25/05/2014 Sunday Politics West


With David Garmston. 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


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


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


catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the


UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the


And in the West: Have Labour lost henhouse.


And in the West: Have Labour lost the plot? They blew it in some


target seats in the local elections including Swindon and Gloucdster.


Will Ed Miliband turn things round by next year?


disappeared, UKIP failed to show. More analysis in just over half an


hour. Cooped up in the Sunday Politics


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


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


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


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


country. Members of the European Parliament will face a similar


comment when the results are announced tonight. A small but


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


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


People know that locally we worked incredibly hard on their councils


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


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


significant issues that are the core values of our party.


This is how the party president responded.


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


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


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


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


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


and a full conference. Is there a growing question over


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


students are going to university, and more from disadvantaged


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


left-wing voters who defect had towards the Labour Party in 201


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


conservative house. What we are seeing is an operation to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but it produced enough shock waves to discombobulated the established


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


watched it all unfold. Behind the scenes of any election


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


logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed


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


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


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


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


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


electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Republicans found in the presidential elections. Patrick


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


a very different attitude to mass uncontrolled immigration. Londoners


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


round bitching about Ed Miliband have been doing that before the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


their children's future and prospects, they feel frightened


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


massive enthusiast for that interview taking place at all. I


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


opinion poll of more than 26,00 voters in 26 marginal


constituencies, crucial seat that will decide the outcome of the


general election next year. In 6 constituencies people were asked


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


combined. The communities Secretary Eric


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


point lead in the crucial marginal constituencies, you would lose 3


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


mass immigration, you don't keep your promises.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


did. You need more than 36% in 015 to win the election. On Thursday,


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


well either. A year before, -- a year before the election in 199 ,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Good morning and welcome to the coordinator Paddy Ashdown. First,


Good morning and welcome to the Sunday Politics here in the West. We


are live here on BBC One to discuss the outcome of the local eldctions


and to look ahead to the European results which will be known in a few


short hours. One thing is cdrtain ` it wasn't a great night for Labour


in the local authority polls. Yes, they made some modest gains, but


they blew it in Swindon and Gloucester where victory was within


their grasp. And the reason was the UKIP effect.


And joining me this Sunday lorning to talk about votes, immigr`tion,


gaffes and all things UKIP `re four political figures from the south


west. Paul Hodgkinson for the Liberal Democrats. Thangam


Debbonaire for Labour. Neil Hamilton from the UK Independence Party. And


Peter Wright from the Conservatives. Let's start by looking ahead to the


big story of tonight when wd find out the results of those European


elections. The turnout here in the South West is the lowest since 999


despite the wall`to`wall publicity. Neil Hamilton, doesn't this just


prove people don't feel as strongly as you do about Europe? It hs true


the European elections are ` minority sport. I do not know what


the actual turnout has been but around the country probably in the


low 30s at most. You make ott the whole country is up in arms about


the European Union but in f`ct they do not even vote. It is the


consequences of the European Union for them in their daily livds. So


why do they not vote? You would have to ask them. I certainly voted and


UKIP has been bringing back into the political system people who had


given up voting for many ye`rs. Much of our support last year was people


who had not voted for any other party in the past. There was talk


about deporting Europeans who have been here for six months and have


not got work. Is there a danger of actually chasing UKIP to thd right?


I think we have to wait and see the exact details. I have only heard


this briefly this morning. Would you approve? I think people are


concerned about immigration as an issue. It comes up time and again.


But throwing them out is solething else. We would have to see how


feasible business impact is under current law. Theresa May sahd this


morning she would examine that and if necessary work with European


partners to see how we can lake that situation better. Because there is


appealing that we need to do more on this issue. What would happdn if you


get beaten by UKIP tonight hn the European polls? I think this


discussion about being beatdn by UKIP is extraordinary. On Thursday


their vote share went down. In Bristol Bay took one seat, just one.


We did well in many councils across the South West. You have not taken


them seriously, they have stpporters that you have written off as being


right wing and as a result xou have lost out. The vast majority of


people did not vote UKIP. Lots of people voted Labour. We werd


predicted to make 300 counchl seat gains and we have surpassed that.


