25/05/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


25/05/2014

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Northern Ireland.


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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

:00:45.:00:51.

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

:00:52.:00:54.

catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the

:00:55.:01:00.

UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the

:01:01.:01:04.

UKIP Fox is in the Westminster henhouse.

:01:05.:01:10.

And coming up in half an hour: Sinn Fein and the DUP vie for the title

:01:11.:01:16.

of top party after Thursday's local election. We'll hear claim and

:01:17.:01:17.

counter-claim from the main parties disappeared, UKIP failed to show.

:01:18.:01:22.

More analysis in just over half an hour.

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

:01:31.:01:38.

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

:01:43.:01:47.

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

:01:48.:01:51.

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

:01:52.:01:54.

Parliament will face a similar comment when the results are

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announced tonight. A small but growing chorus of Liberal Democrats

:01:59.:02:03.

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

:02:04.:02:08.

Dorset had to say. People know that locally we worked

:02:09.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:19.

perceived to have not been trustworthy in leadership. Do you

:02:20.:02:26.

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

:02:27.:02:33.

values of our party. This is how the party president

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responded. At this time, it would be foolish

:02:37.:02:43.

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

:02:44.:02:47.

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

:02:48.:02:51.

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

:02:59.:03:03.

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

:03:04.:03:12.

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

:03:13.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:23.

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

:03:24.:03:27.

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

:03:28.:03:32.

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

:03:33.:03:36.

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

:03:41.:03:46.

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

:03:47.:03:51.

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

:04:00.:04:05.

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

:04:06.:04:09.

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

:04:10.:04:16.

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

:04:17.:04:22.

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

:04:23.:04:25.

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

:04:26.:04:30.

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

:04:31.:04:35.

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.

:04:40.:04:44.

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

:04:45.:04:50.

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

:04:51.:04:55.

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

:05:02.:05:06.

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

:05:07.:05:10.

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

:05:30.:05:35.

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

:05:36.:05:42.

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.

:05:51.:05:57.

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.

:06:02.:06:07.

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

:06:08.:06:12.

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

:06:23.:06:27.

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,

:06:38.:06:39.

and more from disadvantaged backgrounds. But there are issues.

:06:40.:06:45.

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

:07:32.:07:34.

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

:08:09.:08:12.

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

:08:55.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:07.

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

:09:23.:09:30.

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

:09:31.:09:34.

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

:09:35.:09:39.

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

:09:53.:09:56.

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

:09:57.:10:04.

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

:10:11.:10:17.

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.

:10:39.:10:47.

Behind the scenes of any election night is intensely busy. Those in

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charge of party strategy and logistics want their people focused,

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working with purpose and rehearsed to make sure their spin on the

:10:59.:11:02.

results is what viewers remember and take on board. A bit of a buzz of

:11:03.:11:09.

activity inside the BBC's studio, kept and primed for the results.

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What this does not show due is the exterior doubles up for hospital

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dramas like Holby City, there are doorways that are mock-ups of

:11:20.:11:23.

accident and emergency, but the electorate will discover which of

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the parties they have put into intensive care, which ones are

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coming out of recovery and which ones are in rude health. We joined

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David Dimbleby. Good evening, welcome to the BBC's new election

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centre. When three big beasts become for on the political field, things

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have changed. Eric Pickles says we will be seen off next year, we will

:11:48.:11:51.

see you at Westminster! This party is going to break through next year,

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and you never know, we might even hold the balance of power. Old

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messages that gave voters in excuses to go elsewhere on the ballot paper

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exposed the older players to questions from within their ranks.

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In the hen house of the House of Commons, the fox that wants to get

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in has ruffled feathers. The reason they have had amazing success, a

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rapid rise, partly what Chuka Umunna says about being a repository, but

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they have also managed to sound like human beings, and that his Nigel

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Farage's eight victory. For some conservatives, a pact was the best

:12:30.:12:34.

form of defence. It would be preferable if all members of UKIP

:12:35.:12:38.

and voters became Tories overnight. That seems to be an ambitious

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proposition. Therefore, we need to do something that welcomes them on

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board in a slightly different way. Labour had successes, but nobody but

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they're wizards of Spain was completely buying a big success

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story. Gaffes behind the scenes and strategic errors were levelled at

:13:00.:13:02.

those who have managed the campaign. They have played a clever game, you

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shuffle bedecked around, and if UKIP does quite well but not well enough,

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that helps Labour get in. That kind of mindset will not win the general

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election, and we saw that in the tap ticks and strategy, and that is why,

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on our leaflets for the European elections, we chose deliberately not

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to attack UKIP, that was a bad error. Not so, so somebody who has

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been in that spotlight. If you look at the electoral maths, UKIP will

:13:36.:13:39.

still be aiming at the Tories in a general election. They are the

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second party in Rotherham, Labour will always hold what the room, it

:13:44.:13:47.

is safe, there is no point being second in a safe seat. UKIP have

:13:48.:13:52.

taken Castle Point, a Tory seat they will target. The question for the

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next election, can they make a challenge? The Tories will be under

:14:00.:14:02.

the gun from UKIP. The substance of these results is UKIP not in

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government, they do not have any MPs, they do not run a single

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Council, at dismissing them ceased to be an option. The question is,

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who will they heard most and how do you smoke the keeper's threat?

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Joining me now, day about and Patrick O'Flynn. Do you agree not

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enough was done for the elections? No, we have very good results around

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Hammersmith and Fulham, Croydon, Redbridge, and we picked off council

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wards in Haringey meaning that Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes worked

:14:53.:15:02.

on. The Ashcroft polling shows that in key marginals, we are well ahead

:15:03.:15:07.

and on course to win in 2015. I will be putting Mr Ashcroft's poll to

:15:08.:15:16.

Eric Pickles shortly. On the basis of the local elections your national

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share of the vote would be just 31%, only two points ahead of the Tories,

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only two points ahead of Gordon Brown's disastrous performance in

:15:27.:15:32.

2010. Why so low? National share is one thing but I am talking about

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what we are doing in the key marginals. Clearly some were taken

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away from others like Rotherham but we have got many voters back. You

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are only two points better than you were in 2010 and use of your worst

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defeat in living memory. That is the totality. What matters

:15:57.:16:01.

is seat by seat, that is what the Republicans found in the

:16:02.:16:06.

presidential elections. Patrick O'Flynn, you performed well in the

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local election but it wasn't an earthquake. It is definitely true

:16:12.:16:14.

that Labour did well in London but that is a double-edged sword because

:16:15.:16:18.

you have an increasing disconnect between the metropolis and the rest

:16:19.:16:26.

of the country. Our vote share was somewhat depressed not just because

:16:27.:16:30.

London is one of our weakest part of the country but because most of the

:16:31.:16:35.

warts in London were 3-member wards and we were typically only putting

:16:36.:16:40.

up one candidate. Even when they fared well, it still tracked down

:16:41.:16:44.

the projected national share. I think we did well, and what was

:16:45.:16:53.

particularly good was getting the target seat list becoming clear

:16:54.:17:06.

before our eyes. Suzanne Evans said that basically smart folk don't vote

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for UKIP. I think that is a tiny fragment of what she said. She said

:17:13.:17:17.

