25/05/2014 Sunday Politics West


25/05/2014

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

:00:38.:00:44.

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

:00:45.:00:50.

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

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catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the

:00:55.:00:59.

UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the

:01:00.:01:03.

And in the West: Have Labour lost henhouse.

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

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target seats in the local elections including Swindon and Gloucdster.

:01:14.:01:16.

Will Ed Miliband turn things round by next year?

:01:17.:01:17.

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

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hour. Cooped up in the Sunday Politics

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

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

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

:01:46.:01:49.

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

:01:50.:01:53.

country. Members of the European Parliament will face a similar

:01:54.:01:55.

comment when the results are announced tonight. A small but

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

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

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People know that locally we worked incredibly hard on their councils

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

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

:02:22.:02:30.

significant issues that are the core values of our party.

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This is how the party president responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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and a full conference. Is there a growing question over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:21.:06:24.

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

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

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

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students are going to university, and more from disadvantaged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:56.:08:01.

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

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

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

:08:11.:08:16.

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

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

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conservative house. What we are seeing is an operation to

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

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

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

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

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

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

:09:00.:09:04.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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but it produced enough shock waves to discombobulated the established

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

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watched it all unfold. Behind the scenes of any election

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

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logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed

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

:11:02.:11:07.

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

:11:08.:11:10.

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

:11:11.:11:16.

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

:11:17.:11:21.

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

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electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:38.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:46.

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

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

:13:50.:13:55.

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

:13:56.:14:00.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:14:59.:15:04.

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

:15:05.:15:13.

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

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

:15:18.:15:23.

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

:15:24.:15:28.

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

:15:29.:15:34.

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

:15:35.:15:43.

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

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

:15:50.:15:54.

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

:15:55.:15:58.

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

:15:59.:16:03.

Republicans found in the presidential elections. Patrick

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

:16:09.:16:12.

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

:16:13.:16:17.

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

:16:18.:16:20.

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

:16:21.:16:28.

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

:16:29.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:42.

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

:16:43.:16:48.

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

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

:16:55.:17:08.

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

:17:09.:17:15.

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

:17:16.:17:18.

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

:17:19.:17:22.

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

:17:23.:17:28.

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

:17:29.:17:35.

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

:17:36.:17:39.

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

:17:40.:17:44.

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

:17:45.:17:48.

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

:17:49.:17:55.

a very different attitude to mass uncontrolled immigration. Londoners

:17:56.:18:00.

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

:18:01.:18:10.

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

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

:18:16.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:28.

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

:18:29.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:38.

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

:18:39.:18:44.

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

:18:45.:18:52.

round bitching about Ed Miliband have been doing that before the

:18:53.:19:00.

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

:19:01.:19:10.

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

:19:11.:19:15.

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

:19:16.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:25.

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

:19:26.:19:32.

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

:19:33.:19:42.

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

:19:43.:19:48.

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

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

:19:57.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:07.

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

:20:08.:20:13.

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

:20:14.:20:17.

their children's future and prospects, they feel frightened

:20:18.:20:22.

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

:20:23.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:33.

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

:20:34.:20:39.

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

:20:40.:20:43.

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

:20:44.:20:48.

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

:20:49.:20:52.

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

:20:53.:20:57.

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

:20:58.:21:06.

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

:21:07.:21:14.

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

:21:15.:21:21.

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

:21:22.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:45.

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

:21:46.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:22:00.

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

:22:01.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:13.

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

:22:14.:22:17.

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

:22:18.:22:26.

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

:22:27.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:42.

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

:22:43.:22:47.

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

:22:48.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:12.

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

:23:13.:23:18.

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

:23:19.:23:27.

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

:23:28.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:51.

massive enthusiast for that interview taking place at all. I

:23:52.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:25.

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

:24:26.:24:30.

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

:24:31.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:24:59.