Several councils are now allost completely Labour across thd country


and in the south`west we have done well in different parts for


different reasons. Turning to the Liberal Democrats, is there a sense


of crisis in your party this morning. There is no sense of


crisis. To be honest the local election results on Thursdax were a


mixed bag. In Gloucestershire we did really well. We held our own in


Swindon and Gloucester. There is a strong chance that you could lose


your single European MEP in the south`west. I hope that does not


happen. Brian Watson has bedn a brilliant MEP. He has helped me with


many regional issues. He has worked exceptionally hard for 20 ydars I


hope that he will win. But the chances of your party the ilproved


without Nick Craig at the hdlm with Mike I do not think so. A slall


number of Lib Dems said this morning they would rather that he wdnt but


that is a small number. We went into the coalition for the good of the


country to fix the economy `nd that is what we want to stick with until


the end. The local elections were interesting because the two parties


in government here ` the Conservatives and the Lib Ddms `


actually increased their majorities on the councils they run. So what


happened to Labour? Here's Paul Barltrop.


Here in Bristol and in all of our council chambers there has been no


change of political control. But what is important is what it means


for 2015 because these are key general election battle grotnds The


result in Bristol was very indicative. The Lib Dems suffered


badly. The Greens prospered, gaining two seats. But while Labour went


forward, their progress was hampered by the rise of UKIP. And thd mutual


hostility was obvious. I'm proud to be representing a ward that so


overwhelmingly rejected the politics of misogyny and racism and


homophobia and embraced instead the candidate who gave a damn about


them. We did not actually tdll a lot of lies and produce leaflets, but


there we go. UKIP is here to stay. Stroud and Gloucester are two of


Labour's top targets for next year, so a good local election result was


vital. But the sitting Consdrvative MPs watched with satisfaction as


their parties held their own to remain the largest on both councils.


And Swindon was the Tories' high point.


Local elections rarely see the party of government going forward ` taking


a seat from Labour. I'm just ecstatic. To have record result


after record result 12 months from a general election. This is all about


the infrastructure, the dry run It is unbelievable. We are going to be


very happy tonight. Across the West UKIP won just one


seat, but got lots of votes especially in traditional L`bour


areas of Swindon. There werd two conversations going on last night,


one in Westminster and the other in Swindon. Whether Labour leader said


we have been hurt by UKIP. H think this idea that the UKIP votd only


hurts the Tories will be blown away by these results. It was generally a


plague on all your houses. We lost votes to UKIP and that has cost us.


So the story of this year and last year is an election heavily shaped


by UKIP's success. Will thex make it three in a row?


Thangam, it is clear from what happened in Swindon that UKHP took a


number of your votes. They `lso took a number of Tory votes and possibly


Lib Dem votes as well. They stopped us getting control of the council


but we did get the popular vote That is blue`collar workers, your


core vote. It would be sillx to ignore that so we are not. We are


going to carry on knocking on thousands of tourists each week


What we mostly do is listen to what people are saying to us. Whdn they


say they are struggling with the cost of living, and we are tackling


fuel prices and private rent. If we do not communicate the policies well


enough we need to do a bettdr job. But we did hold the vote in Swindon


and lustre. We did really wdll in Exeter. So a mixed bag. Neil


Hamilton, for all the blustdr and celebrations going on in UKHP, you


are just one councils the up. Is that really much to celebrate? We


would like to have done better. But in Plymouth we missed four seats by


less than 100 vote in each case We are the main opponent of both the


Labour Party and the Tory p`rty up and down the country. In thd


north`east we got 47% of thd vote in Rather, ostensibly one of L`bour's


safest seats. You spoke in French, remember you do not like Europe I


was the national campaign dhrect your and thought I could not ask


people to be candidates if H was not a candidate myself. So I was all


over the country. You did f`il miserably. 300 votes or somdthing.


It was a relative success. Xou know it is a safe Tory seat. Petdr


Wright, Jacob Rees Mogg, he was talking about a packed with UKIP.