London is its own entity and is increasingly different from the rest

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of the country. One of the things that is different from London as

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opposed to Rotherham is that we have very big parties. I have a few

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thousand people in mind, Rotherham has a few hundred. People don't go

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and knock on doors and talk to people, in London we have always had

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to do that. London is full of young voters, full of ethnically diverse

:17:43.:17:46.

voters, that is why you are not doing well, you don't appeal to live

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there. I think London in general has a very different attitude to mass

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uncontrolled immigration. Londoners know that if an immigrant moves in

:17:58.:18:07.

next door to you, to use Nigel Farage's phrase, the world doesn't

:18:08.:18:12.

end tomorrow. People in the big cities know that, that is the point.

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What Diane Abbott is doing is try to convince London of its moral

:18:20.:18:26.

superiority so I am delighted... It is a simple fact that immigrants do

:18:27.:18:31.

not end the world if they move in next door. The economic recovery is

:18:32.:18:35.

getting more robust by the month, you have a seriously to ship problem

:18:36.:18:40.

according to many people on your own site. Maybe you're 31% of the vote

:18:41.:18:48.

is as good as it gets. Those who go round bitching about Ed Miliband

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have been doing that before the result. We have all polled very

:18:56.:19:03.

well. Ed Miliband does not polled very well. He has actually fashioned

:19:04.:19:13.

some really effective policies. Unemployment is tumbling, inflation

:19:14.:19:18.

is falling, growth is strengthening, and you have a leader who claims

:19:19.:19:21.

there is a cost of living crisis and he doesn't have a clue about his own

:19:22.:19:30.

cost of living. I think that was poor staff work. That he doesn't

:19:31.:19:35.

know what goes in his own shopping basket? I think his own staff could

:19:36.:19:46.

have prepared him for that. My point is that the numbers are looking

:19:47.:19:50.

better, we know that, but people don't feel better off. Then why are

:19:51.:20:02.

all consumer index polls better? They are feeling confident. They may

:20:03.:20:05.

be saying that, but people are worried about their future, their

:20:06.:20:11.

children's future. That is not what you buy today or tomorrow. If you

:20:12.:20:16.

ask people about their future and their children's future and

:20:17.:20:19.

prospects, they feel frightened. What will be a good result for you

:20:20.:20:25.

in the general election? We need to see Nigel Farage elected as an MP

:20:26.:20:31.

and he mustn't go there on his own. How many people do you think will be

:20:32.:20:37.

with him? Who knows, but we will have 20 to 30 target seat and if you

:20:38.:20:42.

put together the clusters we got in last year's County elections with

:20:43.:20:45.

the one we got this year, you can have a good guess at where they

:20:46.:20:51.

are. A number of people who voted for you and Thursday say they are

:20:52.:20:54.

going to back to the three main parties in general election. It

:20:55.:21:00.

would be foolish of me to say that they are going to stay. Some have

:21:01.:21:07.

said they have just lent their votes but voters hate being taken for

:21:08.:21:17.

granted. It is up to us to broaden our agenda, and build on our

:21:18.:21:25.

strengths, work on our weaknesses. Ed Miliband may have to do a deal

:21:26.:21:31.

with him. We have been here before, but the UKIP bubble is going to

:21:32.:21:36.

burst and that may happen around the time of Newark. Are you going to win

:21:37.:21:43.

Newark now? We are going to give it a really good crack. We love being

:21:44.:21:47.

the underdog, we don't see it as being the big goal -- the be all and

:21:48.:21:55.

end all. If you're going to get a big bounce off the elections, not to

:21:56.:22:05.

go and win your shows people who govern in Parliament, they don't

:22:06.:22:12.

vote for you. It is Labour who have given up the campaign already so we

:22:13.:22:15.

need a really big swing in our favour and we will give it a great

:22:16.:22:23.

crack. The bubble will burst at the Newark by-election, trust me. Have

:22:24.:22:30.

you been to Newark? Newark will see from local people... Where is it? It

:22:31.:22:39.

is outside the M25, I can tell you that. My point is that we are set

:22:40.:22:44.

for victory in 2015. I want to run this clip and get your take on it,

:22:45.:22:48.

an interview that Nigel Farage did with LBC. What they do is they have

:22:49.:22:55.

an auditor to make sure they spend their money in accordance with their

:22:56.:22:58.

rules. You say that is if there is something wrong with it. Hang on,

:22:59.:23:09.

hang on. This is Patrick O'Flynn, is this a friend in the media or a

:23:10.:23:15.

member of the political class? Do you regret doing that now? What were

:23:16.:23:23.

you doing? No, I was trying to get Nigel Farage to a more important

:23:24.:23:29.

interview with Sunday Times that had painstakingly organised. He was on

:23:30.:23:38.

there? I have told the LBC people next door that he was running over.

:23:39.:23:44.

So you interrupted a live interview and you don't regret that? No,

:23:45.:23:50.

because just between us I wasn't a massive enthusiast for that

:23:51.:23:54.

interview taking place at all. I know what James O'Brien is like and

:23:55.:23:58.

I knew it wouldn't be particularly edifying. But your boss wasn't happy

:23:59.:24:10.

with the intervention. Sometimes the boss gets shirty. We all upset our

:24:11.:24:19.

boss every now and again, but anyway you could be an MEP by this time

:24:20.:24:23.

tomorrow and you won't have to do this job any more. You can then just

:24:24.:24:28.

count your salary and your expenses. I will make the contribution my

:24:29.:24:34.

party leader asked me to, to restore Britain to being a self-governing

:24:35.:24:37.

country. Are you going to stay in the job or not? I would not be able

:24:38.:24:42.

to do the job in the same way but I would maybe have some kind of

:24:43.:24:47.

overview. We will leave it there. Yesterday Michael Ashcroft, a former

:24:48.:24:55.

deputy chairman, produced a mammoth opinion poll of more than 26,000

:24:56.:25:01.

voters in 26 marginal constituencies, crucial seat that

:25:02.:25:04.

will decide the outcome of the general election next year. In 26

:25:05.:25:09.

constituencies people were asked which party's candidate they would

:25:10.:25:21.

support, and Labour took a healthy 12 point lead, implying a swing of

:25:22.:25:26.

6.5% from Conservatives to Labour from the last general election. That

:25:27.:25:35.

implies Labour would topple 83 Tory MPs. The poll also shows UKIP in

:25:36.:25:44.

second place in four seats, and three of them are Labour seats.

:25:45.:25:52.

Michael Ashcroft says a quarter of those who say they would vote UKIP

:25:53.:25:56.

supported the Tories at the last election. As many as have switched

:25:57.:26:00.

from Labour and the Lib Dems combined.

