I do not have any UKIP in my


constituency. I felt bad to see Basildon go down and to see the


leader go down. Do you know why that is? The Tory party does not resonate


with the Essex people in the way that the Margaret Thatcher party


did. That is why you did not get a majority in 2010 and why you will


not win in 2015. We need to connect better. They will want to know about


their children's future, will they have a job, a good education? When


it comes to electing a national government, they do not want to see


Ed Miliband in office. They are voting for Nigel Farage. In terms of


what government you get, do you want to see David Cameron in number ten


or Ed Miliband? Essex will want to see David Cameron. You only got 36%


of the vote four years ago, your party, occurs you did not get the


Essex people in the same numbers, like John Major or Margaret Thatcher


did. You need more than 36% in 2015 to win the election. On Thursday,


your share was 29%. We were 2% behind Labour. They did not do very


well either. A year before, -- a year before the election in 1997,


they were on 43%. It is highly deliver the votes. We have a


campaign looking at the marginals. We know exactly where we are not


doing as well as we should be. I am a big fan of Michael Ashcroft. Do


you think he does this to be helpful? He is a great man and a


good conservative, I am a good friend of his. I think that his


publication was one of the best things that happened to the party.


You got 36% of the vote last time, you are down to 29, you need 38 or


39, you would get that if you had a pact with UKIP. There will be no


pact. I am a Democrat. It is like a market stall, you should put your


policies out there and you should not try to fix the market. Would you


stop a local pact? There will be no pact with UKIP. None.


It has just gone 11:35am. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland and


Northern Ireland. Coming up here, we will speak to the


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics coordinator Paddy Ashdown. First,


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics East, I'm Etholle George. We're in


Chelmsford, in Essex, where here, tonight, they'll announce the


European election results for the eastern region. But the local


election counts are over and a new political picture has emerged.


Labour joy as their efforts are rewarded. After 18 years, the party


takes control in Cambridge. And UKIP surge in the east, putting them


firmly on our political map. It was the most dramatic election for many


years and there was no doubt it was UKIP's night. They exceeded their


own expectations, particularly in Essex, where they took 11 seat in


Basildon, another five in neighbouring Castle Point, five more


in Southend and another five in Harlow, where Labour's majority is


down to one. In the 20 councils that held elections across the east,


UKIP's tally rose from ten to 58. held elections across the east,


UKIP's tally rose from ten That is a gain of 48 seats, so they won almost


14% of the seats up for grabs this time. And seats won for the UK


Independence Party pushed all these councils into no overall control.


And UKIP's success was largely at the expense of the Conservatives,


who were in control of the majority of those councils.


councils into no overall control. And UKIP's success was largely The


Tories were hit hard, losing 51 seats this time. 35 of those to


UKIP. As well as losing the Essex councils, the Conservatives no


longer run Milton Keynes and lost control in Peterborough. The upsurge


of support for UKIP is really about immigration and the European Union,


as a result of the legend being the same day as the European election.


And also some unfortunate decisions made by the city council, which have


proved unpopular. That combination has meant that people have, to a


certain extent, voted a protest vote. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems


suffered and are down by 24 seats in the east. But it wasn't all bad. The


Essex stronghold of Colchester stood firm. The Lib Dems lost only one


seat there and they gained councillors in Brentwood, pushing


another Conservative council into no overall control. The Green Party


tally was down by one, although they did win a by`election in Suffolk.


But in Norwich, they won all five of the seats they were defending in the


face of a tough campaign from Labour. So what kind of an election


was it for them? Let's take a closer look at Labour. They did make


advances across the region, but in all, the party only gained 19 new


councillors, compared to UKIP's 48. Once again, it was UKIP that stole


their thunder, as Andrew Sinclair now reports.


In many respects, this was a good election for Labour. They took


control of Cambridge for the first time in 18 years. Well, we have won


six seats, that is the biggest number we have won since the General


Election. They took control of Milton Keynes. We have really made


some real inroads into the Tory majorities and now we are the


biggest party in the council. They saw the numbers go up in Ipswich and


Stevenage and their vote stayed strong in Norwich. We have had


activists who have been out all year round on the doorstep, listening to


people and this vote has said, yes, you have got it right, carry on.


