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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
The local election results made grim reading for Labour.
With just a month to go until the general election,
will promising to rule out tax rises for all but the well off help
The Conservatives have their own announcement on mental health,
as they strain every sinew to insist they don't think they've got
But is there still really all to play for?
And tonight we will find out who is the next
President of France - Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen -
after an unpredictable campaign that ended with a hack attack
Here in the East, UKIP wiped out in the county council elections.
The Tories celebrate a victory across the board.
elections but we are looking at the potential impact in marginals next
month. If Ukip support continues to evaporate...
And joining me for all of that, three journalists ready
to analyse the week's politics with all the forensic
focus of Diane Abbott preparing for an interview,
and all the relaxed, slogan-free banter of Theresa May
It's Janan Ganesh, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
So, the Conservatives are promising, if re-elected, to change mental
health laws in England and Wales to tackle discrimination,
and they're promising 10,000 more staff working in NHS mental health
treatment in England by 2020 - although how that's to be
Here's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaking
There is a lot of new money going into it.
In January, we said we were going to put an extra ?1 billion
Does this come from other parts of the NHS, or is it
No, it is new money going into the NHS
It's not just of course money, it's having the people
who deliver these jobs, which is why we need
Well, we're joined now from Norwich by the Liberal Democrat health
This weekend, they've launched their own health announcement,
promising a 1% rise on every income tax band to fund the NHS.
Do you welcome the Conservatives putting mental health onto the
campaign agenda in the way that they have? I welcome it being on the
campaign agenda but I do fear that the announcement is built on thin
air. You raised the issue at the start about the 10,000 extra staff,
and questions surrounding how it would be paid for. There is no
additional money on what they have already announced for the NHS. We
know it falls massively short on the expectation of the funding gap
which, by 2020, is likely to be about 30 billion. That is not
disputed now. Anyone outside of the government, wherever you are on the
political spectrum, knows the money going in is simply not enough. So,
rather like the claim that they would add 5000 GPs to the workforce
by 2020, that is not on target. Latest figures show a fall in the
number of GPs. They make these claims, but I'm afraid they are
without substance, unless they are prepared to put money behind it.
Your party's solution to the money problem is to put a 1% percentage
point on all of the bands of income tax to raise more money 20-45. Is
that unfair? Most pensioners who consume 40% of NHS spending, but
over 65s only pay about 20% of income tax. Are you penalising the
younger generations for the health care of an older generation? It is
the first step in what we are describing as a 5-point recovery
plan for the NHS and care system. So, for what is available to us now,
it seems to be the fairest way of bringing in extra resources, income
tax is progressive, and is based on your ability to pay for your average
British worker. It would be ?3 per week which is the cost of less than
two cups of coffee per week. In the longer run, we say that by the end
of the next Parliament, we would be able to introduce a dedicated NHS
and care tax. Based, probably, around a reformed national insurance
system, so it becomes a dedicated NHS and care tax. Interestingly, the
former permanent secretary of the Treasury, Nick MacPherson, said
clearly that this idea merits further consideration which is the
first time anyone for the Treasury has bought into the idea of this.
Let me ask you this. You say it is a small amount of tax that people on
average incomes will have to pay extra. We are talking about people
who have seen no real increases to their income since 2007. They have
been struggling to stand still in terms of their own pay, but you are
going to add to their tax, and as I said earlier, most of the health
care money will then go to pensioners whose incomes have risen
by 15%. I'm interested in the fairness of this redistribution?
Bearing in mind first of all, Andrew, that the raising of the tax
threshold that the Liberal Democrats pushed through in the coalition
increased the effective pay in your pocket for basic rate taxpayers by
about ?1000. We are talking about a tiny fraction of that. I suppose
that you do have to ask, all of us in this country need to ask
ourselves this question... Are we prepared to pay, in terms of the
average worker, about ?3 extra per week to give us a guarantee that
when our loved ones need that care, in their hour of need, perhaps
suspected cancer, that care will be available for them? I have heard two
cases recently brought my attention. An elderly couple, the wife has a
very bad hip. They could not allow the weight to continue. She was told
that she would need to wait 26 weeks, she was in acute pain. They
then deduct paying ?20,000 for private treatment to circumvent
waiting time. They hated doing it, because they did not want to jump
the queue. But that is what is increasingly happening. Sorry to
interrupt, Norman Lamb comedy make very good points but we are short on
time today. One final question, it looks like you might have the chance
to do any of this, I'm told the best you can hope to do internally is to
double the number of seats you have, which would only take you to 18. Do
you think that promising to raise people's income tax, even those on
average earnings, is a vote winner? I think the people in this country
are crying out for politicians to be straight and tenet as it is. At the
moment we heading towards a Conservative landslide... -- tell it
as it is. But do we want a 1-party state? We are electing a government
not only to deal with the crucial Brexit negotiations, but oversee the
stewardship of the NHS and funding of our schools, all of these
critical issues. We need an effective opposition and with the
Labour Party having taken itself off stage, the Liberal Democrats need to
provide an effective opposition. Norman Lamb, thank you for joining
us this morning. Thank you. Labour and Tories are anxious
to stress the general election result is not a foregone conclusion,
whatever the polls say. Order you just heard Norman Lamb say
there that he thought the Conservatives were heading for a
landslide... But did Thursday's dramatic set
of local election results in England, Scotland and Wales give
us a better idea of how the country Here's Emma Vardy with
a behind-the-scenes look at how Good morning, it's seven o'clock
on Friday, May 5th... The dawn of another results day.