:26:01.:26:05.

The communities Secretary Eric Pickles joins me now. The Ashcroft

:26:06.:26:11.

Paul that gives Labour a massive 12 point lead in the crucial marginal

:26:12.:26:16.

constituencies, you would lose 83 MPs if this was repeated in an

:26:17.:26:21.

election. It doesn't get worse than that, does it? Yesterday I went

:26:22.:26:28.

through that Paul in great detail, and what it shows is that in a

:26:29.:26:33.

number of key seats we are ahead, and somewhere behind, and I think is

:26:34.:26:39.

Michael rightly shows... You are behind in most of them. This is a

:26:40.:26:43.

snapshot and we have a year in which the economy is going to be

:26:44.:26:48.

improving, and we have a year to say to those candidates that are

:26:49.:26:53.

fighting those key seats, look, just around the corner people are ahead

:26:54.:26:56.

in the same kind of seat as you and we need to redouble our efforts. The

:26:57.:27:05.

Tory brand is dying in major parts of the country, you are the walking

:27:06.:27:08.

dead in Scotland, and now London, huge chunks of London are becoming a

:27:09.:27:13.

no-go zone for you. That's not true with regard to the northern seats.

:27:14.:27:23.

Tell me what seats you have? In terms of councillors we are the

:27:24.:27:29.

largest party in local government. After four years in power... You are

:27:30.:27:33.

smiling but no political party has ever done that. You haven't got a

:27:34.:27:39.

single councillor in the great city of Manchester. We have councillors

:27:40.:27:46.

in Bradford and Leeds, we have more... You haven't got an MP in any

:27:47.:27:52.

of the big cities? We have more councillors in the north of England

:27:53.:27:56.

than Labour. A quarter of those who say they would vote UKIP and did

:27:57.:28:00.

vote UKIP supported the Tories at the last election. Why are so many

:28:01.:28:05.

of your 2010 voters now so disillusioned? Any election will

:28:06.:28:10.

bring a degree of churning, and we hope to get as many back as we can,

:28:11.:28:16.

but we also want to get Liberal Democrats, people who voted for the

:28:17.:28:21.

Lib Dems and the Labour Party. If we concentrate on one part of the

:28:22.:28:26.

electorate, then we won't take power and I believe we will because I

:28:27.:28:31.

believe we represent a wide spectrum of opinion in this country and I

:28:32.:28:36.

believe that delivering a long-term economic plan, delivering prosperity

:28:37.:28:40.

into people 's pockets will be felt. On the basis of the local election

:28:41.:28:45.

results, you would not pick up a single Labour seat in the general

:28:46.:28:50.

election. You make the point that it is about local elections. Seats that

:28:51.:28:57.

Labour should have taken from us they didn't, which is important... I

:28:58.:29:04.

am asking what possible Labour seat you would hope to win after the

:29:05.:29:10.

results on Thursday. Local elections are local elections. The national

:29:11.:29:13.

election will have a much bigger turnout, it will be one year from

:29:14.:29:19.

now, we will be able to demonstrate to the population that the trends we

:29:20.:29:23.

are seeing already in terms of the success of our long-term economic

:29:24.:29:28.

plan, they will be feeling that in their pockets. People need to feel

:29:29.:29:33.

secure about their jobs and feel that their children have a future.

:29:34.:29:38.

Maybe so many of your people are defecting to UKIP because on issues

:29:39.:29:42.

that they really care about like mass immigration, you don't keep

:29:43.:29:50.

your promises. We have reduced immigration and the

:29:51.:29:56.

amount of pull factors. Let me give you the figures. You have said a

:29:57.:30:03.

couple of things are not true. You promised to cut net immigration to

:30:04.:30:08.

under 100,000 by 2015, last year it rose by 50,000, 212,000. You have

:30:09.:30:16.

broken your promise. We still intend to reduce the amount from non-EU

:30:17.:30:22.

countries. I want to be clear, I have no problem with people coming

:30:23.:30:26.

here who want to work and pay their national insurance and tax, to help

:30:27.:30:34.

fund the health service. What I have objection to our people coming here

:30:35.:30:37.

to get the additional benefits. You made the promise. It is our

:30:38.:30:44.

intention to deliver it. People defect to UKIP because mainstream

:30:45.:30:50.

politicians to -- like yourself do not give straight answers. Can you

:30:51.:30:55.

be straight, you will not hit your immigration target by the election,

:30:56.:31:00.

correct? We will announce measures that. People factor. Will you hit

:31:01.:31:08.

your target? It is a year from now, it is our intention to move towards

:31:09.:31:14.

the target. Is it your intention, do you say you will hit your target of

:31:15.:31:19.

under 100,000 net migration by the election? We will do our damnedest.

:31:20.:31:26.

But you will not make it. I do not know that to be fact. They also vote

:31:27.:31:30.

UKIP cos they do not trust you and Europe, David Cameron has promised a

:31:31.:31:37.

referendum, he has vowed to resign if he does not deliver one, but

:31:38.:31:42.

still your voters vote for UKIP. There were reasons why people voted

:31:43.:31:47.

for UKIP. A great deal of anger about the political system, about

:31:48.:31:54.

the Metropolitan elite that they see running programmes like this and the

:31:55.:32:00.

political programmes. We need to listen to their concerns and address

:32:01.:32:04.

them. David Cameron has got a better record on delivery. He vetoed a

:32:05.:32:12.

treaty, he stopped us having to bail out the currency. Why are you likely

:32:13.:32:18.

to convert a night in the European elections? If you do come third, it

:32:19.:32:24.

will show they do not trust you on Europe. Next year, we will face a

:32:25.:32:32.

general election, about having money in people's pockets, about who will

:32:33.:32:36.

run the country. David Davis wants to China and get the voters to trust

:32:37.:32:43.

the Tories on the referendum, he was the pledge to be brought forward to

:32:44.:32:50.

2016. He is a clever guy. But if you are going to try to negotiate a

:32:51.:32:53.

better deal to give the population a better choice, you cannot do that in

:32:54.:33:00.

a year, you will require two years. You are an Essex MP, you know about

:33:01.:33:06.

Essex people, it must be depressing that they are now voting for UKIP. I

:33:07.:33:12.

do not have any UKIP in my constituency. I felt bad to see

:33:13.:33:18.

Basildon go down and to see the leader go down. Do you know why that

:33:19.:33:26.

is? The Tory party does not resonate with the Essex people in the way

:33:27.:33:30.

that the Margaret Thatcher party did. That is why you did not get a

:33:31.:33:35.

majority in 2010 and why you will not win in 2015. We need to connect

:33:36.:33:43.

better. They will want to know about their children's future, will they

:33:44.:33:48.

have a job, a good education? When it comes to electing a national

:33:49.:33:52.

government, they do not want to see Ed Miliband in office. They are

:33:53.:33:58.

voting for Nigel Farage. In terms of what government you get, do you want

:33:59.:34:02.

to see David Cameron in number ten or Ed Miliband? Essex will want to

:34:03.:34:09.

see David Cameron. You only got 36% of the vote four years ago, your

:34:10.:34:15.

party, occurs you did not get the Essex people in the same numbers,

:34:16.:34:20.

like John Major or Margaret Thatcher did. You need more than 36% in 2015

:34:21.:34:28.

to win the election. On Thursday, your share was 29%. We were 2%

:34:29.:34:34.

behind Labour. They did not do very well either. A year before, -- a

:34:35.:34:42.

year before the election in 1997, they were on 43%. It is highly

:34:43.:34:49.

deliver the votes. We have a campaign looking at the marginals.

