25/05/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


25/05/2014

With Richard Moss. Andrew Neil is joined by communities secretary Eric Pickles, Labour MP Diane Abbott and Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn to discuss the local and European elections.


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

:00:39.:00:44.

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

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

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catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the

:00:56.:01:00.

UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the

:01:01.:01:04.

In the North East and Cumbria: We're henhouse.

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In the North East and Cumbria: We're live with reaction to all the local

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election results. And the market town where residents

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are voting on whether to break away from Teesside and join

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hall spread, the Liberal Democrats disappeared, UKIP failed to show.

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More analysis in just over half an hour.

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Cooped up in the Sunday Politics henhouse, our own boot should --

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bunch of headless chickens. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh. The

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Liberal Democrats lost over 300 councillors on Thursday, on top of

:01:44.:01:48.

the losses in previous years, the local government base has been

:01:49.:01:52.

whittled away in many parts of the country. Members of the European

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Parliament will face a similar comment when the results are

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announced tonight. A small but growing chorus of Liberal Democrats

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have called on Nick Clegg to go. This is what the candidate in West

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Dorset had to say. People know that locally we worked

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incredibly hard on their councils and as their MPs, but Nick Clegg is

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perceived to have not been trustworthy in leadership. Do you

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trust him? He has lacked bone on significant issues that are the core

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values of our party. This is how the party president

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responded. At this time, it would be foolish

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for us as a party to turn in on ourselves. What has separated us

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from the Conservatives is, while they have been like cats in a sack,

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we have stood united, and that is what we will continue to do. The

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major reason why is because we consented to the coalition, unlike

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the Conservatives. We had a vote, and a full conference.

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Is there a growing question over Nick Clegg's leadership? Different

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people have different views. My own view is I need to consult my own

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activists and members before coming to a conclusion. I am looking at

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holding a meeting for us to discuss the issue. I have been told by some

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people they do not think a meeting is required, they think he should

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stay, and other people have decided he should go. As a responsible

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Democrat, I should consult the members here before coming to my

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conclusions. What is your view at the moment? I have got to listen to

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my members. But you must have some kind of you. Because I have an open

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mind, I do not think he must stay, I am willing to say I have not made my

:04:01.:04:06.

mind up. From a news point of view, that is my official position. I can

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assure you there is not much news in that! I said earlier I am not going

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to say he must go must stay, I am consulting my members. But you must

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have some kind of view of your own before you have listened to your

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members. There are people who are wrongfully sanctioned and end up

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using food banks, I am upset about that, because we should not

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allow... I do not mind having a sanctioning system, that I get

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constituents who are put in this position, we should not accept that.

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I rebel on the issue of a referendum on membership of the EU. I am also

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concerned about the way the rules have been changed in terms of how

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parents are treated in their ability to take children to funerals out of

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school time. There are questions about the leader's responsible T for

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those policies. Nick Clegg has made it clear he is a staunch

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pro-European, he wants the Liberal Democrats to be in, he does not want

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a referendum, if you lose a chunk of your MEPs tonight, what does that

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say about how in June you are with written public opinion? There are

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issues with how you publish your policies. I do not agree 100% with

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what the government is doing or with what Nick Clegg says. I do think we

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should stay within the EU, because the alternative means we have less

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control over our borders. There is a presentational issue, because what

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UKIP want, to leave the EU, is worse in terms of control of borders,

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which is their main reason for wanting to leave, which is strange.

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There are debate issues, but I have got personal concerns, I do worry

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about the impact on my constituents when they face wrongful sanctions.

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You have said that. A fellow Liberal Democrat MP has compared Nick Clegg

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to a general at the Somme, causing carnage amongst the troops. I am

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more interested in the policy issues, are we doing the right

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things? I do think the coalition was essential, we had to rescue the

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country from financial problems. My own view on the issue of student

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finance, we did the right thing, in accordance with the pledge, which

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was to get a better system, more students are going to university,

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and more from disadvantaged backgrounds. But there are issues.

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But Nick Clegg survive as leader through till the next election? It

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depends what odds you will give me! If you are not going to give me is,

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I am not going to get! If you listen to John hemming, he has got nothing

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to worry about. He does have something to worry about, they lost

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300 seats, on the uniform swing, you would see people like Vince cable

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and Simon Hughes lose their seats. But nobody wants to be the one to

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we'll be nice, they would rather wait until after the next election,

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and then rebuild the party. Yes, there is no chance of him walking

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away. Somebody like Tim Farron or Vince Cable, whoever the successor

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is, though have to close the dagger ten months before an election, do

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they want that spectacle? If I were Nick Clegg, I would walk away, it is

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reasonably obvious that the left-wing voters who defect had

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towards the Labour Party in 2010 will not return while he is leader.

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And anything he was going to achieve historically, the already has done.