Anticipation hung in the air. Early results from the local
elections in England suggest there's been a substantial swing
from Labour to the Conservatives. While the pros did their thing,
I needed breakfast. Don't tell anyone, but I'm
going to pinch a sausage. The overnight counts had delivered
successes for the Tories. But with most councils
only getting started, there was plenty of action
still to come. It's not quite the night
of Labour's nightmares. There's enough mixed news
in Wales, for example - looks like they're about to hold
Cardiff - that they'll try and put But in really simple terms,
four weeks from a general election, the Tories are going forward
and Labour are going backwards. How does it compare being
in here to doing the telly? Huw, how do you prepare yourself
for a long day of results, then? We're not even on air yet,
as you can see, and already in Tory HQ this morning,
there's a kind of, "Oh, I'm scared this will make people
think the election's just I think leave it
like that - perfect. I want the Laura look.
This is really good, isn't it? Usually, we're in here
for the Daily Politics. But it's been transformed
for the Election Results programme. But hours went by without Ukip
winning a single seat. The joke going around
Lincolnshire County Council today from the Conservatives
is that the Tories have eaten We will rebrand
and come back strong. Morale, I think, is inevitably
going to take a bit of a tumble. Particularly if Theresa May starts
backsliding on Brexit. And then I think we will be
totally reinvigorated. There are a lot of good people
in Ukip and I wouldn't want to say anything unkind,
but we all know it's over. Ukip press officer.
Difficult job. Ukip weren't the only ones
putting a brave face on it. Labour were experiencing
their own disaster day too, losing hundreds of seats
and seven councils. If the result is what these
results appear to indicate, Can we have a quick word
for the Sunday Politics? A quick question for Sunday Politics
- how are you feeling? Downhearted or fired up for June?
Fired up, absolutely fired up. He's fired up.
We're going to go out there... We cannot go on with another
five years of this. How's it been for you today?
Tiring. It always is, but I love elections,
I really enjoy them. Yes, you know, obviously we're
disappointed at some of the results, it's been a mixed bag,
but some opinion polls and commentators predicted we'd be
wiped out - we haven't. As for the Lib Dems,
not the resurgence they hoped for, After a dead heat in Northumberland,
the control of a whole council came The section of England
in which we had elections yesterday was the section of England
that was most likely to vote Leave. When you go to sleep at night,
do you just have election results The answer is if that's still
happening, I don't get to sleep. There we go.
Maybe practice some yoga... Thank you very much
but I have one here. With the introduction
of six regional mayors, Labour's Andy Burnham
became Mr Manchester. But by the time Corbyn came
to celebrate, the new mayor We want you to stay for a second
because I've got some I used to present news,
as you probably know. I used to present BBC
Breakfast in the morning. The SNP had notable successes,
ending 40 years of Labour What did you prefer -
presenting or politics? And it certainly had been a hard day
at the office for some. Ukip's foothold in local government
was all but wiped out, leaving the Conservatives
with their best local So another election results
day draws to a close. But don't worry, we'll be doing it
all again in five weeks' time. For now, though, that's your lot.
Now let's look at some of Thursday's results in a little more detail,
and what they might mean for the wider fortunes
In England, there were elections for 34 councils.
The Conservatives took control of ten of them,
gaining over 300 seats, while Labour sustained
While the Lib Dems lost 28 seats, Ukip came close to extinction,
and can now boast of only one councillor in the whole of England.
In Scotland, the big story was Labour losing
a third of their seats, and control of three councils -
while the Tories more than doubled their number of councillors.
In Wales, both the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru made gains,
There was some encouraging news for Jeremy Corbyn's party
after Liverpool and Manchester both elected Labour mayors,
although the Tories narrowly won the West Midlands mayoral race.
We're joined now by who else but elections expert John Curtice.
You saw him in Emma's film, he's now back in Glasgow.
In broad terms, what do these local election results tell us about the
general election result? First we have to remember what Theresa May
wants to achieve in the general election is a landslide, and winning
a landslide means you have to win big in terms of votes. The local
election results certainly suggest Theresa May is well on course to win
the general election, at least with four weeks to go, and of course
people could change their minds. We all agree the Conservatives were
double-digit figures ahead of Labour in these elections. However, whereas
the opinion polls on average at the moment suggest there is a 17 point
Conservative lead, and that definitely would deliver a
landslide, it seems the local election figures, at least in
England, are pointing to something close to an 11 point Conservative
lead. That increase would not necessarily deliver a landslide that
she wants. The truth is, the next four weeks are probably not about
who wins this election unless something dramatic changes, but
there is still a battle as to whether or not Theresa May achieves
her objective of winning a landslide. She has to win big. The
local elections as she is not sure to be there, and therefore she is
going to have to campaign hard. Equally, while Labour did have most
prospect of winning, they still at least at the goal of trying to keep
the conservative majority relatively low, and therefore the Parliamentary
Labour Party are alive and kicking. Interesting that the local election
results don't produce a landslide if replicated on June 8th, but when I
looked at when local elections had taken place a month before the
general election, it was in 1983 and 1987. The Tories did well in both
local elections in these years, but come the general election, they
added five points to their share of the vote. No reason it should happen
again, but if it did, that would take them into landslide territory.
Absolutely right, if they do five points better than the local
elections, they are in landslide territory. We have to remember, in
1983, the Labour Party ran an inept campaign and their support ballet.