:34:50.:34:54.

We know exactly where we are not doing as well as we should be. I am

:34:55.:35:00.

a big fan of Michael Ashcroft. Do you think he does this to be

:35:01.:35:04.

helpful? He is a great man and a good conservative, I am a good

:35:05.:35:10.

friend of his. I think that his publication was one of the best

:35:11.:35:13.

things that happened to the party. You got 36% of the vote last time,

:35:14.:35:21.

you are down to 29, you need 38 or 39, you would get that if you had a

:35:22.:35:27.

pact with UKIP. There will be no pact. I am a Democrat. It is like a

:35:28.:35:34.

market stall, you should put your policies out there and you should

:35:35.:35:38.

not try to fix the market. Would you stop a local pact? There will be no

:35:39.:35:50.

pact with UKIP. None. It has just gone 11:35am. We say

:35:51.:35:53.

goodbye to Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

:35:54.:36:07.

in Northern Ireland. It's all over bar the shouting for

:36:08.:36:16.

the council elections anyway. All 462 seats in the 11 new super

:36:17.:36:20.

councils have been declared, while the parties and the pundits continue

:36:21.:36:23.

to pore over their spreadsheets to determine the full implications of

:36:24.:36:29.

Thursday's poll. There were no major shifts, smaller parties and

:36:30.:36:32.

independents have become a bigger part of the picture, the Ulster

:36:33.:36:35.

Unionists made gain, the DUP and SDLP have less to celebrate while

:36:36.:36:44.

Sinn Fein's vote decreased slightly. We'll hear from the five main

:36:45.:36:48.

parties shortly and assess what the results might mean for politics here

:36:49.:36:50.

in the next 12 months with Professor Rick Wilford from Queen's

:36:51.:36:54.

University. Let's have a look at how the parties

:36:55.:36:58.

stand at the end of the counting. The overall picture, as far as first

:36:59.:37:01.

preference votes is concerned, saw Sinn Fein on top with 24% and the

:37:02.:37:09.

DUP with 23%. The Ulster Unionists secured 16% with the SDLP on 13.5%.

:37:10.:37:14.

Alliance polled just under 7% of the vote. The changes from the 2011

:37:15.:37:21.

local government elections show Sinn Fein with a slight drop, the DUP

:37:22.:37:25.

dipping by 4%, the UUP up by nearly 1% and the SDLP down by 1.5%.

:37:26.:37:30.

Looking at the overall seats table we see the DUP on top with 130

:37:31.:37:34.

seats, Sinn Fein with 105, UUP with 88 and the SDLP with 66. Then comes

:37:35.:37:47.

Alliance with 32 seats and Jim Allister's TUV with 13 seats. Rick

:37:48.:37:53.

Wilford has been monitoring the results as they've come in over the

:37:54.:37:59.

weekend and he's with me now. You have been poring over at your

:38:00.:38:04.

spreadsheet. What do you think the big story is? Sinn Fein are ahead in

:38:05.:38:11.

the populist vote by the DUP are ahead in the seat count. That has

:38:12.:38:16.

reproduced the performance at the Assembly election at the Westminster

:38:17.:38:21.

election and the European election, where Sinn Fein has topped the

:38:22.:38:28.

polling. As always, with any election, some parties would have

:38:29.:38:31.

reasons to be cheerful and others will have reasons to be cheered

:38:32.:38:41.

less. There is no growth and there suggests that there has been no

:38:42.:38:45.

doubts from the arrest of Gerry Adams. -- balance. He was talking

:38:46.:38:51.

about the electorate being Hellenized but that has not

:38:52.:39:00.

happened. It might -- galvanised. There could be wary that this could

:39:01.:39:05.

have an effect on the outcome of the European election, where eyes

:39:06.:39:12.

suspect that votes will go to Jim Nicholson to get him over the line.

:39:13.:39:19.

The party that has taken the biggest hit is the SDLP. This is it weakest

:39:20.:39:24.

performance during the post-agreement. Since 1998. The

:39:25.:39:32.

trend for them is downwards. It is Alastair McDonald's first election

:39:33.:39:36.

since the coming leader of the partly -- party. A tide could be

:39:37.:39:46.

turning for the UUP, but they will be cheered by this. They will argue

:39:47.:39:52.

that they have turned a corner. The other parties more or less are

:39:53.:39:58.

stable. It is no great seismic change here. But of course, one of

:39:59.:40:02.

the outcomes is the balance of parties in the councils, and no

:40:03.:40:06.

single party has had an overall majority in any counsel, and that

:40:07.:40:13.

means there will not be a premium on trying to make difficult decisions

:40:14.:40:16.

that they are going to have to make over the next 12 months. We have

:40:17.:40:21.

also seen a lot of smaller parties not doing well. That is very often

:40:22.:40:26.

the case at local government level. We have seen two things that have

:40:27.:40:29.

been striking, for agreeing the counselors, and 13 for the TUV. --

:40:30.:40:44.

for greener counselors. This could cause a bit of a wobble

:40:45.:40:48.

in the DUP because they will be concerned about whether this is the

:40:49.:40:51.

beginning of growth. The PUD has done well as well and they have

:40:52.:40:57.

tripled their vote since the last election. That demonstrates the

:40:58.:41:03.

outcome of very hard work and voter registration, particularly in West

:41:04.:41:08.

Belfast. The Green Party has quadrupled. The other party out like

:41:09.:41:16.

to mention is the Alliance Party. They seemed to weather the storm.

:41:17.:41:20.

They slipped a bit, not much. I think they are through the worst of

:41:21.:41:27.

it. We will see. Thank you very much indeed. We'll hear more from you

:41:28.:41:35.

later. Those were the main themes of the election. Our reporter has been

:41:36.:41:38.

looking back at how the story developed once counting got underway

:41:39.:41:39.

on Friday morning. Elections throw up drama by their

:41:40.:42:08.

very nature. It is always a story of who are the winners and two are the

:42:09.:42:13.

losers, but this campaign was all the more remarkable for producing a

:42:14.:42:17.

shock even before the balance were counted. The -- balance. A story was

:42:18.:42:22.

provided that no-one predicted. Hours before polling day, one party

:42:23.:42:28.

was torn apart in a row about we designation and allegations of

:42:29.:42:32.

improper behaviour by the leader, which he denies. Of the parties 47

:42:33.:42:38.

candidates, on the one was a successful. The transfer the -- only

:42:39.:42:48.

one. The transfer put me ahead of the DUP and made sure about my seat

:42:49.:42:52.

and counsel which I am grateful for. The Ulster Unionist vote has gone up

:42:53.:42:58.

and they have won seats with new candidates. It was also good for the

:42:59.:43:03.