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

:25:00.:25:02.

constituencies, crucial seat that will decide the outcome of the

:25:03.:25:07.

general election next year. In 6 constituencies people were asked

:25:08.:25:11.

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

:25:12.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:25:59.

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

:26:00.:26:04.

combined. The communities Secretary Eric

:26:05.:26:09.

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

:26:10.:26:13.

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

:26:14.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:23.

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

:26:24.:26:31.

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

:26:32.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:42.

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

:26:43.:26:46.

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

:26:47.:26:50.

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

:26:51.:26:54.

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

:26:55.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:06.

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

:27:07.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:20.

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

:27:21.:27:26.

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

:27:27.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:43.

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

:27:44.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:54.

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

:27:55.:27:58.

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

:27:59.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:18.

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

:28:19.:28:23.

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

:28:24.:28:28.

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

:28:29.:28:33.

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

:28:34.:28:38.

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

:28:39.:28:42.

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

:28:43.:28:46.

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

:28:47.:28:55.

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

:28:56.:29:03.

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

:29:04.:29:07.

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

:29:08.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:16.

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

:29:17.:29:22.

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

:29:23.:29:25.

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

:29:26.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:36.

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

:29:37.:29:40.

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

:29:41.:29:43.

mass immigration, you don't keep your promises.

:29:44.:29:54.

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

:29:55.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:06.

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

:30:07.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:18.

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

:30:19.:30:24.

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

:30:25.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:35.

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

:30:36.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:57.

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

:30:58.:31:04.

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

:31:05.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:18.

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

:31:19.:31:22.

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

:31:23.:31:28.

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

:31:29.:31:33.

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

:31:34.:31:38.

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

:31:39.:31:43.

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

:31:44.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:32:00.

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

:32:01.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:16.

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

:32:17.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:27.

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

:32:28.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:40.

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

:32:41.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:51.

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

:32:52.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:11.

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

:33:12.:33:15.

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

:33:16.:33:20.

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

:33:21.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:33.

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

:33:34.:33:36.

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

:33:37.:33:43.

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

:33:44.:33:50.

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

:33:51.:33:54.

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

:33:55.:34:00.

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

:34:01.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:19.

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

:34:20.:34:23.

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

:34:24.:34:30.

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

:34:31.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:45.

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

:34:46.:34:52.

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

:34:53.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:35:01.

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

:35:02.:35:05.

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

:35:06.:35:11.

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

:35:12.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:32.

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

:35:33.:35:36.

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

:35:37.:35:41.

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

:35:42.:35:53.

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

:35:54.:35:58.

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

:35:59.:36:03.

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

:36:04.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:24.

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

:36:25.:36:28.

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

:36:29.:36:32.

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

:36:33.:36:35.

they blew it in Swindon and Gloucester where victory was within

:36:36.:36:39.

their grasp. And the reason was the UKIP effect.

:36:40.:36:44.

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

:36:45.:36:47.

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

:36:48.:36:51.

west. Paul Hodgkinson for the Liberal Democrats. Thangam

:36:52.:36:55.

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

:36:56.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:05.

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

:37:06.:37:09.

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

:37:10.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:18.

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

:37:19.:37:26.

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

:37:27.:37:29.

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

:37:30.:37:36.

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

:37:37.:37:41.

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

:37:42.:37:47.

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

:37:48.:37:52.

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

:37:53.:37:58.

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

:37:59.:38:04.

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

:38:05.:38:09.

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

:38:10.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:20.

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

:38:21.:38:26.

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

:38:27.:38:31.

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

:38:32.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:52.

morning she would examine that and if necessary work with European

:38:53.:38:57.

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

:38:58.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:07.

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

:39:08.:39:12.

discussion about being beatdn by UKIP is extraordinary. On Thursday

:39:13.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:24.

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

:39:25.:39:32.

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

:39:33.:39:36.

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

:39:37.:39:41.

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

:39:42.:39:48.

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

:39:49.:39:55.