Then in other Labour heartlands, it all seemed to go horribly wrong. In


Great Yarmouth, the party lost overall control of the council after


UKIP came from nowhere to gain ten seats. In Harlow, five UKIP gains


reduced the Labour majority to one. In Basildon, they were hoping for


big gains but instead, Labour went backwards. It has now got fewer


seats on the council than UKIP. I think they see in us something they


want to hear, they want to believe in and I think they want change, as


I have said before. The Conservatives and the other major


parties are not listening and it is not a flash in the pan. I think come


2015, we are going to wipe the floor. With 48 UKIP gains and just


19 Labour once, there are many in the party that are asking what went


wrong in the East? A character like Nigel Farage bouncing around the


country, making all kinds of comments that people have been by,


frankly, and in the next year, when I hope the people will be thoughtful


and we do a better job at getting our message across. ``that people


have been beguiled by, frankly. These results are significant


because they confirm what activists have been finding on the doorsteps


of the last ten months which is that, as well as winning over Tory


supporters, UKIP is no winning over Labour supporters. `` is now winning


over Labour supporters. And that could have big consequences for the


party here in the east as it approaches the next General


Election. Labour campaigned hard in these elections, sending more big


names to visit the region than any other party. If it wants to form the


next Government, it needs to win between eight and a dozen seats in


the east. These elections were supposed to show they were on course


to do that. We have got to start listening to people. And people feel


they have not been listened to by the main political parties and we


need to do much more in that regard. We need to earn people's confidence


again. Labour is divided about what to read into these results.


Privately, many activists have told me they are worried and they think


the leadership needs to adjust its message. But those at the top of the


regional party are, publicly at least, saying don't panic. Let's not


overplay what UKIP has achieved. It is a protest vote. This is a party


that is made up of a rag`tag and book tail of people, some of whom


have very unsavoury pasts, being elected as councillors here in Great


Yarmouth, against a council that has put right some of the problems with


the finances and the management in one single year. I'm delighted


Labour is still the top party here. The UKIP leader didn't waste time to


come to Essex to celebrate his party's victory. Was this just a


protest vote or a wake`up call for Labour? And given the scale of the


damage, can the party really afford to do nothing?


To discuss that, I am joined by the Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins, for


Labour. The MP pummelled in Essex, John Whittingdale, the


Conservatives. Cambridgeshire Councillor Peter Reid, fo UKIP, and


the Lib Dem councillor for Colchester, Sir Bob Russell. Let's


talk about some of the things we heard, it is not just the Tories,


but also Labour who are using losing out to UKIP. They have to see that


Labour won 338 extra seats, so we did very well. Not as well as UKIP.


Not as well as UKIP in this region, but in parts we did extremely well.


So are you claiming a victory? If we win 338 and the Lib Dems and the


tourism between them lost 500, that is something of a victory. John


Whittingdale, it was expected to be a bad night that the Conservatives,


it was pretty terrible, wasn't it? It was pretty close to terrible. We


knew it was going to be a bad night, this was a European election and


people wanted to send us a message. To be fair, this is was a European


election but we are talking about local elections. The two came on the


same day and a lot of people voted UKIP who I know previously supported


me and wanted to send us a message, and it is what we got clearly.


Peter, what about UKIP councillors? UKIP has done very well but, as a


party, how effective can you be at a local council level? You don't have


a party whip, there is no party line, so how will you get people to


agree? We did very well with the county councillors last year, we


gained 147 seats. That was an earthquake in itself and this year,


we have outstripped better game, and everybody said, when I was the only


councillor in the East of England UKIP, we are not relevant info pack


the post`elections or local government, and yet we have proven


we have the highest attendance record of any party, we stopped the


incinerator that people didn't want in Norfolk and then in Essex, we are


making huge progress in changing the way things are. Norfolk and


Cambridgeshire county council is, we have moved from the cabinet system


to a committee system, bringing democracy back to local government.