TUV party. But within the Unionist party, it is clear all is not well.

:43:04.:43:10.

He never attacked Sinn Fein. He never attacked the SDLP. You are

:43:11.:43:16.

absolutely pathetic. The only person you have attacked... I am not in bed

:43:17.:43:26.

with Sinn Fein. A lack of harmony is not confined to unionism. Between

:43:27.:43:30.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP, the issue of votes transfer is in this election

:43:31.:43:36.

has caused tension. Why did you not encourage your voters to give

:43:37.:43:41.

preferences to the SDLP, and other pro-agreement party? You were asked

:43:42.:43:45.

that several times and you never answered. You never said, yes, that

:43:46.:43:50.

is what people should do. I do not have any confidence in the SDLP. It

:43:51.:43:54.

is absolutely outrageous that he would say that. We know anecdotally

:43:55.:44:00.

on the grounds that Sinn Fein people have been saying, do not vote for

:44:01.:44:07.

Alex Atwood, just vote for Martina Anderson. In Belfast, there was much

:44:08.:44:12.

focus on how the Alliance Party would fare after the plaque -- flag

:44:13.:44:17.

protests. A much talked about voter backlash never materialised. It is

:44:18.:44:23.

very clear that despite the fact that a meltdown was predicted it did

:44:24.:44:27.

not come. The people of Belfast know that we have served them properly

:44:28.:44:30.

and with respect and dignity and they have shown that in the polling

:44:31.:44:34.

today. The smaller parties will have a voice and a new councils,

:44:35.:44:38.

including UKIP, the Green Party and the PEP. In Derry where the SDLP had

:44:39.:44:47.

problems, this man topped the poll in his area. I believe I got my

:44:48.:44:51.

votes from a broad spectrum of people, particularly those who are

:44:52.:44:55.

dissatisfied with the political parties and believe that they are

:44:56.:45:00.

not represented their best interests. This has been about the

:45:01.:45:04.

most dramatic change in local government for 40 years. Now we know

:45:05.:45:08.

who controls our 11 new councils. They have new powers in key

:45:09.:45:12.

decisions to make on planning, services and budgets. The elections

:45:13.:45:14.

are over, but many battles lie ahead.

:45:15.:45:31.

With me in the studio are the Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt, the

:45:32.:45:34.

deputy leader of the Alliance Party, Naomi Long, the SDLP leader,

:45:35.:45:36.

Alasdair McDonnell, Niall Donnghaile from Sinn Fein, and from our Foyle

:45:37.:45:40.

studio we're joined by the DUP's Gregory Campbell. Thank you all.

:45:41.:45:45.

Mike Nesbitt, your colleague Danny Kennedy concluded yesterday with a

:45:46.:45:47.

claim that you had won this election. Nobody denies you've done

:45:48.:45:50.

better than many people thought you would, but you what you've managed

:45:51.:45:54.

to do is to stop the rot. We have started the revival. I said that

:45:55.:45:57.

when I've put myself up for leadership I would offer to leave

:45:58.:45:59.

the party through to electoral cycle. This is a cycle one. We have

:46:00.:46:05.

achieved three things. We are stable for the first time in living

:46:06.:46:10.

memory, we have two build departure lines to build that, but we are

:46:11.:46:15.

stable. We have taken the off this narrative that we are in terminal

:46:16.:46:19.

decline. Thirdly, we wanted to growth, and if you look at votes

:46:20.:46:24.

cast, percentage votes and seats one, we have started to grow, and as

:46:25.:46:30.

Eisai, that is phase one of cycle one and it will be a long process.

:46:31.:46:43.

-- and as I've say. You can put it in a certain context if you are

:46:44.:46:47.

begrudging. You have done better than many people thought you would

:46:48.:46:52.

do. I am just pointing out the facts. By inputting it into context

:46:53.:46:57.

and trying to understand what has been achieved. -- I am putting it

:46:58.:47:01.

into context. Ulster Unionists will be looking at the scoreboard in the

:47:02.:47:05.

newspapers and they will be motivated and we are on a journey

:47:06.:47:09.

and it is an upward journey and a positive journey.

:47:10.:47:12.

Gregory Campbell, Sammy Wilson described the result as

:47:13.:47:14.

disappointing in places blaming Jim Allister's European candidate

:47:15.:47:17.

profile and the switch to the right of the UUP. Agree? I think that is a

:47:18.:47:36.

reasonably accurate assessment. The European election nationally was

:47:37.:47:43.

dominated by UKIP and the anti-European feeling, which we are

:47:44.:47:48.

a part of, and of course, Jeb Allister entering the phrase as well

:47:49.:47:53.

as the smaller parties, and that resulted in what we have described

:47:54.:47:58.

as a shredding of the Unionist vote. That is bad enough in a public

:47:59.:48:02.

relations election, but some people were saying, as long as people

:48:03.:48:06.

transfer, that does not result in shredding, but you never get the

:48:07.:48:11.

position where 100% of voters going out to vote for a smaller candidate

:48:12.:48:15.

alternates for themselves, and we saw evidence of that yesterday, they

:48:16.:48:19.

do not transfer to other parties, so there is a degree of shredding no

:48:20.:48:25.

matter what people say. We have to look at the analysis over the next

:48:26.:48:29.

few weeks, look at areas where there might have been too many

:48:30.:48:32.

candidates. Our vote was excellent and in many areas it was

:48:33.:48:36.

tremendous. We started at a very high plateau to retain that was very

:48:37.:48:43.

good. We had a slight rock. I think -- I think that the one thing Mike

:48:44.:48:50.

doesn't want to do is become known as 0.1% Nesbitt. He is seeing the

:48:51.:49:00.

funny side of that. You are ahead in terms of seats, with 130, but a lot

:49:01.:49:04.

of people predicted you should have coming closer to 140, and her party

:49:05.:49:09.

leader said you could have won a few more seats, but in terms of the

:49:10.:49:13.

popular vote, you are 6000 behind Shin pain. We are the biggest party

:49:14.:49:19.

-- Sinn Fein. We are the biggest party and we have more seats than

:49:20.:49:24.

anyone else. Not the terms of the popular vote. It dispels any notion

:49:25.:49:30.

of complacency. I have always argued for this. We always need to say, as

:49:31.:49:35.

soon as the election is over, you know cool down and prepare for the

:49:36.:49:40.

next one and see where you can put fewer candidates and get a bigger

:49:41.:49:44.

vote in various areas, and there are numbers of areas where we can learn

:49:45.:49:51.

lessons. We held up tremendously given that we are at a high plateau.

:49:52.:49:55.