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Unlike David Miliband, sorry, Ed Miliband or David Cameron, he has

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transformed the identity of the party, they are in government. Had

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it not been for him, they would have continued to be the main protest

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party, rather than a party of government. So he has got to take it

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all the way through until the election. If he left now, he would

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look like he was a tenant in the conservative house. What we are

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seeing is an operation to destabilise Nick Clegg, but it is a

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Liberal Democrat one, so it is chaotic. There are people who have

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never really been reconciled to the coalition and to Nick Clegg, they

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are pushing for this. What is Nick Clegg going to do, and Tim Farron?

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-- what is Vince Cable going to do? Vince Cable is in China, on a

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business trip. It is like John Major's toothache in 1990. What is

:08:56.:09:03.

Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick Clegg, because he knows that his

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best chances of being leader are as the Westland candidate, the person

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who picks up the mess in a year. Vince Cable's only opportunity is on

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this side of the election. But you say they are not a party of

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government, but what looks more likely is overall the -- is no

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overall control. You might find a common mission looking appealing.

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They could still hold the balance of power. A lot of people in the Labour

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Party might say, let's just have a minority government. 30 odds and

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sods who will not turn up to vote. If they want to be up until 3am

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every morning, be like that! When you were in short trousers, it was

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like that every night, it was great fun! The Liberal Democrats will not

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provide confidence to a minority government, they will pull the plug

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and behave ruthlessly. Does Nick leg lead the Liberal Democrats into the

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next election? Yes. Yes. Yes. I am sorry, Nick Clegg, you are

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finished! We will speak to Paddy Ashdown in the second part of the

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show to speak about the Liberal Democrats. The UKIP insurgency could

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not deliver the promised earthquake, but it produced enough shock waves

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to discombobulated the established parties. They are struggling to work

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out how to deal with them. We watched it all unfold.

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out how to deal with them. We Behind the scenes of any election

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

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logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed

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

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

:11:08.:11:11.

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

:11:12.:11:17.

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

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

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electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:39.:13:42.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:14:18.:14:39.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:15:51.:15:55.

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

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

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Republicans found in the presidential elections. Patrick

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

:16:10.:16:13.

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

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

:16:19.:16:21.

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

:16:22.:16:29.

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

:16:30.:16:32.

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

:16:33.:16:39.

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

:16:40.:16:43.

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

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

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

:16:56.:17:09.

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

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

:17:16.:17:19.

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

:17:20.:17:23.

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

:17:24.:17:29.

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

:17:30.:17:35.

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

:17:36.:17:40.

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

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

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

:17:50.:17:56.

a very different attitude to mass uncontrolled immigration. Londoners

:17:57.:18:01.

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

:18:02.:18:11.

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

:18:12.:18:16.

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

:18:17.:18:22.

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

:18:23.:18:29.

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

:18:30.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:38.

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

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

:18:45.:18:53.

round bitching about Ed Miliband have been doing that before the

:18:54.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:11.

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

:19:12.:19:16.

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

:19:17.:19:20.

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

:19:21.:19:26.

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

:19:27.:19:33.

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

:19:34.:19:42.

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

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

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

:19:58.:20:05.

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

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

:20:09.:20:14.

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

:20:15.:20:18.

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

:20:19.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:34.

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

:20:35.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:44.

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

:20:45.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:53.

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

:20:54.:20:58.

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

:20:59.:21:07.

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

:21:08.:21:14.

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

:21:15.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:28.

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

:21:29.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:40.

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

:21:41.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:55.

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

:21:56.:22:00.

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

:22:01.:22:10.

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

:22:11.:22:14.

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

:22:15.:22:17.

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

:22:18.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:42.

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

:22:43.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:06.

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

:23:07.:23:13.

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

:23:14.:23:19.

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

:23:20.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:52.

massive enthusiast for that interview taking place at all. I

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:26.

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

:24:27.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:37.

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

:24:38.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:03.

constituencies, crucial seat that will decide the outcome of the

:25:04.:25:07.

general election next year. In 26 constituencies people were asked

:25:08.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:26.

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

:25:27.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:04.

combined. The communities Secretary Eric

:26:05.:26:10.

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

:26:11.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:23.

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

:26:24.:26:31.

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

:26:32.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:42.

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

:26:43.:26:46.

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

:26:47.:26:50.

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

:26:51.:26:55.

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

:26:56.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:07.

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

:27:08.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:21.

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

:27:22.:27:26.

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

:27:27.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:43.

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

:27:44.:27:49.

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

:27:50.:27:55.

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

:27:56.:27:59.

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

:28:00.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:10.

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

:28:11.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:18.

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

:28:19.:28:24.

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

:28:25.:28:29.

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

:28:30.:28:34.

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

:28:35.:28:39.

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

:28:40.:28:43.

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

:28:44.:28:47.

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

:28:48.:28:56.

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

:28:57.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:08.

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

:29:09.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:23.

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

:29:24.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:31.

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

:29:32.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:40.