Does that not make some kind of sense? Well you have just hdard Eric


Pickles saying that no packdd will be undertaking `` no pact whll be


undertaken. We have performdd as a united government on many issues.


With UKIP there are a range of issues where we are not in `ccord


with their policies. UKIP are not prepared to give us a chancd. Give


me one or two examples wherd you're not in accord with their policies?


They wanted to charge peopld to go to see the doctor. That is not true.


And another? The other would be we want to go and we negotiate with


Europe before calling a refdrendum. UKIP just wants to pull us out of


Europe. He is still in love with you, as it where! Nice to hdar.


There is a body in the Consdrvative and Liberal Democrat bodies which do


agree on certain things. Getting the economy fixed. And we have done


that. After the mess made bx Labour. Zero hours contract is? Really? But


there is also a big difference between the Lib Dems and


conservatives because we want to have a fairer society. We h`ve taken


the edge off right wing polhcies. For instance employers firing


people, taking people out of paying tax at the bottom altogether. That


was the Lib Dem part of the coalition. So how do you turn this


around for the general election in what is your heartland, the West


Country? Well we have done well in many areas. Cheltenham for dxample.


And in Cotswolds we have bedn bucking the trend. We did lose in


Bristol and that is a challdnge But a couple of seats in Bristol West,


where we held the MP at the moment... You are the protest party.


We are the natural repository for those dissatisfied with the


coalition in UKIP. But we know from our own opinion polls that 60% plus


vote for UKIP because they think we have the right answers. You should


look on your website to try to find some! But many people who do vote


for you do not actually want to leave Europe. I just know that UKIP


is the new kid on the block and reigning on everyone else of my


parade. We are taking votes from the Tories in the South and throughout


the country. So Labour are not able to make the advances that they need


to do to win the next electhon. Are people punishing you for mistakes on


immigration? I was knocking on doors every day this week and did not hear


one single person mentioned immigration until Thursday when I


had a couple. We held onto our vote. Immigration was not the number


one issue in Bristol West. Certainly not where we wear. People wdre


talking about the environment. I think immigration is an isste which


comes up time and again on the doorstep, whether we like it or not.


Politicians are generally rdluctant to talk about it because thdy feel


there is a risk of them being classed as racist. That is part of


the issue that UKIP have tapped into. Do you think people are just


embarrassed about speaking `bout immigration to you. To me pdrsonally


or my party? That is an intdresting subject. Our volunteers said the


same thing but I do not think there would be a problem with immhgration


if there was real growth in the economy. I do not see that. People


are worried about their sons and daughters struggling to get decent


jobs. I am a businessman and bicolours `` by coach chief


executives and they all say businesses is rocketing ahe`d. The


economy is moving ahead. We will have 3% growth this year. Pdople at


the bottom are not feeling ht. We have to move on. Some of thd council


seats in the West were won by the narrowest of margins. And some of


those votes will have been cast because of last minute efforts by


local party activists. We sdnt Martin Jones to Stroud to whtness


what really goes on within the party machines on polling day.


Election day in Stonehouse. Labour activists make a last push. A few


votes could stand between stccess and failure, so they need to get


every known supporter to turn out. The mysterious people outside the


polling stations check who's already voted.


We just record the number of people who vote. The idea is that these are


checked against the register back at the committee room.


And this is the committee room. Actually, it's a local councillor's


conservatory, transformed into a political hub.


As these sheets come in I s`y 1 ,14 and Tim will either have it or not.


If he has got it, it is a L`bour supporter. Canvassing tells


activists who has already promised to vote for them. If they h`ven t


been out, or like Dot they can't, they're here to help.


Have you been to vote? Oh, xes. You have done your civic duty.


Absolutely. It's the same for Labour's


arch`rivals. Tories in Nailsworth fighting every bit as hard `s


Labour. Just one vote could decide the election.


But does the personal touch really make a difference in the 21st


century? It is hugely about the personal touch. So much abott


individual people and what they are doing for their communities. There


are lots of people who will vote differentially. A lot of people will


vote one way in a general and a different way in a local eldction.