We always have to remember the relative aspect of the response this

:49:56.:49:59.

time compared to the previous election and the key is to build on

:50:00.:50:05.

this for the next election. A bit disappointing as far as the

:50:06.:50:12.

Sinn Fein was concerned? It could have been a nightmare, but it proved

:50:13.:50:19.

difficult for us, and people wanted to continue to have a Sinn Fein

:50:20.:50:24.

voice in a part of the city that has seen some purging negative

:50:25.:50:28.

leadership in the last couple of years. -- pretty negative. It was a

:50:29.:50:32.

good result for the party in Belfast. The arrest of Gerry Adams,

:50:33.:50:39.

some of the people in the party thought that would galvanize the

:50:40.:50:43.

support for Sinn Fein. We will see how that goes. We look at the party

:50:44.:50:49.

and we look to see how we do overall, and Sinn Fein has bounced

:50:50.:51:04.

and are doing very well. It was disappointing that you did

:51:05.:51:07.

not get the seats that many people thought you would get based on your

:51:08.:51:11.

performance last time. I think it is a bit harsh to say that it is

:51:12.:51:16.

disappointing. We are the third largest party in Belfast city

:51:17.:51:19.

Council. A wipe-out was being predicted, so the fact that we held

:51:20.:51:24.

our ground in a very testing 18 months for the Alliance Party as

:51:25.:51:27.

actually good for the party. There are places where, due to boundary

:51:28.:51:33.

changes, we did not convert those votes into seats, and that is a

:51:34.:51:37.

change -- shame, even in Belfast where we were ahead in the popular

:51:38.:51:47.

votes. That is always unfortunate. I am very pleased in terms of the

:51:48.:51:51.

performance of the party, not just in Belfast, but also in other

:51:52.:51:57.

places, where we have two counselors elected in two different councils,

:51:58.:52:00.

which is a real step forward to us and gives us the ability to build.

:52:01.:52:06.

Think there is opportunity there for Alliance. Not what we would have

:52:07.:52:10.

liked at the high water mark but we managed not to be wiped out as

:52:11.:52:17.

everybody protected. I am sure you heard part -- talk about it if you

:52:18.:52:27.

did not, there was talk of being on notice in East Belfast. There is

:52:28.:52:33.

talk that you cannot hold onto the seat. Peter Robinson is never

:52:34.:52:37.

someone who has been accused of grace under pressure. When I was

:52:38.:52:42.

elected in 2003, he predicted that the Alliance Party was finished and

:52:43.:52:46.

we would have to scrape the barrel to find a candidate and I think he

:52:47.:52:51.

took that the -- and I think he was wrong. I proved we did not have to

:52:52.:52:55.

scrape the bottom of the barrel. He has not done the sums very well. He

:52:56.:53:00.

did not say the DUP would take the seat. The person he was going to be

:53:01.:53:07.

my successor was pleading with other unionists including those who have

:53:08.:53:10.

beaten him up physically and metaphorically, begging them to form

:53:11.:53:15.

a pact, because they are in a firefight. They could not beat me. I

:53:16.:53:20.

would simply caution them. They tried that against a predecessor. We

:53:21.:53:27.

might come onto that issue a bit later. You would have heard and not

:53:28.:53:33.

like the comments from the professor 's saying this is not an auspicious

:53:34.:53:39.

start to your leadership of the SDLP and the downward trend continues as

:53:40.:53:43.

far as her party is concerned. I am very pleased with the outcome of the

:53:44.:53:47.

election as far as the SDLP is concerned. I set out to renew the

:53:48.:53:52.

party and rebuild the party and I am very happy and I want to thank the

:53:53.:53:57.

candidates for the success that we have had. We have 66 council seats.

:53:58.:54:03.

The pendants were predicting 66 or 67. -- dependence.

:54:04.:54:08.

We have mustered up the level that I anticipated and we now have 40%

:54:09.:54:22.

women are preventing us. 26 out of 66. When you look at the graph.

:54:23.:54:30.

2005... You asked me a question and I am trying to answer it. 40% of our

:54:31.:54:37.

counselors are new as well. -- candidates. Some of them are

:54:38.:54:41.

younger. The party is renewing. This has been the greatest change in the

:54:42.:54:45.

SDLP in its existence and it is working, and the fact that we might

:54:46.:54:51.

have slipped up and others have made mistakes is not all that relevant in

:54:52.:54:54.

the overall plan of things, because we were build on what we have got

:54:55.:54:58.

here and we will go forwards and the people that we have brought in, so

:54:59.:55:03.

many of them are capable of being Assembly candidates. I am delighted

:55:04.:55:10.

with them. They may not be in big the -- as big a number as they have

:55:11.:55:14.

been in the past. The local government in 2005 you had 17%, and

:55:15.:55:19.

then in the last election you had 50% and that is now 13.5%. There is

:55:20.:55:25.

a clear downward trend. Mike Nesbitt is delighted about that. Quite

:55:26.:55:32.

simply, everyone has a downward trend. Sorry, Mike Nesbitt has

:55:33.:55:41.

picked up 0.9%. Fine. That is not a downward trend. I think the Green

:55:42.:55:47.

Party is up and the TUV is up. All the other major parties are under

:55:48.:55:52.

pressure except for the Ulster Unionist party. We have the

:55:53.:55:57.

potential to build and buy them in the process of rebuilding. It is not

:55:58.:56:01.

going to happen overnight. When I got elected I said it would take

:56:02.:56:06.

four or five years. The SDLP is more concerned about what they can

:56:07.:56:09.

produce and what they can deliver going forward than the numbers. The

:56:10.:56:15.

biggest party does not always deliver the best results. How does

:56:16.:56:21.

point the -- how the 0.9% Mike Nesbitt sound? Our target was 78, we

:56:22.:56:31.

got 88. Gregory should be lucky and thankful we only got 0.9% swing,

:56:32.:56:35.

because if we have got more than that, we would be wiping the DUP

:56:36.:56:40.

out. You took a little nibble out around the age. The -- around the

:56:41.:56:47.

edge. My good colleague who got elected for the last time received a

:56:48.:56:53.

tweet today saying that he could not annoy -- saying that you could not

:56:54.:56:57.

annoying us today. That is just step one. What happens now is the mark

:56:58.:57:03.

let's talk about PACs and the broader Unionist position. The --

:57:04.:57:09.

what happens now? It has to be on your radar at this stage. The only

:57:10.:57:14.

thing on the radar at this stage Army is tomorrow. Then we will look

:57:15.:57:25.

at it. The -- at this stage before me. It is important to get Jim

:57:26.:57:29.

across the line and then analyse the results. If you look at the results

:57:30.:57:33.

he got in Belfast, you will realise that Peter Robinson was talking

:57:34.:57:39.

nonsense yesterday. He got the big results in East Belfast? Jim Rogers

:57:40.:57:44.

and Sonia Copeland, two Ulster Unionists. If there is going to be a

:57:45.:57:51.