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

:29:41.:29:44.

mass immigration, you don't keep your promises.

:29:45.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:30:00.

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

:30:01.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:19.

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

:30:20.:30:25.

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

:30:26.:30:29.

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

:30:30.:30:36.

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

:30:37.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:49.

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

:30:50.:30:54.

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

:30:55.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:05.

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

:31:06.:31:10.

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

:31:11.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:29.

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

:31:30.:31:34.

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

:31:35.:31:38.

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

:31:39.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:53.

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

:31:54.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:01.

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

:32:02.:32:11.

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

:32:12.:32:17.

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

:32:18.:32:23.

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

:32:24.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:57.

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

:32:58.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:11.

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

:33:12.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:29.

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

:33:30.:33:33.

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

:33:34.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:44.

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

:33:45.:33:51.

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

:33:52.:33:55.

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

:33:56.:34:01.

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

:34:02.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:19.

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

:34:20.:34:24.

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

:34:25.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:39.

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

:34:40.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:35:01.

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

:35:02.:35:05.

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

:35:06.:35:12.

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

:35:13.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:25.

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

:35:26.:35:33.

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

:35:34.:35:37.

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

:35:38.:35:42.

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

:35:43.:35:54.

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

:35:55.:35:59.

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

:36:00.:36:04.

Hello, and after a hectic week of coordinator Paddy Ashdown. First,

:36:05.:36:15.

Hello, and after a hectic week of elections, we're here to see where

:36:16.:36:19.

it leaves the political landscape in the North East and Cumbria. With me

:36:20.:36:22.

live in the studio, Gateshead's Labour MP Ian Mearns, Berwick

:36:23.:36:24.

Conservative candidate Anne`Marie Trevelyan, and Newcastle Lib Dem

:36:25.:36:30.

councillor David Faulkner. Also coming up: Should this market town

:36:31.:36:33.

in Teesside become part of North Yorkshire? The people who live there

:36:34.:36:38.

get THEIR say. And I'm in Sunderland, where the

:36:39.:36:41.

European election results are under lock and key ready for tonight's

:36:42.:36:44.

count. Will UKIP make the breakthrough they promised in the

:36:45.:36:49.

North East? More from Mark shortly. Well,

:36:50.:36:52.

there's no doubt that Labour is still the big force in North East

:36:53.:36:55.

politics, and nothing that happened in the polling stations on Thursday

:36:56.:36:58.

changed that. These were the scenes of jubilation in Sunderland. And

:36:59.:37:01.

they were repeated at other town halls in the north, including

:37:02.:37:04.

Newcastle, Gateshead, and South Tyneside, where Labour easily

:37:05.:37:06.

retained control. But it's only part of the story. UKIP may have only won

:37:07.:37:11.

two council seats ` both of them in Hartlepool ` but they piled up the

:37:12.:37:14.

votes, winning a fifth of all votes across the region and coming second

:37:15.:37:18.

to Labour in many contests. That performance should put them on

:37:19.:37:21.

course to win their first ever European Parliamentary seat in the

:37:22.:37:25.

North East. This was the verdict from voters in Eaglescliffe.

:37:26.:37:31.

UKIP of course. Nigel Farage. Why is that? I don't like the way the

:37:32.:37:35.

Conservatives are messing things around. They are saying they will do

:37:36.:37:40.

one thing and then they do something else. UKIP. Why is that? Because I

:37:41.:37:45.

just think they are the best party at the moment. I don't trust any of

:37:46.:37:49.

the others. I might as well have something new. I agree with some of

:37:50.:37:53.

his policies. I voted Labour. Why was that? Because I think they will

:37:54.:37:59.

represent us well in Europe. UKIP. We voted UKIP. Fed up with the rest

:38:00.:38:06.

of them. Labour. Why is that? Because I'm working class, always

:38:07.:38:12.

voted Labour all my life. Voters in Eaglescliffe. Support like

:38:13.:38:15.

that for UKIP was enough to deliver them two councillors in Hartlepool.

:38:16.:38:18.

Tom Hind was one them. People are voting for UKIP this time

:38:19.:38:21.

around simply because they are a national party with a lot of new and

:38:22.:38:25.

positive ideas for the way the country needs to be run, and we're

:38:26.:38:29.

beginning to resonate with the local population at large.

:38:30.:38:33.

Well, the local Labour MP in Hartlepool, Iain Wright, said HE

:38:34.:38:36.

believed voters had turned to UKIP as a protest against all the

:38:37.:38:40.

established political parties. I think it probably means there is

:38:41.:38:43.

an anti`politics feeling out there that UKIP can capitalise on. But

:38:44.:38:48.

we've had UKIP councillors in Hartlepool before. They tend to

:38:49.:38:52.

implode. They will probably do that again. In many respects, I think

:38:53.:38:55.

tonight shows that Hartlepool stays on a steady course with Labour still

:38:56.:39:01.

in control. Labour's Iain Wright. As for the

:39:02.:39:04.