In 1987, David Owen and David Steele could not keep to the same lines. --
their support fell away. That underlines how well the opposition
campaign in the next four weeks does potentially matter in terms of
Theresa May's ability to achieve their objective. It is worth
noticing in the opinion polls, two things have happened, first, Ukip
voters, a significant slice going to the Conservatives, which helped to
increase the Conservative leader in the bowels. But in the last week,
the Labour vote seems to have recovered. -- in the polls. So the
party is not that far short of what Ed Miliband got in 2015, so the
Conservative leader is back down to 16 or 17, as we started. So we
should not necessarily presume Labour are going to go backwards in
the way they did in 1983. I want to finish by asking if there are deeper
forces at work? Whether the referendum in this country is
producing a realignment in British politics. The Scottish referendum
has produced a kind of realignment in Scotland. And in a different way,
the Brexit referendum has produced a realignment in England and Wales. Do
you agree? You are quite right. Referendums are potentially
disruptive in Scotland, they helped to ensure the constitutional
question became the central issue, and the 45% who voted yes our been
faithful to the SNP since. Although the SNP put in a relatively
disappointing performance in Scotland on Thursday. Equally, south
of the border, on the leave side, in the past 12 months and particularly
the last few weeks, the Conservatives have corralled the
leave vote, about two thirds of those who voted leave now say they
will vote Conservative. Last summer, the figure was only 50%. On the
remain side, the vote is still fragmented. The reason why Theresa
May is in the strong position she is is not simply because the leave vote
has been realigned, but the remain vote has not. Thank you for joining
us. You can go through polls and wonder who is up and down, but I
wonder whether the Scottish and Brexit referendums have produced
fundamental changes. In Scotland, the real division now is between the
centre-left Nationalist party and the centre-right Unionist party.
That has had the consequence of squeezing out Labour in the
argument, never mind the Greens and the Lib Dems. In London, England,
Wales, the Brexit referendum seems to have produced a realignment of
the right to the Tories' advantage, and some trouble for the Labour blue
vote -- blue-collar vote. It works for the pro Brexit end of the
spectrum but not the other half. In the last century, we had people like
Roy Jenkins dreaming of and writing about the realignment of British
politics as though it could be consciously engineered, and in fact
what made it happen was just the calling of a referendum. It's not
something you can put about as a politician, it flows from below,
when the public begin to think of politics in terms of single issues,
dominant issues, such as leaving the European Union. Rather than a broad
spectrum designed by a political class. I wonder whether now Remain
have it in them to coalesce behind a single party. It doesn't look like
they can do it behind Labour. The Liberal Democrats are frankly too
small in Parliament to constitute that kind of force. The closest
thing to a powerful Remain party is the SNP which by definition has
limited appeal south of the border. It is hard. The realignment. We
don't know if it is permanent or how dramatic it will be, but there is
some kind of realignment going on. At the moment, it seems to be a
realignment that by and large is to the benefit of the Conservatives.
Without a doubt, and that can be directly attributed to the
disappearance of Ukip from the political landscape. I have been
saying since the referendum that I thought Ukip was finished. They
still seem to be staggering on under the illusion... Some people may have
picked up on Nigel Farage this morning saying that Ukip still had a
strong role to play until Brexit actually happens. But I think it's
very, very hard to convince the voters of that, because they feel
that, with the result of the referendum, that was Ukip's job
done. And those votes are not going to delay the party -- to the Labour
Party because of the flaws with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, they are
shifting to the Tories. I agree. The key issue was the referendum. It has
produced a fundamental change that few predicted at the time it was
called. Most fundamental of all, it has brought about a unity in the
Conservative Party. With some exceptions, but they are now off
editing the Evening Standard and other things! This is now a party
united around Brexit. Since 1992, the Tories have been split over
Europe, at times fatally so. The referendum, in ways that David
Cameron did not anticipate, has brought about a united front for
this election. In a way, this is a sequel to the referendum, because
it's about Brexit but we still don't know what form Brexit is going to
take. By calling it early, Theresa May has in effect got another go at
a kind of Brexit referendum without knowing what Brexit is, with a
united Tory party behind her. We shall see if it is a blip or a
long-term trend in British politics. Now let's turn to Labour's big
campaign announcement today, and that was the promise of no
income tax rise for those earning less than ?80,000 -
which of course means those earning more than that could
face an increase. Here's Shadow Chancellor John
McDonell on the BBC earlier. What we are saying today, anyone
earning below ?80,000, we will guarantee you will not have an
increase in income tax, VAT or national insurance contributions.
For those above 80,000, we are asking them to pay a modest bit more
to fund our public services. A modest bit. You will see it will be
a modest increase. Talking about modest increases, so we can have a
society which we believe everyone shares the benefits of.
We're joined now by Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, in Leeds.
Mr McDonnell stressed that for those earning over 80,000, they would be
paying more but it would be modest. He used the word modest 45 times.
But there is only 1.2 million of them. -- 4-5 times. So that would
not raise much money. This is about the key part of this tax policy for
the many, not the few. We are saying that low earners and middle earners
won't be paying more tax under a Labour government, which is not a
policy the Conservatives have committed to yet. As John McDonnell
also said in his interview earlier, if there is a tax rise on the top 5%
of earners, earning over ?80,000, it would be a modest rise. I am trying
to work out what that would mean in terms of money. If it is too modest,
you don't raise much. What will happen is the Labour Party's
manifesto, published in the next couple of weeks, wilfully set out
and cost it. I can't make an announcement now. -- will fully set
out and cost it. Moving on to the local elections, Mr Corbyn says he
is closing the gap with the Tories. What evidence is there? John Curtis
just said there was an 11% gap in the results, Labour 11% behind. The
polls before that suggested Labour were anything up to 20% behind. Was
it a great day for Labour? Certainly not. Is there a lot to do between
now and June? Sure, but we are relishing every moment of that.