United candidate it is going to be in Ulster Unionists. Peter Robinson

:57:52.:57:55.

is not going to win the seat back next year. He has made it clear he

:57:56.:58:04.

is not going to stand again. The DUP lusted for unionism (and they are

:58:05.:58:09.

not going to win it back -- got lost it for unionism last time and they

:58:10.:58:15.

are not going to win it back. You cannot pretend you are not thinking

:58:16.:58:20.

about issues like PACs in East Belfast and maybe Fermanagh. Of

:58:21.:58:23.

course you are. You think I can't sit here and deny that? You just

:58:24.:58:30.

indicated it was in your mind. You made an opening page! I have not.

:58:31.:58:36.

I'd just stated the facts that there will be a full analysis. Did that

:58:37.:58:42.

sound like a pitch for an Ulster Unionists agreed candidate to you? I

:58:43.:58:51.

think 0.9% Nesbitt needs to go back. You are minus .04% if you want to

:58:52.:59:02.

play that game. Looking at people trying to turn a minus into a plus,

:59:03.:59:06.

I am not going to do that, but let's look at this, Naomi's totally

:59:07.:59:11.

disgraceful comments right now, they indicate where the pressure is

:59:12.:59:15.

coming towards Naomi. If we look at the overall the gears, you can talk

:59:16.:59:21.

about single candidates topping the poll -- overall figures. Would you

:59:22.:59:26.

have to do is look at the number of votes for each party in east Belfast

:59:27.:59:32.

and you do not come out with Alliance Party being top, that is

:59:33.:59:38.

absolutely crystal clear, and what she said about Gavin Robinson was

:59:39.:59:40.

disgraceful and incorrect, and I think she should with draw it

:59:41.:59:49.

unequivocally. I'm sorry, I was at his acceptance speech in City Hall

:59:50.:59:52.

last night when he made his opening pitch and pleaded with the other

:59:53.:59:58.

Unionists to side with the DUP. That was very clear. I was in the room

:59:59.:00:02.

and I've heard that. It was begging. More importantly... Let's hear what

:00:03.:00:08.

she has to say. I wonder what the people of East Belfast make of it

:00:09.:00:13.

this morning, because with absolute disregard for their vote. When I was

:00:14.:00:17.

elected, Peter Robinson said that I had borrowed the seat, ignoring the

:00:18.:00:22.

popular mandate that I had received from the electorate. Now we have to

:00:23.:00:26.

Unionist parties bickering over which of them will tell the people

:00:27.:00:30.

of East doth asked who to elect. I have more confidence in the people

:00:31.:00:35.

of East Belfast. The -- East Belfast who to elect. I will work the seat

:00:36.:00:40.

as they have over the last four years over the next year, and I

:00:41.:00:45.

believe that I will leave it in the hands of the people of East Belfast,

:00:46.:00:48.

but when it comes to a fair fight, Ivy League Alliance is as likely to

:00:49.:00:53.

the -- as anyone else the -- I believe Alliance is as likely as

:00:54.:00:57.

anyone else to take the seat. You are not the latest party in East

:00:58.:01:01.

Belfast. Through this discussion on. You are a counsellor to one of the

:01:02.:01:07.

new super councils. How difficult is it going to be on the ground for

:01:08.:01:12.

these new councils to actually make important decisions on important

:01:13.:01:15.

issues? You are going to have more responsibilities than you had in the

:01:16.:01:22.

past and there is quite a bit of fragmentation. There now is greater

:01:23.:01:25.

representation for the TUV, for UKIP, the Green Party, and your

:01:26.:01:30.

party leader yesterday, on our coverage, told me he had no

:01:31.:01:35.

confidence whatsoever in the SDLP, so you can't even get on with your

:01:36.:01:38.

fellow nationalists. I want to bring it back to the last point. As a

:01:39.:01:43.

voter in East golf asked, we have a current MP the -- East Belfast, and

:01:44.:01:50.

we have a current MP and he is being attacked. The gallery is being

:01:51.:01:58.

played to. I don't think Peter Robinson or Gavin Robinson or anyone

:01:59.:02:01.

else has done that and they think they should. With the greatest of

:02:02.:02:08.

respect, they are not here to defend themselves. They have been clear

:02:09.:02:13.

that have condemned... Totally and unequivocally. Why can't the DUP

:02:14.:02:23.

stand on the same road with Tammy Long questionnaire it is a pity for

:02:24.:02:29.

the people across the -- with Naomi Long? It is a pity for the people of

:02:30.:02:35.

East Belfast. They might have had reasons not to go but they made

:02:36.:02:38.

clear their condemnation. Maybe you had reasons to go but not the -- but

:02:39.:02:43.

let's not go down that road. I don't think the First Minister would say

:02:44.:02:49.

that he didn't... In terms of the councils... Exactly. Let's deal with

:02:50.:02:55.

the issue of the councils. I think even without the formation of the

:02:56.:02:58.

super councils, Belfast city Council, despite the ad press in

:02:59.:03:02.

recent times, have proven what we can deliver. The -- bad press. We

:03:03.:03:08.

have delivered an investment plan that is making an impact across the

:03:09.:03:12.

city and we have delivered 200 additional jobs across the city

:03:13.:03:16.

Council. In many ways, the new counsel will relish the opportunity

:03:17.:03:19.

and we will have to take some time to find our feet. I think the

:03:20.:03:23.

parties have proven we can work together and I think it will make

:03:24.:03:27.

for an interesting counsel. Under that management was not great in

:03:28.:03:33.

certain places. We have a people before profit counsellor in West

:03:34.:03:36.

Belfast at the expense of a Sinn Fein counsellor, an independent

:03:37.:03:40.

Republican who is an arch critic of a Sinn Fein president political and

:03:41.:03:44.

peace progress. Did you get it wrong? In Belfast, it is no mean

:03:45.:03:52.

feat to get the counsellor 's election -- elected anyway that we

:03:53.:03:58.

did. In Gary, you are talking about someone who is opposed to the

:03:59.:04:01.

political and peace strategy, and along time we have been the -- and

:04:02.:04:07.

for a long time we have been encouraging them. You have been

:04:08.:04:10.

encouraging them in not getting elected. Gary has a mandate. You

:04:11.:04:15.

have been saying that these people represent no-one and don't have a

:04:16.:04:20.

mandate. I will say this, we have been saying this to the media quite

:04:21.:04:23.

sick the -- consistently, the next time there is an incident like this,

:04:24.:04:33.

maybe a microphone could be but into these purposes it is as opposed to

:04:34.:04:37.

Sinn Fein. How do you think these new councils are going to work? How

:04:38.:04:42.

much cooperation will there be on the ground between Sinn Fein and the

:04:43.:04:46.

STL P, whenever Gerry Adams is a -- said what he did yesterday. Your

:04:47.:04:54.

colleague was incensed by that. I think it is time to move on into the

:04:55.:05:01.

future. A lot of people in Sinn Fein do not have much confidence in Gerry

:05:02.:05:06.