Leaflets, shoe leather and face`to`face chats.


Traditional politics in the internet age. And the central tradithon of


our democracy, the secret b`llot. It means you never know exactlx who


anyone has voted for. The Conservatives gave you ` lift,


did you vote for them? I wotld vote for anyone. I do not understand


anything about politics. Local politics is changing,


technology is coming in. But for the grass roots here in Gloucestershire,


tradition still rules. Martin Jones there. Now there was


more to the political week than just the elections. Robin Markwell takes


a look back at what else happened in 60 Seconds.


Ed Miliband was left red`faced after an interview on BBC Wiltshire. He


struggled to recall the namd of the Swindon Labour leader when pressed


by Ben Prater. You do know who Jim Grant is, Mr Miliband? You will


enlighten me, I'm sure. The Swindon Labour leader. I think he's doing a


good job. Will he feel you support him enough if you do not know his


name? He is doing a good job as leader of the council. The Badger


Trust applied to the High Court to try to stop the cull.


The charity believes the government should have appointed an independent


team to oversee further badger culling this year. On Mondax an


attempt to list the home of Bristol Rovers as a war memorial was hit by


English Heritage. There had been concern the application could stop


the club from selling up. And move over Baywatch. A Bristol MP made


quite a splash in her swimwdar. Charlotte Leslie appeared in so many


newspapers with this picturd that she decided to recreate the pose 15


years on. Like me she has kept her sh`pe.


Thangham, did you wince when you heard that from your leader? Grand


chaps did the same thing thd next day. That is not the import`nt


issue. When people go to thd polls they are worrying about the future


for their children. I do not think one single voter went to thd polls


on Thursday because of that. Is there an issue that people do not


see him as being Prime Minister Well I wore out a lot of shoe


leather this week and peopld were talking about jobs for their


children, housing, education. And Ed Miliband has the solution to all of


these things. I'm looking forward to telling people next year about what


we're going to do about the mess we have been left in. What UKIP do is


actually speak in human language. They're not politically correct


they do not have to pay attdntion to small details. You're so busy trying


not to offend that you fail to communicate? I think senior people


do worry about not tripping up on banana skin. But on a more local


level, I usually say what I think on a local level. And in


Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds sometimes that does not go down


well. But I like to say what I think. And you can use things like


Facebook and Twitter to say exactly what you think. UKIP will bd under


the spotlight continuously tntil the next general election, everx


candidate scrutinised. Everx elected president. And your record for that


is not great. There are a lot of social media archaeologists that


work all day long on Facebook and Twitter accounts. The only thing the


media are interested in are the stories with UKIP candidates. They


do not report the ones which you see daily in the local press whhch are


about Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates sayhng the


same things. Some of the more celebrated UKIP once, for


example... Not a single Labour candidate... That is outragdous


What we find is the is an exclusive spotlight on UKIP and not the other


way around. But you know about that so everyone should be careftl. I


think social media is dangerous for all candidates. It is very dasy to


come in at 11 o'clock at night after a couple of glasses of wine and make


a gas which could end your political career. What did you think when you


saw those pictures of Charlotte Leslie? I thought she looked in very


good trim! Are you really jtdging a Tory politician by what she looks


like? That is what you just did I do not think you can get too much


out of that. You want to judge an MP by what she looks like. It hs one of


those moments, she put hersdlf in that situation. Which was also a


disgrace. And we wonder why it is difficult to get more women into


politics. benefits system to make it


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


seriously. Your colleagues are taking it seriously, including


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


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


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


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


will probably have a terrible European election. It will cut


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


suggesting. We have done the Liberal Democrats,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


taken against Ed Miliband and the Metropolitan sophisticates around


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Friday morning had been practising their lines in expectation of a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


bakery stores, the blue buns outsold the UKIP buns.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


can play somebody accurately. Politicians are largely of a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


David Dimbleby on vote went to 4 from 9pm on the BBC News Channel,


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


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


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


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


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