Comparing equivalent elections in 2013, the Tories increased their
share of the vote by 13%. You lost 2%. That's a net of 15%. In what way
is that closing the gap? We have gone down to 11 points behind. Am I
satisfied? Certainly not. Is Labour satisfied? Certainly not. A week is
a long time in politics, 4-5 weeks is even longer. The local elections
are over, the general election campaign is starting, and we want to
put out there the policies that will improve the lives of low and middle
income earners. And also many people looking to be well off as well. You
lost 133 seats in Scotland. Are you closing the gap in Scotland? The
journey back for Labour in Scotland, I always thought, wouldn't be an
easy one. Since the council election results and Scotland that we are
comparing this to, there has been an independence referendum and the
terrible results for Labour in the 2015 general election. So it is a
challenge, but one hundreds of thousands of Labour members are
determined to meet. That is why we're talking about bread and butter
policies to make people's lives better. These local elections took
place midtown. Normally mid-term was the worst time for a government. --
took place midterm. And the best for an opposition. That is a feature of
British politics. So why did you lose 382 councillors in a midterm
election? As Andy Burnham said when he gave his acceptance speech after
his terrific first ballot result win in Manchester, it was an evening of
mixed results for Labour. Generally bad, wasn't it? Why did you lose all
of these councillors midterm? It is not a welcome result for Labour, I
am not going to be deluded. But what I and the Labour Party are focused
on is the next four weeks. And how we are going to put across policies
like free school meals for primary school children, ?10 an hour minimum
wage, the pledge not to increase tax for low and middle earners, 95% of
earners in this country. And saving the NHS from privatisation and
funding it properly. These are just some of the policies, including by
the way a boost in carers' allowance, that will make the lives
of people in Britain better off. Labour are for the many, not for the
few. But people like from political parties aspiring to government is to
be united and to be singing from the same song sheet among the leaders.
You mentioned Andy Burnham. Why did he not join Mr Corbyn when Jeremy
Corbyn went to the rally in Manchester on Friday to celebrate
his victory? First of all, Andy Burnham did a radio interview
straight after his great victory in which he said Jeremy Corbyn helped
him to win votes in that election. Why didn't he turn up? As to the
reason Andy Burnham wasn't there at the meeting Jeremy was doing in
Manchester, it was because, I understand, Andy was booked into
celebrate his victory with his family that night. I don't begrudge
him that and hopefully you don't. The leader has made the effort to
travel to Manchester to celebrate one of the few victories you enjoyed
on Thursday, surely you would join the leader and celebrate together?
Well, I don't regard, and I am sure you don't, Andy Burnham a nice time
with his family... -- I don't begrudge. He made it clear Jeremy
Corbyn assisted him. I can see you are not convinced yourself. I am
convinced. The outgoing Labour leader in Derbyshire lost his seat
on Thursday, you lost Derbyshire, which was a surprise in itself... He
said that genuine party supporters said they were not voting Labour
while you have Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Are you hearing that on the
doorstep too? I have been knocking on hundreds of doors this week in my
constituency and elsewhere. And of course, you never get every single
voter thinking the leader of any political party is the greatest
thing since sliced bread. But it's only on a minority of doorsteps that
people are criticising the Labour leader. Most people aren't even
talking about these questions. Most people are talking about Jeremy
Corbyn's policies, free primary school meals, ?10 an hour minimum
wage. Also policies such as paternity pay, maternity pay and
sickness pay for the self-employed, that have been hard-pressed under
this government. So I don't recognise that pitch of despondency,
but I understand that in different areas, in local elections,
perspectives are different. That was Derbyshire. The outgoing Labour
leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said there was concern on
the doorstep about whether Jeremy Corbyn was the right person to lead
the Labour Party, and even Rotherham, loyal to Mr Corbyn, won
the mail contest in Liverpool, he said that the Labour leader was more
might on the doorstep. -- the mayor contest. Does that explain some of
the performance on Thursday? I am confident that in the next four
weeks, when we get into coverage on television, that people will see
further the kind of open leadership Jeremy provides. In contrast to
Theresa May's refusal to meet ordinary people. She came to my
constituency and I don't think that a single person who lives here. And
also she is ducking the chance to debate with Jeremy Corbyn on TV. She
should do it and let the people decide. I don't know why she won't.
Finally, the Labour mantra is that you are the party of the ordinary
people, why is it the case that among what advertisers call C2s, D
and E', how can you on the pulse of that social group, how can you do
that? Our policy is to assist, protect and improve the living
standards of people in those groups and our policy is to protect the
living standards of the majority... They do not seem to be convinced? We
have four weeks to convince them and I believe that we will. Thank you
for coming onto the programme. But the wooden spoon from Thursday's
elections undoubtedly went to Ukip. Four years ago the party
won its best ever local government performance,
but this time its support just Ukip's share of the vote
plunging by as much as 18 points, most obviously
benefiting the Conservatives. So is it all over for
the self-styled people's army? Well we're joined now
by the party's leader in the Welsh Assembly,
Neil Hamilton, he's in Cardiff. Neil Hamilton, welcome. Ukip
finished local elections gaining the same number of councillors as the
Rubbish Party, one. That sums up your prospects, doesn't
it? Rubbish? We have been around a long time and seemed that I'd go
out, go in again, we will keep calm and carry on. We are in a phoney
war, negotiations on Brexit have not started but what we know from
Theresa May is that in seven years, as Home Secretary and Prime
Minister, she has completely failed to control immigration which was one
of the great driving forces behind the Brexit result. I'm not really
looking for any great success in immigration from the Tories, and a
lot of people who have previously voted for Ukip will be back in our
part of the field again. They don't seem to care about that at the
moment, your party lost 147 council seats. You gain one. It is time to
shut up shop, isn't it? You are right, the voters are not focusing
on other domestic issues at the moment. They have made up their
minds going into these negotiations in Brussels, Theresa May, as Prime
Minister, needs as much support as she can get. I think they are wrong
in this respect, it would be better to have a cohort of Ukip MPs to back
her up. She was greatly helped by the intervention of Mr Juncker last
week as well, the stupidity in how the European Commission has tried to
bully the British government, in those circumstances the British
people will react in one way going the opposite way to what the
Brussels establishment one. She has been fortunate as an acute tactician
in having the election now. I struggle to see the way back for
your party. You aren't a threat to the Tories in the south. Ukip voters
are flocking to the Tories in the south. You don't threaten Labour in
the north. It is the Tories who threaten Labour now in the north.