Conservatives, they kept control of Harrogate ` no surprise there ` and

:39:05.:39:07.

held onto their seats in North Tyneside. But it was in Carlisle

:39:08.:39:10.

where their performance arguably mattered most. It's a key battle

:39:11.:39:13.

ground at next year's general election, and the sitting Tory MP

:39:14.:39:16.

believes the result offered him hope of retaining his seat.

:39:17.:39:21.

I think it's been very positive. We held the seats we hoped to hold, and

:39:22.:39:25.

our vote has held up as well. It's a good base going forward to the

:39:26.:39:28.

general election next year. Clearly there has been the protest vote to

:39:29.:39:32.

the UKIP party, so we will have to see how that unravels. If I was in

:39:33.:39:36.

the Labour camp, I'd be deeply disappointed because if the

:39:37.:39:39.

opposition party want to be the next government, clearly they aren't

:39:40.:39:43.

making the advances they should. John Stevenson. For the Lib Dems,

:39:44.:39:47.

there wasn't much to shout about. They lost eight seats across the

:39:48.:39:50.

region ` that's not as bad as it might have been. But overall, it was

:39:51.:39:54.

a predictably disappointing set of results, which local party

:39:55.:39:56.

candidates blamed on the national mood.

:39:57.:40:00.

At the end of the day, we have fought this election against a

:40:01.:40:02.

background of dismal polls, but that's politics, isn't it? I think

:40:03.:40:11.

it will turn around. Have you got confidence in the national

:40:12.:40:13.

leadership in Nick Clegg? He's honest. I think he's more honest

:40:14.:40:18.

than most. I think sometimes...sometimes he might be

:40:19.:40:23.

better saying nothing. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

:40:24.:40:27.

Let's see what our panel make of it all. According to the headlines,

:40:28.:40:38.

another difficult night for your party. You confident Nick Clegg is

:40:39.:40:44.

the right man? The damage to our vote caused by our association with

:40:45.:40:48.

the Kurds server to use and the coalition has not gone down well. ``

:40:49.:40:57.

the Conservatives. As the general election comes closer, we have to

:40:58.:41:01.

put the case for what the Liberal Democrats have achieved in

:41:02.:41:04.

government and what we would like to do beyond the general election in

:41:05.:41:09.

whatever capacity that we have. But does not strike me as a ringing

:41:10.:41:13.

endorsement. But you say stick with Nick Clegg. You lack that is what

:41:14.:41:19.

I'm saying. The only obvious leader who can make any difference is Vince

:41:20.:41:24.

Cable, and he does not want to do the job. If you will have him what

:41:25.:41:33.

to do the job, would you prefer that? I have always been a Vince

:41:34.:41:38.

Cable man. But neat clip will be written up as somebody who has been

:41:39.:41:42.

more substantial and important than currently presented. `` Nick Clegg.

:41:43.:41:49.

Small gains, but does this put you in the position to be the next

:41:50.:41:54.

government? Compared to 2012 when you score 80%, it more like 60% this

:41:55.:42:00.

time. Still dominant, but a bit of a problem. I think the UKIP effect has

:42:01.:42:08.

had an impact on the parties. There has not been a general drift away,

:42:09.:42:14.

there has been a real volatility in the political mix in the area with

:42:15.:42:17.

people voting many different ways. Some Labour 's gone to UKIP and so

:42:18.:42:26.

on. From that perspective, the UKIP impact has been volatility in the

:42:27.:42:31.

area. York party were confident the stop `` your party were confident.

:42:32.:42:45.

Note Ashcroft shows that over half of UKIP's voters come from the

:42:46.:42:50.

Conservatives. Only one in seven have come from Labour. What I would

:42:51.:42:58.

say is that this whole Thursday has been painted as a disaster for

:42:59.:43:01.

Labour, and having won more than 2000 seats and gained 338, I don't

:43:02.:43:07.

see how anybody could paint that is a disaster given the losses by the

:43:08.:43:15.

Lib Dems and the Conservatives. Why is your own party criticising the

:43:16.:43:19.

campaign and will lead our? I am bemused by that. I think the results

:43:20.:43:24.

were robust on Thursday. You have no doubts? Witham I don't. I think Ed

:43:25.:43:30.

Miliband is pulling together a better offer. No longer can we offer

:43:31.:43:37.

ordinary working`class voters crimes of the table. We have to beef up our

:43:38.:43:44.

attitude something tangible to work for an something tangible to hope

:43:45.:43:50.

for. `` crimes of the table. On the popular vote, UKIP outpolled you.

:43:51.:43:58.

You disappointed? Not surprising. We were aware their target was to

:43:59.:44:01.

really pull in that disaffected Labour vote, and judging by the

:44:02.:44:07.

numbers, I think that is what we have seen. But I suspect many people

:44:08.:44:11.

you would have hoped vote Conservatives. What we saw in

:44:12.:44:17.