UKIP is making massive inroads into changing the system and making


decisions on the ground. Last night was a huge success but the only big


success is the Tory spin doctors, who seem to be Saivet David Cameron,


but we know for a fact that `` saving David Cameron, but we never


about that if he is still the leader going into the General Election,


UKIP will cost them a lot of damage. I want to bring Sir Bob Russell into


the conversation. Colchester State and Main stronghold but overall,


every election we have come in your party is losing out. Across England,


there are patchy results. It is fascinating to see a great city like


Norwich without a single Conservative councillor. You


mentioned Colchester, where the Liberal Democrats in four years have


only lost one borough seat. But you are down by 24 seeds in the East


overall. That reinforces the patchy results. In Colchester, it is


reinforce and 15 miles up the road in Ipswich, Labour have strengthened


their vote. Brentwood, the Liberal Democrats took two seats from the


Conservatives in the Secretary of State's home town, so it is bringing


a lot of interesting results. One last thing, only one third of the


electorate voted on Thursday and the General Election will be at least


double. John Whittingdale, I want to keep it fairly local, but let's come


back to what Peter Reed said about David Cameron. Does it call his


leader ship into question? Absolutely no question that he is


the leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister and will be set


at the next General Election. David Cameron has a record we can be proud


of, he is delivering a lot of things which people in this area want to


see, controls on immigration. He was the only person who will develop ``


deliver a referendum on Europe. It is the only way to get a referendum


on whether we should stay in Europe, collecting a Conservative


government. It looks now like the economy is doing well but if you


cannot win votes when the economy is doing well, when can you? I very


much at the General Election will show a different picture. We knew


people wanted to send a message on Thursday... The people we have heard


from say it is more than sending a message, a back whatever UKIP is


saying, it is resonating with them. The election on Thursday was under a


system where it was possible to elect UKIP MVPs or Green MEPs, and


that will not be the case in the General Election. It will be a


choice between Ed Miliband and David Cameron, they are the only two


options and people, I believe, will support the Conservative Party. Bob


Russell? Constituency by constituency, you will have to


accept that there are parts of the country where the Liberal Democrats


will be pivotal in the outcome of the General Election, because there


is no indication that either the Conservatives Labour are going to


win the General Election and UKIP could skew some results. We will be


fighting to win every seat, there will be no electoral pact with the


Liberal Democrats or UKIP. As Peter himself said, UKIP could potentially


do us a lot of damage. David Cameron could do you a lot of damage. That


will help Ed Miliband to become Prime Minister, it cannot be what


they want. John? I am optimistic about Labour chances, Ed Miliband is


bringing out policies that resonate with people, the cost of living, the


minimum wage, fuel prices, all sorts of things that really matter to


people. And I think those policies are really going to help. Let's


bring things back to the East of England. Peter, why did your


anti`immigration message go down well in Essex, but in London, just


across the borders, if you like, where things are much more


ethnically mixed, you didn't do very well at all? I would say we did


incredibly well across the country. London is a metropolitan plays,


traditionally not a UKIP stronghold. Why is your message not getting


through? All of the elections are very difficult and in the four`year


cycle, this is a tough year for UKIP also it is the large northern


metropolitans and London with the majority of the seats, where UKIP


does not traditionally do well. So far as to have our best election


result ever with that category, it shows how far the party has come.


Looking at the split, David Cameron is doing the Conservative Party a


lot of harm. The only thing he seems to be delivering its a lot of


housing where people don't want it and wind farms all over the country.


Yet a third of our vote is coming from Labour supporters,


working`class people... I want to keep this local. Just before we


start, let's talk about Harlow, Basildon, places like Great


Yarmouth. You need to get these places back on track by the Labour


Party. Indeed, strong working`class support their previously for Labour


and some of that has gone to UKIP, undoubtedly, but Conservatives vote


to beat Labour in that area. When it comes to housing, we have a


desperate housing crisis and the Governor of the Bank of England says


we are not building enough, we are just pumping up prices. But you need


to retain the seeds, win the seat, to form a government. The polls


yesterday suggest the target seat, there is a massive swing to Labour


and we will win those seats, I am sure, and some of these seats that


voted to an extent for UKIP will come back to Labour, because


what... Academics are showing, research shows that at least 60% of


people that voted for us in the European election intend to vote for


UKIP in the General Election. That trend is growing. 2013, we got 13%.


Now we have just got 28%. Sir Bob Russell, are you worried about


momentum or a lack of it for the Liberal Democrats in the East? Well,


I think about the whole country, where we are dug in, we are dug in.