There is no room to progress, is there? The reality will be is that
once we are back on the domestic agenda again, and the Brexit
negotiations are concluded, we will know what the outcome is. And the
focus will be on bread and butter issues. We have all sorts of
policies in our programme which other parties cannot match us on.
The talk is putting up taxes to help the health service, we would scrap
the foreign aid budget and put another ?8 billion in the health
service, no other party says that. These policies would be popular with
the ordinary working person. Is Paul Nuttall to blame on the meltdown of
what happened, no matter who is leader? These are cosmic forces
beyond the control of any individual at the moment, it is certainly not
Paul Nuttall's .com he's been in the job for six months and in half that
time he was fighting a by-election -- certainly not Paul Nuttall's
fault. We have two become more professional than we have been
recently. It has not been a brilliant year for Ukip one way or
another, as you know, but there are prospects, in future, that are very
rosy. I do not believe that the Tories will deliver on other
promises that they are now making. The Welsh assembly elections are not
until 2021, you are a member of that, but at that point you will not
have any MEPs, because we will be out on the timetable. With this
current showing he will have no end', you could be Ukip's most
senior elected representative. That would be a turnout for the books! --
no elected MPs. The Tories are not promoting the policies that I
believe them. You will see that in the Ukip manifesto when it is
shortly publish... Leaders talk mainly about the male genital
mutilation and is -- female and burqas. No, when the manifesto
launched, we have a lot of policies, I spoke moments ago about it, but
also on foreign aid. Scrapping green taxes, to cut people's electricity
bills by ?300 per year on average. There are a lot of popular policies
that we have. We will hear more from that in the weeks to come.
Paul Nuttall said "If the price of written leaving the year is a Tory
advance after taking up this patriarch course, it is a price that
Ukip is prepared to pay". That sounds like a surrender statement?
It is a statement of fact, the main agenda is to get out of the EU and
have full Brexit. That is why Ukip came into existence 20 years ago.
When it is achieved, we go back to the normal political battle lines.
Niall Hamilton in Cardiff, thank you very much for joining us.
It's just gone 11.35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Coming up here in 20 minutes - we'll be talking about the French
Hello and welcome to our Sunday Politics East election special.
Let's start with the winners and losers in the county council
This is how it looked before this week.
Three county councils in no overall control.
with the Conservatives in control of all the six counties
where elections were held. This is what happened.
The Conservatives were already by far the biggest party
and Ukip had a significant number of county councillors.
But not any more. Ukip lost every seat.
And the Conservatives made huge gains.
Labour are down eight across the region.
Ukip down by 48 and the Green Party lost half its seats, down by four.
But it is the share of the vote that throws up some differences.
In 2013, the last time these seats were fought,
Labour and UKIP were almost neck and neck.
This time, Labour held on to its share.
Ukip fell by 16% and the Conservatives went up by 12%.
Their share of the vote went up by 5%,
Here is the story of what happened at the polls.
The response we have had from the public in coming out
of their houses is yesterday and through postal votes, to vote
The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party
are doing a brilliant job on Brexit Brexit and
I think the people of Britain are behind that.
Theresa May has got a trust factor, which I have not seen,
for a Conservative Prime Minister, in my political lifetime.
The difference has been the European Referendum
on the demise of Ukip, no doubt about that.
And the Conservative voters have come home.
This is a bad night for Ukip and I cannot deny it.
I think, within Ukip, we are seeing this as the
Theresa May effect and it is reverberating around England.
We came in on a tsunami and we are going out on one.
Something has seriously gone wrong with the leadership.
We have not managed to get our policies across.
Ukip gave the public an alternative to vote for.
I've really enjoyed the experience and I hope
to fight on for Ukip and I think we can probably come back later on.
We went out to talk about what we believe are local issues
and who we could make real change in Harlow over these issues.
But the electorate have made a choice and made a decision.
Brexit is still on the minds of a great number of people,
This is not an election about Brexit.
All the MPs and members are getting behind Jeremy Corbyn.
They are seeing some really good policies coming out now.
I am speaking to people who do recognise that.
It shows that we are the ones the public recognise
I had a number of conversations on the doorstep with Labour voters
in the ward I now represent and they were saying
that they had been Labour voters for years but are now voting
That is only going to increase as we run into the general election.
They know that they can trust us with the economy.
I'm not going to say, put things right, but change
things for the better, because we have really important job
At the moment, the Tory Party just seems to be a rolling train.
And someone needs to hold them to account or there will be too
much power for one party, which is never good.
Here with me are Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats' Health
Spokesman, Councillor Lisa Duffy for UKIP, Councillor George Nobbs,
Labour leader of the opposition on Norfolk Council and David Finch,
the Conservative Leader of Essex County Council.