Adams, to be quite blunt, but that is a matter for them to sort out. He

:05:07.:05:11.

fled West Belfast and had not done very much for 20 years. He fled, did

:05:12.:05:17.

the chicken run on that when he found out that he was being run out

:05:18.:05:22.

of West Belfast. The point is this, the point is that we have to go

:05:23.:05:28.

forward from here. These new councils, we have to put forward a

:05:29.:05:32.

partnership, and there have to be partnerships at all levels, and

:05:33.:05:40.

those partnerships should not be thought of that they should be

:05:41.:05:44.

partnerships for the benefit of people. The -- should not be... They

:05:45.:05:49.

should be for the partnerships for the benefit of people. People are

:05:50.:05:53.

looking for a bit more social justice, they are looking for

:05:54.:05:57.

prosperity, and none of those things have fully emerged yet. The councils

:05:58.:06:02.

have a major problem. They are not as important as Stormont. The

:06:03.:06:05.

councils have an opportunity to facilitate a lot of development and

:06:06.:06:11.

a lot of the quality of life at local level, and we all have an

:06:12.:06:14.

obligation around this table and Gregory as well, we all have an

:06:15.:06:19.

obligation to deliver for the people there. It is about the product that

:06:20.:06:24.

we put out, not ourselves. Is that going to happen on the ground? Will

:06:25.:06:28.

that work? Will these new councils deal with these issues, or are

:06:29.:06:35.

Unionists going to go in there and make a big issue of flying the Union

:06:36.:06:40.

flag and talking about locking mechanisms? The constitutional

:06:41.:06:48.

issues... What we should be focusing on his education, the economy,

:06:49.:06:51.

health and housing, the things that affect people when they wake up in

:06:52.:06:54.

the morning and frustrate them when they go to bed at night. We have to

:06:55.:06:59.

cooperate not just with unionists, but with the SDLP, Sinn Fein,

:07:00.:07:03.

Alliance, we have to deliver for other people. You are happy with the

:07:04.:07:08.

constitutional position and that it is settled, and that the flying as

:07:09.:07:13.

the -- flag is flying a properly, you are OK with that, but if it is

:07:14.:07:18.

not, you get vexed. Some people get it set about it and some are more

:07:19.:07:22.

lax 's get upset about it and some are more relaxed. It is important --

:07:23.:07:30.

upset about it and some are of about your happy with designated days to

:07:31.:07:34.

stop I have talked about designated plus, a number of days rate is

:07:35.:07:38.

appropriate when you can... I am not here today to talk about

:07:39.:07:50.

the flag. And here to deliver. We have taken our candidates and we

:07:51.:07:55.

have been offering them advice on planning powers, which is the

:07:56.:07:58.

biggest single new power, economic development, we are going to

:07:59.:08:03.

continue to work with experts to power up our counselors. I

:08:04.:08:07.

understand that. Gregory, are you going to take a relaxed attitude to

:08:08.:08:10.

the flying of flags in these new councils? I do not think I agree

:08:11.:08:15.

with him and I do not think he should get obsessed with the flag.

:08:16.:08:19.

In the capital city, the flag should fly every day of the year, and that

:08:20.:08:23.

all of the other councils, the flag should fly as many days as possible.

:08:24.:08:28.

This is what happens in the rest of the UK. But let's not concentrate on

:08:29.:08:35.

flags. Will that not be an issue for the DB best record DUP? -- for the

:08:36.:08:42.

time two? Are you saying you will be moderation all around? We tend to go

:08:43.:08:48.

for the maximum output for unionism, and that is what we will do. Let's

:08:49.:08:57.

get back... Our position has been to utterly condemn violence and we

:08:58.:09:01.

don't take lessons from Sinn Fein and became more strongly condemn

:09:02.:09:04.

Sinn Fein for their past record. Naomi, I want to give you the final

:09:05.:09:08.

words on the flag issue. Are you hopeful that that is going to be

:09:09.:09:13.

dealt with quickly and easily, or could it be, the book that these new

:09:14.:09:19.

councils get caught on? I hope it does not, and that is why in the

:09:20.:09:22.

house process and the local government reform bill in the

:09:23.:09:25.

Assembly we try to resolve that issue so it would not become a

:09:26.:09:29.

sticking block in all of the councils. What the flag issue has

:09:30.:09:33.

done, and I've think both parties need to think about this, it has

:09:34.:09:37.

breathed new life into the pan two, and that is not good for the Ulster

:09:38.:09:43.

Unionists. The -- the DUP. Thank you for your contributions.

:09:44.:09:48.

There's no question that politics, and the election in particular,

:09:49.:09:51.

dominated the past week, and while some people might look on from the

:09:52.:09:55.

sidelines with cynics' eyes, for those involved in putting their

:09:56.:09:58.

names on the ballot papers it can be an emotional time, as this look back

:09:59.:10:00.

demonstrates very well. A final word from Rick Wilford.

:10:01.:11:28.

Let's talk briefly about whether or not some prounion approach to pack

:11:29.:11:34.

making is likely to be on the agenda. I think the door is open at

:11:35.:11:39.

this stage in I suspect probably in the wake of the results tomorrow at

:11:40.:11:43.

the European election, I think there will be some... The Westminster

:11:44.:11:50.

election is going to be a real bear pit. I'd expect they will do the

:11:51.:11:55.

same in South Belfast. The door is ajar. Every politician you talk to

:11:56.:12:02.

seems to be for the happy about how things went. There have been no

:12:03.:12:09.

catastrophes. A small earthquake in Chile, that is the way someone could

:12:10.:12:12.

sum it up. There are winners and losers. The important thing is a

:12:13.:12:22.

tone of the new local councils, the super councils. If it takes from

:12:23.:12:28.

what is going on at the top, as dictating the tone, you get this

:12:29.:12:32.

trickle down politics, which is very sour, bitter, and I think that is

:12:33.:12:41.

not going to fix the smooth take-off and transition. If, on the other

:12:42.:12:45.

hand, there is a determination among the parties to work in a bottom-up

:12:46.:12:48.

way and trying to engage in politics, then maybe... As my

:12:49.:12:55.

grandfather used to say, we live in hope and die in despair. What can we

:12:56.:13:01.

expect from the results tomorrow? Same and three. I've think Alex

:13:02.:13:09.

Atwood will lose out. Acting table of votes will go to the -- I think

:13:10.:13:14.

many of its will go to Jim Nicholson.

:13:15.:13:22.

That's it for now. Join me tomorrow for all the latest on the European

:13:23.:13:25.

election count from the King's Hall from 2:15pm on BBC Two. Until then,

:13:26.:13:27.

from everyone in the team, goodbye. Voting has taken place

:13:28.:14:06.

in the European Parliament election and BBC News NI will bring you the

:14:07.:14:09.

results live from the count centre. With reaction, expert analysis

:14:10.:14:14.

and a chance to have your say,

:14:15.:14:18.

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