Is that good enough? You should be gaining ground, you are in


government now. We would prefer to be gaining ground but we have to


accept the facts and the junior member of a coalition government has


had to take a lot of difficult decisions, meaning we have been


affected disproportionately, I would say, but without the Liberal


Democrats in the coalition government, we would not have had


the economic success the country has had. We have gone back to Labour's


wasteful years under the Labour government. The Liberal Democrats


had a choice four years ago, to stay in permanent opposition ought to do


what we say we could do `` couldn't do, work with other parties in


government. We are now starting the fifth year of a coalition government


with the economy on the mend and the Lib Dems can claim a fair amount of


credit for that. John Whittingdale, what about these Tories who have


deserted the party? How confident are you take will come back? I'm


very much confident they will come back. UKIP had elected MVPs in the


last European elections `` MEP, but they didn't come close to the


General Election. But we have to work harder to get the message


across on issues like Europe, immigration, the economy, those are


issues that a Conservative government are going to deliver on


and only the Conservative government will give them controls they are


looking for. Peter, will your policies stand up in a General


Election? Absolutely and we will roll them out in the build`up to


next May. What about things like scrapping European employment laws?


Privatising the health service? Will people be on board? There is a lot


of spin and a lot of lives. How can there be lights when the policy is


not clear? We are building up for a General Election and saving the best


policy launches until closer to the date. But we will be rolling them


out. The real facts are is that UKIP has won the first past the post


elections, when all of the politicians in this room and


elsewhere said we could not do it. The facts are that UKIP will


probably come first in a number of votes tonight in the European


elections, beating the Government for a second time. We keep being


told that UKIP doesn't have the answers by the metropolitan elite


but the public are saying we do. UKIP is a far right party, very much


to the right, setting aside a referendum I support, I have


belonged to People's Choice, a referendum party and I hope Labour


changes its view on that, but setting that aside...


Are people confused by the party's messages question mark I don't think


so, we have very clear messages about standards of living.


You are saying immigration is good and the next time, we have to crack


down. On Question Time last night, it was moving closer towards the


movement back with a late position we need, free movement, and I agree


with her. We need to learn the lessons of the 20th century. We will


come back to you all very shortly. There is still, of course, more to


come. Tonight's European election results for the Eastern region will


be declared in this very hall after 10pm. We already know that the


turnout is 36.2%. Interestingly, slightly down from 37 points 7% last


time. If you are in Northamptonshire, you will be


electing an MEP V is evidence and in Milton Keynes, you voted for a MEP


in the south`east. `` a MEP. Voting starts around 4pm. With all of


details about what happens next, here is the man that will declare


the Eastern results tonight. During the evening, I will be contacting


all of those count centres to ensure things are going smoothly. Sometime


around 8:30pm to 9:30pm, we suspect some of those will be ready to have


provisional figures and they will be contacting us with those figures.


We're not allowed to release those figures to candidates or agents,


though, at that time. We have to wait until after ten o'clock before


any such figures can be released. So we'll be working it out as the votes


come in from all of those 47 areas, under the D'Hondt system, which


candidates are going through. D'Hondt is a proportional system.


Each of the parties get allocated their votes across the region and we


then take the party with the most votes, that gets the first seat.


Then we divide that total by two. Then we take a look at the votes


again, so all the other parties will have their votes carried forward,


and we keep allocating the seats until we have the seven seats in our


region allocated. We are not allowed to talk to anybody about those


provisional results until after ten o'clock, because that is what the


European Parliament has determined. So sometime after ten, assuming


everything has gone smoothly, I'll be talking to candidates and agents


and saying, "These are the provisional figures, are you content


with the process, you have seen what has happened in our count centre,


you have seen what has happened around the region,". And all being


well, soon after that, I'll be able to make the announcements.


Just a quick prediction from all of you about tonight. How far do you


think UKIP can go? I think UKIP vote is going to shoot up wildly. The


D'Hondt system means seats do not change hands readily, so we will


probably see in the is a very stable set of seat allocation, but the UKIP


vote Pigott will shoot up, the real indicator of change. John


Whittingdale, are you preparing a disappointment? We always knew


tonight would be difficult, polls have shown that for some time, but


we have a year to go and our job is to convince people to come back to


the Conservative Party who have supported us in the past, because


only we can deliver what they want I `` I believe the result will be


different in a year's line. Across the European Union, you will see the


wind is to the left and I think the results across Europe are going to


be very interesting this time. I think support, my critical view of


the European Union from a left standing point of view. Sir Bob


Russell, real fears that Lib Dems could be left without a MEP? I hope


it is not true. Andrew Dove deserves to be re`elected to represent the


East of England and he has been a hard`working MEP, it would be a


tragedy if he loses his seat. The one thing I want to do in the next


year in Westminster is to try and get the Government to bring


20th`century history in Europe into the curriculum, because quite


frankly, what we are seeing now, we have forgotten what happened in the


last century. Two European World Wars, the disintegration, millions


of lives lost and the European Union has helped preserve peace in our


part of the world. We have to leave it there, everybody, thank you.