Very difficult and I wasn't for you? We knew it was going to be
difficult. We did not expect to lose all the seats, but we will have to
build on it. We still have 300 district councillors they and they
are still delivering for local people. But you said they were
fighting on local issues. We wear. We are a come from as an example,
what NEP got honoured in the New Year 's list because of his local
work. But I think it was all to do with the Prime Minister. I think it
was her please only election. Norman, it has been said that the
Liberal Democrats do very well in by-elections and therefore they were
expecting a good result? I think the calling of the general election and
a big defeat. I think people have been thinking in national terms
rather than electing a local councillor. Despite that, we are
about 5% across the region. There are areas we did very well. In
Cambridge, we have another chance of leading the seat. In North Norfolk,
we need to James. We know hold seven out of the ten county council seats
in North Norfolk. Poor people in North Norfolk. Poor people
actually talking about on the doorstep? National issues as opposed
to local issues? Absolutely. People do not differentiate between them,
they simply talk about what is concerning them at the same. The
reality is we are heading for a landslide conservative majority. Do
we want a 1-party state or do we we want a 1-party state or do we
want an effective opposition? We will stick with local issues, you
said it was about national issues, but nobody mentioned Brexit or your
leader? I did not say that at all! I said very much the same as Norman.
This was a local election until the general election was cold. Up until
then, people had been talking about local issues. In Norfolk, it is the
only Labour group in the creative weary in case our seats. That was
about local issues. But if you go back one year, when you had this
rainbow coalition preview release of the council. That is not going to
happen. That is because one party has collapsed. That is what has
happened. I think equal elision is still popular impossible. I think
local people liked what we did. If the election continued to have been
fought on local issues, I think we would have done well. Is that true?
I think both Norman and George are I think both Norman and George are
missing your point. The election for Essex is a real endorsement of
conservative policies of low taxation. The point they both must,
if only me, is that we have a very strong leader. She has been very
clear about Brexit the policies of the party. Both the opposition
parties have field in that way. People are being taken for granted.
If there is a blue sweep across the region, people will just take it for
granted. But local government is strapped for cash. Clearly she is
playing her part in that? In Essex and all the other shire counties,
they are dealing with that. They are innovating and looking at the week
we deliver services. Come on. Give me a minute and then you can have
your say. We have taken ?600 million note. You have had to do things you
did not do. We have frozen council tax for five years. That has into
the pockets of the residents. But you have had to act on social care
and had to do things you did not want to do. Let me finish! I will
not interrupt you! We are the party with the knowledge and ability to
reduce taxation and to divide -- provide excellent services. You know
that is not true. Nobody has protested more, to your credit, the
lack of funding in social services. You know very well in that in your
heart. To sit there and see we have saved money is simply not true. I
have saved 600 million and frozen council tax for five years. But you
did write to David Cameron to complain? I did. Do you think adult
social care has adequately funded by the government? I think they have
given an extra ?2 billion. David and I agree on the need to work across
the parties that it is unusual for the NHS and the social care system.
My you feel as if the Conservatives are elected with the huge majority
without an effective opposition they will take things clearly more for
granted. That is why you need an effective opposition. Can I say,
with Norman on that, in Cambridgeshire, the Conservatives
have cost the county, the district, the town, they have put up taxes to
the maximum. I think there is not enough money for adult social care.
As is a party when to call for the foreign aid budget to be trucked to
give some flexibility on money to spend at home on the likes mental
ill services. Having a one party state is very bad going forward. I
think this idea that it would be a 1-party state is overly exaggerated.
It tizzy skier story. All this power corrupts. It would not be absolute
power. Is it not the fault of the opposition parties that the
Conservatives are doing so well? We have to make our case why it would
be dangerous for the Conservatives to win with the huge majority. This
reduction of the foreign aid budget. Would you go a long with that? I
think you could look after the coolest people in the world and have
an effective and efficient NHS. The two are not mutually exclusive.
There is insufficient money and four in need. That is not the answer. --
foreign aid. I think we need an increase of 10% in all our budgets.
We are talking about local elections. I am trying to get that
in! And it was not just the county
councils where they had elections. This week, history was made,
when people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough voted
to elect a mayor. The Conservative
candidate was elected, seeing off a strong
challenge from the LibDems. The new mayor will have extra powers
over transport and housing and will take control of a budget
of million of pounds. I think I can work initially
on those pinchpoints I have spoken to the distrct
and county leaders, the city leader of Peterborough and have asked them
to bring forward projects to me. And we will get on with
them straight away. But I have also been very bold
in saying that this county needs upgraded infrastructure
from the north to the south and I will be putting together
business plans to sell, and to get investment
into, this county. So, it has been a busy week,
with two important elections. Five weeks from now
we will do it all again, this time in a general
election, on June 8. We asked our political
reporters across the region what the results of the county
council elections might The Conservatives have just smashed
the Essex County Council elections. June's general election
is possibly their best-ever chance Ukip came second four
years ago, but now do not have a single county councillor
and their vote collapsed in Clacton, where they had won their only
Westminster seat. The town is one of their best
chances of getting A Liberal Democrat
comeback in Colchester, with former MP Sir Bob Russell
standing, is a possibility. But on Thursday, they went backwards
in their old backyard. Here in Suffolk, all seven seats
are held by the Conservatives. But we can really only
expected a real fight That is here in Ipswich,
where cabinet minister Ben Gummer will be defending his seat
and Labour will be hoping that their candidate Sandy Martin
can turn over the 3,733 majority. Labour will also be
targeting the seat just up the coast in Waveney,
coast, where just 2,000 votes In other parts of Suffolk,
there would have to be a major swing if any of the other parties
are to get a look-in. In Norfolk, one of the major
battlegrounds will be It was a Remain-voting constituency,
but was once held by the Liberal It was won last time
by Labour's Clive Lewis. All the parties, including
the Greens, see this Up the coast, in North Norfolk, the
Tories are getting ready for a big battle with the Liberal
Democrat MP, Norman Lamb. Last time round, he had the majority
of 4000. A thousand people voted for Ukip. Here in Cambridgeshire, it is
Cambridge which will play host to a bitter battle between the Labour
Party and the Liberal Democrats. In Peterborough, Stuart Jackson is
likely to increase his majority. Ukip Arbat came the Brexit here
Tory. The Conservatives are likely to
retain their seats, but the real drama will be in Cambridge. In
Northamptonshire, it is often said you need to win Corby to be in
government. With a majority of around 200 -- 2000, it is the
closest contest here. Ukip Team second-tier Lizzie did another local
marginal. A lot of the attention he will be based on the M1 corridor. A
lot of seats will see clashes between Conservatives and Labour
parties. The likes of Milton Keynes in Bedford. It is the same picture
in Stevenage. Labour will be trying to reading this seats it once held.