Northumberland will begin have local elections that were running European

:44:18.:44:21.

elections, most of the Conservative vote hasn't moved to UKIP. We lost a

:44:22.:44:27.

group of our most right wing and your septic voters last time around,

:44:28.:44:34.

but we haven't seen a shift since then. `` Eurosceptic. We have seen

:44:35.:44:41.

an aggressive campaign by UKIP. Then there is that section of the

:44:42.:44:45.

electorate that have not voted for years. Is UKIP getting levels of

:44:46.:44:56.

voting in Northumberland that Conservatives couldn't even dream

:44:57.:45:02.

of? Why would they will do the Conservatives and not UKIP? People

:45:03.:45:09.

voting UKIP because they Eurosceptic have felt the Conservative Party

:45:10.:45:12.

have not been aggressive enough, and that is the challenge of the

:45:13.:45:15.

coalition. The Lib Dems are clearly in favour of Europe and do not want

:45:16.:45:19.

a referendum. We have driven at a gender aggressively. Would you be

:45:20.:45:28.

confident of holding onto Berwick? The Lib Dems are resilient. Look at

:45:29.:45:36.

Emory is the candidate. They have been trying to win it back for

:45:37.:45:42.

years. We were told they would be a meltdown. `` Anne`Marie. We won back

:45:43.:45:49.

many seats in difficult circumstances. Where we are built

:45:50.:45:54.

into the community and work hard and Sheppey in our communities, our MPs

:45:55.:45:57.

are well known, we will do well to stop `` champions. We still do not

:45:58.:46:03.

know the outcome of the European elections, which ` to fit in with

:46:04.:46:08.

the rest of the continent ` aren't counted until tonight. Mark Denten

:46:09.:46:11.

is at Sunderland, where all the North East action will be. When can

:46:12.:46:17.

we expect to find out? Richard, hopefully, possibly, maybe before

:46:18.:46:22.

midnight. There is reputation here in Sunderland for getting the votes

:46:23.:46:28.

in early. We are here at a tennis centre. There is not a lot of tennis

:46:29.:46:31.

here. I have my doubts about the wellness as well because if you look

:46:32.:46:36.

around, there are some picky politicians biting their nails since

:46:37.:46:43.

Thursday's European elections. Why are we waiting? Because the rest of

:46:44.:46:46.

Europe is still in the process of voting. In the meantime, those

:46:47.:46:52.

ballot boxes are under lock and key until we get to ten o'clock tonight

:46:53.:46:55.

when all of the votes have been collated. The chief returning

:46:56.:46:58.

officer will do a competent at some dreamt up by a Belgian, and we

:46:59.:47:03.

should hopefully by midnight have the names of the three MEPs to

:47:04.:47:07.

represent the North East. You were looking blog yourself despite tough

:47:08.:47:14.

days. `` you are looking well. Can UKIP win in the North East?

:47:15.:47:47.

the low `` local. Eight seat for grabs. We will be watching to see if

:47:48.:47:49.

the BNP managed to retain their seat. Six in Yorkshire. By the end

:47:50.:47:53.

of the night in the three regions, we will have 70 MEPs. Spare a

:47:54.:47:59.

thought for the 165 people who will have a disappointing bank holiday

:48:00.:48:02.

Monday because they did not get in. We have 10.5 hours until we get the

:48:03.:48:08.

declaration. I will stay around here and keep an eye on this. The

:48:09.:48:15.

elections would work the same without you.

:48:16.:48:18.

And if you want to find out all the Euro election results, why not join

:48:19.:48:21.

Mark ` and a chap called David Dimbleby ` on BBC One from 11

:48:22.:48:24.

o'clock tonight? And last ` but certainly not least `

:48:25.:48:27.

on the election front. Dramatic events in Copeland. Residents there

:48:28.:48:30.

were voting in a referendum to decide if they wanted to scrap the

:48:31.:48:33.

existing system of council leadership in favour of an elected

:48:34.:48:37.

mayor of the sort that Middlesbrough and North Tyneside have. And mayoral

:48:38.:48:39.

campaigners were celebrating success by a majority of more than two to

:48:40.:48:42.

one. We are so overjoyed. We are ecstatic

:48:43.:48:46.

at tonight's result. All we can do is say thank you again and again and

:48:47.:48:56.

again to the people of Copeland. We will talk more about that later.

:48:57.:49:01.