Apologies, we did have some loss of sound at the beginning of the


programme, so we apologise for that. Now, for all of the latest European


election results, we will be live tonight from 9pm on the BBC News


Channel and on BBC One from 11pm, we will be here, covering the results,


a full round`up on tomorrow's Look East,


deported. We should also review the benefits system to make it


contributory. Thank you. With that, back to you, Andrew.


Welcome back. Mutterings among Lib Dems about Nick Clegg's leaderships,


as we reported at the top of the show, and tonight it could get even


worse when we get the results of the European elections. Paddy Ashdown,


former Lib Dem leader, joins me now from our Westminster studio.


Something has to change for the Lib Dems, if Nick Clegg isn't the change


what will it be? The messages we have about reducing tax on the


poorest, they now have traction. We have been on many programmes of this


sort before, this idea that has been put about by these people who are


calling for a leadership election is the silliest idea I have heard in my


political career. It is not serious politics. This is the moment when we


need to get out with a really good message and campaign through the


summer in the context of the general election. Spending it on a divisive


leadership contest is ridiculous. At the very moment when our sacrifices


are beginning to gain traction, we turn in on ourselves. The question


is, can the Liberal Democrats hack being in government? If we were to


take this step, the anther would be no, and that would damage the party


forever. It is clearly a problem, you have had to come out and defend


Nick Clegg, we have not even had the European election results yet. It


could get even worse by midnight. I have been up here anyway, to argue


the party's case in the context of tonight. Let me try to put this in


scale. We have a website which people can join to show their ascent


to the fact that they like cake, it is called Liberal Democrats like


cake, it has more people signed up than this website that is calling


for a leadership election. Something like 200, of course this happens


from time to time, the wonder is you are talking -- you are taking it


seriously. Your colleagues are taking it seriously, including


sitting MPs. People trot out a list of achievements that the party would


like to be associated with, he began doing just that, but you have been


doing that for months, if not for over a year, your ratings in the


polls are terrible, you had a terrible local election, and you


will probably have a terrible European election. It will cut


through much better in the context of an election, we have been talking


about the European elections. We have been here a long time, let me


take you back, we have had tough times, in 1989, we came last in


every constituency in Britain, save one, behind the Green party. One or


two voices said, you have got to ditch the leader, me, you had one of


them on earlier, John Hemmings, as I recall. One or two said we had to


change course, but we stood our ground, and in the general election


we not only re-established our position from a base of almost


nothing, we laid the basis and foundation for doubling our seats in


1997. That is what the party can do, they have a great message, and


insert of wasting the summer and autumn on a leadership contest, we


should be doing that. Nick Clegg had two opportunities to put part of


that message across in the debate over Europe, but the party poll


ratings fell after that. What Nick elected us to try to fill a vacuum


of antique European rhetoric. And he lost. He could not change the best


part of a generation of anti-European propaganda in a couple


of performances? He lost the second debate more than the first. It is a


long-term programme. Nick Clegg had the courage to take us into


government. He took that decision before the party and gained 75, 80%


support in a democratic vote. He has led the party with outstanding


judgement. He has showed almost incredible grace under fire, being


attacked from all sides, because some people hate the coalition, and


he has the courage to do what no other Liberal Democrat leader has


done, to stand up before the British people and say unequivocally, we are


in favour of Europe. He is a man of courage, integrity, decency, he is


one of the best prime ministers Britain has not got. In the context


of a general election, that will go through. I am devoted to the man, he


can do amazingly well in the general election. But he is losing local


elections again and again, the European elections, and he is on


track to lose the general election. European elections are not easy for


us. Whatever happens tomorrow morning, it will not be bad -- as


bad as 1989. We have had that line. In the context of a general


election, we fought our way back, this time, we have been in


government, we start from a higher base, we have a message to tell


about how we alone have taken the tough decisions to get this country


out of the worst economic mess it has ever seen, left to us by the


Labour Party. We can go out in the context of a general election and


fight for that. My guess is that the resurgence of the party in the


context of a general election will be far greater than you are


suggesting. We have done the Liberal Democrats,


that move onto the other parties. How bad a leadership problem does Ed