It also holds two seats in Luton. This decapitation campaign by the
Conservatives seem to work last time. Are you concerned? Having been
in coalition with the Conservatives, they pretty much destroyed us. Who
knows what happens? I know I will have a battle on my hands. I will go
on my record of what I have done in the constituency and the commitment
I have always short. I think that is the need for other voices in
Parliament. I think this 1-party state is very dangerous. Focusing on
certain opposition groups, the Labour Party have focused on a lot
of green seats, certainly in the local elections. Will that happen
this time? We have never focused on that. You parked tanks on the front
garden! We did take the from the Greens. Worst year of the vote in
Norfolk held up. I think it is looking good in Norfolk and Suffolk
and Cambridgeshire. I am quite optimistic. I think, in the Eastern
counties, the labour share of the vote held up. But surely you should
be doing much better at this time? This election is not normal, it has
been polled over one thing, Brexit. I am going to talk to Lisa, if you
do not mind! I think the general election is very different. It is
all about Brexit. Do we believe the Prime Minister when she gets this
big majority at anything different role happen? I am not so sure. I do
not think she will. Looking at our track record in the Home Office. But
we are not standing in certain seats, such as Peterborough, because
we want good voices back into Parliament. It is very strategic. In
the eastern counties, we will be focusing on certain constituencies.
I think we will see some significant votes coming back to as during the
election. This 1-party thing is a problem. Doesn't not worry you that
maybe if there is no strong opposition that things for the
Conservative Party could be moved to a place you do not want? The reason
the talk is about 1-party state is because the opposition parties want
to scare mongering freight in people. The reality, if Amy, as they
do not have good policies or policies people do not want to
support. These two parties are Remainers. We did not
elect the Prime Minister, we elect MPs. This is about funding for our
hospitals and schools. I need to wind you a lot? Allah, I need to
wind up! housing associations and investment,
but we have run out of time, thank you. Andrew.
Four weeks to go until polling day on the 8th of June, what will the
party strategies be for the remaining four weeks? Let's begin
with the Conservatives. Do they just try to continue to play it safe for
four weeks? Yes, with this important qualification. Theresa May Corp this
election to get her own personal mandate partly, partly because she
thought she would win big but to get her own personal mandate. Therefore,
she needs to define it. In her own interests and to do with
accountability to the country. So clearly, they will not take risks
when they are so far ahead in the polls. What they do say in the
manifesto matters in terms of the space that she has in
the coming years to define her leadership against David Cameron 's.
She is a free figure, partly on the basis of what she says as to how big
she wins. They cannot just play it safe and repeat their mantra of
strong and stable leadership, if she is going to claim her own mandate,
they need the top policy? Yes, and what is unusual about this is that
the manifesto matters far more because of what they need to do with
it afterwards, than in terms of whether it is going to win anybody
over now. Clearly, the strategy is yes, we do have two layout out a few
things, there are interesting debates as to whether, for example,
they will still commit to this ambition of reducing immigration to
the tens of thousands, we do not know the answer yet. It is a
question on whether she is setting herself up for difficulties later
on. It will be a short manifesto, I would venture to guess? It is in her
interests to be as noncommittal as possible, that argues for a short
manifesto but what does strike me about the Conservative campaign,
aside from the ambiguity on policy, is how personal it is. I think
Theresa May, in her most recent speech, referred to "My local
candidates", rather than Parliamentary candidates, very much
framing it as a presidential candidate in France or the USA. Not
a rational on her part. Everything I hear from the MPs on the ground and
the focus groups being done by the parties, is that a big chunk of the
population personally identify with her. If you can wrap up Middle
England into a physical object and embody it in a person, it would be
her. Although Jeremy Corbyn's unpopularity accounts for a big
slice of her popularity, she has done a good job of bonding with the
public. We never saw that coming! But you may well be right. That is
happening now. Labour say it wants the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell
to play a more prominent role in the Labour campaign, he was on The
Andrew Marr Show this morning and he was asked if he was a Marxist, he
denied that he was. It surprised me as I had seen tape from before
saying that he was proud of it. Let's look now and then. Are you a
Marxist? I believe that there is a lot to learn... Yes or no? I believe
that there is a lot to learn from reading capital, that is recommended
not only by me but measuring economists as well. I also believe
that in the long tradition of the Labour Party... We need to demand
systemic change. I am a Marxist. This is a classic crisis of the
economy. A capitalist crisis. I've been waiting for this for a
generation! That was from about four years ago. No, I'm not a Marxist,
yes, I am a Marxist... I've been waiting for the Marxist revolution
my whole life... Does this kind of thing matter? Yes, but in fairness,
I think he is a really good interviewee. The Shadow Cabinet have
untested figures in a national campaign. None have ever been
exposed at any level to a national media campaign that they are about
to experience. He is the best interviewee. In fairness to him,
when he gave that clip four years ago, I bet he never dream that he
would be in a senior front bench position. But the background is
clear. They are of the left, and I think they would all have described
it. Jeremy Corbyn would have done, he is close to being like Tony Benn.