Let's talk about the European elections. Given the results in the

:49:02.:49:04.

locals, on a scale of one to ten how sure are you that we will still have

:49:05.:49:09.

a Conservative MEP in the North East? A seven or eight. I figured

:49:10.:49:15.

large chunk of the Labour vote having gone to UKIP, Labour have to

:49:16.:49:24.

get a high percentage, 35% to put the seat at risk, but I'm not a

:49:25.:49:29.

gambling man and I would say one Labour, one UKIP and one Tory. What

:49:30.:49:34.

would that say about Conservative support in the region? I figure

:49:35.:49:39.

would be a great loss to the region to lose Martin as our MEP. He has

:49:40.:49:45.

fought hard on key issues. It would be a loss for the Conservatives. He

:49:46.:49:51.

has led the party in Europe in an incredibly determined way. He has

:49:52.:49:54.

put forward they Eurosceptic agenda is the leader of the group

:49:55.:49:58.

incredibly effectively. He would be a great loss. I am hopeful he will

:49:59.:50:02.

come through and still be there tomorrow. On a scale of one to ten,

:50:03.:50:09.

would you like a minus figure on how likely you are to keep your seat?

:50:10.:50:16.

What are you laughing at? It ironic that it will be hard for. We are the

:50:17.:50:23.

party that actually made an election about Europe, where is the other

:50:24.:50:28.

parties and party leaders were spineless and decided to pretend it

:50:29.:50:32.

was not a European election. I am proud of our party's commitment. And

:50:33.:50:39.

strategy hasn't worked. I'm OK. I think it is important somebody

:50:40.:50:42.

stands up for international is, working with Europe. It is not

:50:43.:50:47.

uncritical of the EU. Any change and reform. But I'm proud that my party

:50:48.:50:51.

and leader have stood up to Europe. You have lost the argument. But if

:50:52.:50:56.

we have lost the argument this time, so be it. There will be a bigger

:50:57.:51:00.

argument coming if there is a future referendum, and we will put the case

:51:01.:51:04.

just as enthusiastically then. Would be good enough for you to retain

:51:05.:51:09.

your one MEP you have, or do you need more? We were talking about

:51:10.:51:16.

volatility earlier. There will be volatility in this. I am hopeful

:51:17.:51:20.

Labour will have to sit in the European Parliament from the North

:51:21.:51:23.

East of England. As far as the European argument, I can't give

:51:24.:51:28.

another region to which European Union is more important. That

:51:29.:51:37.

Sinatra and we have to have. `` that is an argument. They went on about

:51:38.:51:45.

the cost of living crisis. David Faulkner said they would worry

:51:46.:51:48.

people would migrate to UKIP because they were concerned about

:51:49.:51:54.

migration. But I would say is that after European candidates have

:51:55.:51:57.

worked hard and argued about Europe across the whole of the region, and

:51:58.:52:00.

I think they have been trying to get across to people how important

:52:01.:52:06.

European Union is to this region. Six of the half`dozen jobs, `` 6500

:52:07.:52:19.

jobs, but... You think we need to have a referendum? HS2 I am not

:52:20.:52:24.

frightened of a referendum. I'm not convinced we need to have one. You

:52:25.:52:29.

have seats like Stockton South. Might be a good idea to talk to UKIP

:52:30.:52:37.

so James stays in Parliament. Polls showed there was a surprisingly

:52:38.:52:40.

strong hold in the Conservative vote their way James was working hard on

:52:41.:52:47.

the ground. He has led the argument for putting a referendum out there

:52:48.:52:50.

for the people, and if Labour could get off the fence and agree that

:52:51.:52:54.

whether you vote in or out, we had it, you would see a much of the

:52:55.:52:57.

view. Well, October has been proposed as

:52:58.:53:00.

the date for the mayoral vote, although local MP Jamie Reed said

:53:01.:53:04.

this weekend he wants it to be held on the same day as next year's

:53:05.:53:09.

general election. We'll talk a bit more about that shortly, but you

:53:10.:53:12.

might think after all the elections of recent days, people would have

:53:13.:53:16.

had enough of voting. Not so, it seems, if you live in the market

:53:17.:53:20.

town of Yarm on the banks of the River Tees. A local referendum will

:53:21.:53:23.

be held next week to ask residents if they want their community to

:53:24.:53:26.

leave Stockton and rejoin North Yorkshire. Luke Walton went to find

:53:27.:53:29.

out more. With its magnificent Victorian

:53:30.:53:31.

viaduct and genteel Georgian high Street, Yarm doesn't look like an

:53:32.:53:34.

obvious hotbed of protest. But despite appearances, there is a mood

:53:35.:53:38.

here of rebellion, with much of the anger focused on the local Stockton

:53:39.:53:44.

council. And this is one of the reasons for the uproar. The

:53:45.:53:47.

introduction of pay and display car parking here in the town centre. On

:53:48.:53:51.

top of that, there's been fury about plans to remove old cobbles from the

:53:52.:53:55.

high street and to approve hundreds of new homes. Of course grumbles

:53:56.:53:59.

about your local council are common wherever you live, but what is

:54:00.:54:02.

different here in Yarm is a truly radical proposal to break away from

:54:03.:54:08.

the local authority altogether. Step forward the Yarm For Yorkshire

:54:09.:54:14.

campaign. You don't mind if I put a poster up your window, do you? 40

:54:15.:54:18.

years after it left the county in a reorganisation of local government,

:54:19.:54:21.

its supporters think it is high time for its return. We don't feel

:54:22.:54:24.

represented by Stockton Borough Council. They've mismanaged Yarm in

:54:25.:54:28.

the past. They have done for a lot of years now. They don't know how to

:54:29.:54:33.

manage a market town effectively. We feel our historical roots are in the

:54:34.:54:39.

north rather than in Yorkshire. On Tuesday, the idea of swapping

:54:40.:54:41.