Miliband have? He has a continuation of a problem he has had for a long


time. The Labour Party thought they had a soft lead, and they have the


same situation, everybody is hanging on. They have to make a


breakthrough. The big thing is that lots of people at Shadow Cabinet


wish they had taken on UKIP, why was Labour turning its fire on the


Liberal Democrats? They should have been taking on UKIP, and UKIP taken


seats from them, such as in Rotherham. They have finally woken


up. I think there is a class war breaking out, the northerners have


taken against Ed Miliband and the Metropolitan sophisticates around


them... One Labour MP has said, we do not want these guacamole eating


people from North London! A number doing that. They wanted to take the


fight to UKIP, because UKIP is getting working-class, Northern


Labour votes. John Mann said it was ridiculous that the Labour Party did


not put posters in the North of England to say that Nigel Farage


regarded Margaret Thatcher as his heroine. But in a funny way, those


Northern Labour MPs are speaking for the South, because the Labour Party


will only win the general election if it takes back those seats in the


south, the south-east, a couple of seats in the south-west that Tony


Blair in 1997, and they acknowledge that. It is important to say they


did win the local elections, they got 31%, but that was only to bustle


-- two points hang-up the Conservatives. Neil Kinnock got 38%


in 1991, the year before John Major got the largest in of votes ever.


There is unease in the shadow cabinet about why Ed Miliband did


not take on UKIP on immigration earlier. But Ed Miliband says, we


should not be calling UKIP names, we should be calling them out, and he


would say he did call them out. The unease in the party has made the


results worse for them than they should have been, they did pretty


well on Thursday. Although UKIP took votes from them in safe seats, in


the end, it will not make much difference. UKIP is taking votes


from Tories in marginals. It made it appear that Labour have not done


well. Diane Abbott was right, a lot of the Labour MPs who came out on


Friday morning had been practising their lines in expectation of a


disappointing result. In the north, I do not think UKIP's status of the


main nonlabour right-wing party will damage Labour. If you have a


majority of 25,000... But in the South and Midlands, UKIP could break


the non-Tory vote in such a way as to cost Labour marginal seats that


they would otherwise win. As for the Tories, look back at 2009, UKIP 116


or 17% of the popular vote in the European elections and fell to 3% in


the general election. You mentioned Europe, the Tories are anticipating


finishing third, they did not do well on Thursday, they seem to be


putting everything on Europe, we will beat UKIP in Newark. That is


the line I am getting from them. The Liberal Democrats and Labour are


nowhere there, they both got 20% of the vote, the Tories got 53%, a


majority of 16,000. UKIP do not need to do well to have an enormous


increase on last time. This seed is a referendum on Tories against UKIP,


which we have not seen so far. I was there for the rocky road packed.


David Cameron gave a piece of rocky road to Boris Johnson, saying, you


know you want it, Boris. The Tories must be a head, because at the


bakery stores, the blue buns outsold the UKIP buns.


Ed Miliband bit off more than he could chew when he turned launch


into a budgeted last week, but he is not the first politician to make a


meal of it. I love a hot pasty, the choice was


to have a small one or a large one, and I opted for the large one, and


very good it was, too. The significance of the Ed Miliband


business is more about the media, we can amplify nothingness, but because


the narrative is that Ed Miliband is accident prone, even eating a big


concern which becomes an accident. He is deemed to be weird, so we find


pictures that support the conclusion. It is a class issue, you


reveal your social class by what you eat, what supermarket you go to. You


can play somebody accurately. Politicians are largely of a


different class from the voters, and as soon as you ask them about food,


it becomes apparent. To thine own self be true, David Cameron


pretending he was interested in Cornish pasties, he does the cooking


at the weekend, lots of posh food, do not pretend to be something you


are not. The problem for Ed Miliband with that picture, he has some


abnormal people working for him, but what he does not have is a broadcast


person who can spot those pictures. George Osborne hired Theo Rogers


from the BBC, she has transformed... She may have been


guilty of the burger, but she has transformed his image on TV. That is


what Ed Miliband needs. You are correct, it Ed Miliband was 15


points ahead in the polls, screwing up the eating of a bacon sandwich


would be seen as an endearing trait. We might not have even noticed it.


That is all this week, you can get those European election results with


David Dimbleby on vote went to 14 from 9pm on the BBC News Channel,


and from 11pm on BBC One. No programme next week, but we are back


in two weeks. If it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


This week, Britain has voted for its Members of the European Parliament.


What will the result tell us about the political mood here in Britain


of the results both here and across Europe.


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