There are about four Labour campaign is being fought in this election.
Their campaign, the old Shadow Cabinet, campaigning in
constituencies, but not identifying with that campaign. There is the
former Labour leader Tony Blair. Is it damaging? I think so, if they
could be damaged any further, I could see all of the Labour MPs with
their heads in their hands. What I am hearing from Labour MPs is that
there is not one of them who do not feel that they have a horrendous
battle on their hands. These will be very individual local campaigns,
where local MPs are winning despite the party leadership and not because
of it. Already, talk is turning to what happens next. Is there anyway
that Jeremy Corbyn, giving a horrendous set of general election
results as many anticipate, may stay on all the same? It is not clear
that even if the polls are right, that Mr Corbyn will go? John
McDonnell implied it might not be the case but previously, he said it
would be. What do you make of reports that the Labour strategy is
not, I cannot quite believe I am saying this, not to win seats but
maximise a share of the vote. If they do better than Ed Miliband with
30.5% of the vote, they believe they live to fight another day? Yes, it
reminded me of Tony Benn's speech after the 1983 election where they
said as bad as the Parliamentary defeat was there were 8 million
votes for socialism. A big section of public opinion voted for that
manifesto. I wonder whether that is Corbyn's supporters best chance of
holding onto power. Whether they can say that those votes are a platform
on which we can build. That said, even moderate Labour MPs and
desperate for a quick leadership contest. I hear a lot of them say
that they would like to leave it for one year. Maybe have Tom Watson as
an acting Labour leader. He would still have a mandate. Give the top
party a chance to regroup and get rid of some of its problems and
decide where it stands on policy. Most importantly, for potential
candidates to show what they are made of, rather than lurching
straight into an Yvette Cooper Coronation. 30 seconds on the
Liberal Democrats, their strategy was to mop up the Remain vote.
Uncertain about the Brexit party in demise. Ukip. The remain as have a
dilemma, the little Democrats are not a strong enough vessel with 89
MPs to risk all ongoing for them -- the Liberal Democrats. Labour do not
know where they stand on Brexit. There is not a robust alternative
vessel for what is now a pro-Brexit Conservative Party. At the moment.
Four weeks to go, but not for France...
France has been voting since early this morning, and we should get
a first estimate of who will be the country's next President
Just to warn you there are some flashing images coming up.
The choice in France is between a centre-left liberal
reformer Emmanuel Macron and a right-wing nationalist
Marine Le Pen - both have been casting their votes this morning.
The two candidates topped a field of 11 presidential
hopefuls in the first round of elections last month.
The campaign has been marked by its unpredictability,
and in a final twist on Friday evening, just before
campaigning officially ended, Mr Macron's En Marche! group said
it had been the victim of a "massive" hack,
with a trove of documents released online.
The Macron team said real documents were mixed up with fake ones,
and electoral authorities warned media and the public that spreading
details of the leaks would breach strict election rules.
I'm joined now from Paris by the journalist
As I left Paris recently, everybody told me that there was the consensus
that Mr Macron would win, and win pretty comfortable you. Is there any
reason to doubt that? -- pretty comfortably. I don't think so, there
have been so many people left and right, former candidates who have
decided that it was more important to vote for Macron, even if it was
agreed with him, then run the risk of having Marine Le Pen as
president. I think the spread is now 20 points, 60% to Macron, 40% to Le
Pen. So outside of the margin of error that it would take something
huge for this to be observed. If the polls are right and Mr Macron wins,
he has to put together a government, and in May there is a Coronation,
then he faces parliamentary elections in June and could face a
fractured parliament where he does not have a clear majority for his
reforms. He could then faced difficulties in getting his
programme through? I think that right now, with how things are
looking, considering you have one half of the Republican party, the
Conservative Party, they are making clear sides, not only that they want
to support Macron but are supporting him actively. It means looking at
the equivalent of the German party, the great coalition. Depending on
how many seats established parties keep in the house committee may very
well have a Republican Prime Minister, rather than having an
adversarial MP, he may have someone who is relatively unknown outside of
France, and a young woman. Contended that lost the Parez mayorship three
years ago. She is a scientist and has been secretary of state. She
would be an interesting coalition Prime Minister. Finally, Marine Le
Pen, if she goes down to defeat a night, does she have the stomach and
ambition, and the energy, to try it all again in 2022? She has all of
that. The question is, would they let her? How badly would she lose?
Her niece, now 27, a hard-working and steady person, unlike Marine Le
Pen, who flunked her do paid -- debate, her niece may decide that
2022 is her turn. Yet another Le Pen! All right, we will see. Just
five years to wait, but only a few hours until the results of the
election tonight. And we will get the exit polls here
on the BBC. Given the exit polls will give as a pretty fair
indication of what the result is going to be tonight. That will be on
BBC news. That's all for today. The Daily Politics will cover every
turn of this election campaign, And we're back here on BBC One
at our usual time Next Sunday. Remember - if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics. Our crack team of experts
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