Stockton Council for the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire will be

:54:42.:54:45.

put to a vote of local residents. The owner of one of the town's

:54:46.:54:48.

oldest family businesses is positive about the change. Yorkshire is known

:54:49.:54:53.

in Australia, New Zealand, all over. People come to visit Yorkshire, look

:54:54.:54:56.

at the guidebooks, and Yarm doesn't occur. It is outside Yorkshire. This

:54:57.:55:02.

is very difficult for local businesses. Others criticised the

:55:03.:55:06.

?4,000 cost of a referendum that is not legally binding, and question

:55:07.:55:09.

whether change would really be for the better. It's certainly not going

:55:10.:55:16.

to deliver the result that people want, and I'm not even convinced

:55:17.:55:19.

Hambleton District Council is the panacea it has been painted out to

:55:20.:55:22.

be. We will be much further away from the administrative centre,

:55:23.:55:25.

which could potentially restrict residents' access to social

:55:26.:55:27.

services, certainly the council services. Out on the high street, in

:55:28.:55:32.

opinion is divided. I think we should come out of Stockton.

:55:33.:55:36.

Stockton doesn't do anything for us. I don't know whether it would be any

:55:37.:55:39.

better. You don't think Hambleton Distrct Council will be any better?

:55:40.:55:43.

We're right on the end of it. North Yorkshire would be nice, but it's

:55:44.:55:47.

more of a snobby thing, I think. OK, so you don't think there'll be much

:55:48.:55:50.

material difference in joining it? I don't know much about it, to be

:55:51.:55:54.

honest, but I think it's fine as it is. As far as people are concerned,

:55:55.:55:58.

it's Yorkshire. Do you think it would be good to leave Stockton? Oh,

:55:59.:56:01.

yeah. There's nothing good about Stockton. Just have a drive down

:56:02.:56:04.

there and find out. Stockton Council turned down our request for an

:56:05.:56:08.

interview. But in a statement, the Labour leader Councillor Bob Cook

:56:09.:56:11.

said the council services were valued by most residents. He added

:56:12.:56:15.

that all local authorities have to ensure they have proper parking

:56:16.:56:18.

arrangements, and that they handle planning applications in line with

:56:19.:56:23.

the national policy framework. The local Conservative MP is not

:56:24.:56:28.

impressed. The truth is that a lot of people I speak to are frustrated

:56:29.:56:31.

with Stockton Council. They feel they are not listening to local

:56:32.:56:34.

communities, whether that is Yarm or elsewhere in the south of the

:56:35.:56:38.

borough. For some, Yarm has never stopped being a white rose town. The

:56:39.:56:41.

question now, whether it needs a vocal authority to match the symbol.

:56:42.:56:51.

Something about local identity going on, but they could be a lot of

:56:52.:56:58.

non`Labour voters disgruntled at the Labour council does not do much for

:56:59.:57:03.

them. You will see that disgruntlement in most councils.

:57:04.:57:13.

They have had disproportionate things thrust on them by the

:57:14.:57:18.

government. It is difficult. So it is central government's fault? I

:57:19.:57:24.

think we have to try to make the best job we can, but in those

:57:25.:57:29.

situations where we have had huge cuts in finances, it makes

:57:30.:57:34.

resourcing anything for any neighbourhood difficult. It is a

:57:35.:57:39.

curious Case of democracy. Instead of fighting to win seats, you say we

:57:40.:57:46.

will dump that council and get one more suited to us. It is a sad

:57:47.:57:55.

reflection. It is a sad reflection that one big town is choosing this.

:57:56.:58:01.

We see that with Berwick in hours. Northumberland council is a huge

:58:02.:58:05.

area, and Berwick are write`up in the northern regions and feel the

:58:06.:58:08.

council is not hearing what they are saying. I think the challenge is for

:58:09.:58:12.

councillors to really develop a better relationship with the

:58:13.:58:18.

community. Parking charges is clearly a driving force behind this

:58:19.:58:23.

campaign. Talking about the elected mayor vote in Copeland, you are

:58:24.:58:27.

against having one in Newcastle. Is there a bit of traction for this? I

:58:28.:58:34.

am still against this. I think there is a strong feeling about the move

:58:35.:58:38.

towards cities, regions, neighbourhoods, localities. Localism

:58:39.:58:43.

agenda has a lot more traction. It is interesting that the Liberal

:58:44.:58:50.

party are saying they were running the country into much of a top`down

:58:51.:58:54.

way. I think we will see much more of this. Take you to all of our

:58:55.:58:56.

guests. And that's about it from us. We're

:58:57.:58:59.

not here next weekend, but rest assured we're back in a fortnight's

:59:00.:59:03.

time with the results of an exclusive BBC survey finding out

:59:04.:59:06.

what business in the North East and Cumbria thinks

:59:07.:59:07.

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

:59:08.:59:12.

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

:59:13.:59:17.

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

:59:18.:59:26.

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

:59:27.:59:31.

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

:59:32.:59:38.

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

:59:39.:59:41.

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

:59:42.:59:49.

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

:59:50.:00:02.

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

:00:03.:00:06.

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

:00:07.:00:11.

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

:00:12.:00:15.

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

:00:16.:00:21.

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

:00:22.:00:24.

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

:00:25.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:38.

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

:00:39.:00:49.

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

:00:50.:00:52.

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

:00:53.:00:59.

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

:01:00.:01:04.

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

:01:05.:01:09.

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

:01:10.:01:15.

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

:01:16.:01:23.

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

:01:24.:01:31.

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

:01:32.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:39.

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

:01:40.:01:46.

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

:01:47.:01:51.

seriously. Your colleagues are taking it seriously, including

:01:52.:01:56.

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

:01:57.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:07.

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

:02:08.:02:11.

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

:02:12.:02:15.

will probably have a terrible European election. It will cut

:02:16.:02:20.

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

:02:21.:02:24.

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

:02:25.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:43.

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

:02:44.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:02:55.

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

:02:56.:02:58.

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

:02:59.:03:05.

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

:03:06.:03:09.

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

:03:10.:03:15.

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

:03:16.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:27.

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

:03:28.:03:34.

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

:03:35.:03:40.

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

:03:41.:03:49.

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

:03:50.:03:53.

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

:03:54.:03:59.

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

:04:00.:04:06.

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

:04:07.:04:13.

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

:04:14.:04:20.

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

:04:21.:04:23.

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

:04:24.:04:28.

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

:04:29.:04:31.

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

:04:32.:04:38.

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

:04:39.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:48.

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

:04:49.:04:53.

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

:04:54.:04:59.

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

:05:00.:05:04.

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

:05:05.:05:09.

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

:05:10.:05:18.

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

:05:19.:05:23.

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

:05:24.:05:27.

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

:05:28.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:35.

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

:05:36.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:45.

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

:05:46.:05:48.

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

:05:49.:05:57.

suggesting. We have done the Liberal Democrats,

:05:58.:06:04.

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

:06:05.:06:08.

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

:06:09.:06:13.

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

:06:14.:06:17.

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

:06:18.:06:21.

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

:06:22.:06:28.

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

:06:29.:06:31.

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

:06:32.:06:36.

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

:06:37.:06:43.

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

:06:44.:06:47.

taken against Ed Miliband and the Metropolitan sophisticates around

:06:48.:06:54.

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

:06:55.:07:00.

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

:07:01.:07:07.

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

:07:08.:07:13.

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

:07:14.:07:17.

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

:07:18.:07:21.

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

:07:22.:07:28.

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

:07:29.:07:31.

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

:07:32.:07:36.

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

:07:37.:07:39.

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

:07:40.:07:46.

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

:07:47.:07:54.

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

:07:55.:07:59.

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

:08:00.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:15.

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

:08:16.:08:19.

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

:08:20.:08:23.

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

:08:24.:08:29.

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

:08:30.:08:33.

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

:08:34.:08:41.

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

:08:42.:08:46.

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

:08:47.:08:51.

Friday morning had been practising their lines in expectation of a

:08:52.:08:55.

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

:08:56.:09:00.

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

:09:01.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:11.

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

:09:12.:09:15.

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

:09:16.:09:23.

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

:09:24.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:39.

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

:09:40.:09:46.

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

:09:47.:09:51.

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

:09:52.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:01.

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

:10:02.:10:08.

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

:10:09.:10:15.

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

:10:16.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:29.

bakery stores, the blue buns outsold the UKIP buns.

:10:30.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:41.

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

:10:42.:11:36.

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

:11:37.:11:43.

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

:11:44.:11:47.

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

:11:48.:11:54.

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

:11:55.:11:59.

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

:12:00.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:08.

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

:12:09.:12:15.

can play somebody accurately. Politicians are largely of a

:12:16.:12:20.

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

:12:21.:12:24.

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

:12:25.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:34.

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

:12:35.:12:39.

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

:12:40.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:49.

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

:12:50.:12:53.

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

:12:54.:13:00.

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

:13:01.:13:06.

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

:13:07.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:14.

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

:13:15.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:30.

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

:13:31.:13:35.

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

:13:36.:14:12.

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

:14:13.:14:15.

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

:14:16.:14:20.

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