Several councils are now allost completely Labour across thd country

:39:56.:39:57.

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

:39:58.:40:01.

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

:40:02.:40:06.

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

:40:07.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:15.

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

:40:16.:40:22.

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

:40:23.:40:26.

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

:40:27.:40:32.

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

:40:33.:40:38.

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

:40:39.:40:42.

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

:40:43.:40:47.

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

:40:48.:40:52.

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

:40:53.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:08.

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

:41:09.:41:10.

in government here ` the Conservatives and the Lib Ddms `

:41:11.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:16.

happened to Labour? Here's Paul Barltrop.

:41:17.:41:27.

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

:41:28.:41:32.

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

:41:33.:41:36.

for 2015 because these are key general election battle grotnds The

:41:37.:41:40.

result in Bristol was very indicative. The Lib Dems suffered

:41:41.:41:44.

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

:41:45.:41:47.

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

:41:48.:41:52.

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

:41:53.:41:55.

overwhelmingly rejected the politics of misogyny and racism and

:41:56.:41:58.

homophobia and embraced instead the candidate who gave a damn about

:41:59.:42:03.

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

:42:04.:42:12.

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

:42:13.:42:15.

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

:42:16.:42:18.

vital. But the sitting Consdrvative MPs watched with satisfaction as

:42:19.:42:21.

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

:42:22.:42:26.

And Swindon was the Tories' high point.

:42:27.:42:33.

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

:42:34.:42:38.

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

:42:39.:42:43.

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

:42:44.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:51.

very happy tonight. Across the West UKIP won just one

:42:52.:42:55.

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

:42:56.:43:05.

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

:43:06.:43:09.

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

:43:10.:43:16.

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

:43:17.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:29.

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

:43:30.:43:33.

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

:43:34.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:46.

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

:43:47.:43:52.

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

:43:53.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:04.

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

:44:05.:44:07.

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

:44:08.:44:13.

going to carry on knocking on thousands of tourists each week

:44:14.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:21.

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

:44:22.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:37.

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

:44:38.:44:42.

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

:44:43.:44:47.

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

:44:48.:44:53.

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

:44:54.:45:00.

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

:45:01.:45:03.

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

:45:04.:45:08.

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

:45:09.:45:13.

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

:45:14.:45:28.

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

:45:29.:45:34.

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

:45:35.:45:38.

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

:45:39.:45:43.

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

:45:44.:45:54.

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

:45:55.:46:00.

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

:46:01.:46:05.

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

:46:06.:46:14.

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

:46:15.:46:32.

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

:46:33.:46:37.

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

:46:38.:46:43.

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

:46:44.:46:49.

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

:46:50.:46:54.

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

:46:55.:47:01.

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

:47:02.:47:09.

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

:47:10.:47:15.

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

:47:16.:47:22.

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

:47:23.:47:28.

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

:47:29.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:39.

there is also a big difference between the Lib Dems and

:47:40.:47:41.

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

:47:42.:47:49.

the edge off right wing polhcies. For instance employers firing

:47:50.:47:54.

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

:47:55.:47:58.

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

:47:59.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:07.

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

:48:08.:48:13.

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

:48:14.:48:19.

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

:48:20.:48:23.

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

:48:24.:48:30.

We are the natural repository for those dissatisfied with the

:48:31.:48:36.

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

:48:37.:48:41.

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

:48:42.:48:49.

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

:48:50.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:57.

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

:48:58.:49:02.

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

:49:03.:49:07.

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

:49:08.:49:14.

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

:49:15.:49:17.

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

:49:18.:49:26.

one single person mentioned immigration until Thursday when I

:49:27.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:38.

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

:49:39.:49:45.

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

:49:46.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:53.

Politicians are generally rdluctant to talk about it because thdy feel

:49:54.:49:57.

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

:49:58.:50:03.

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

:50:04.:50:07.

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

:50:08.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:19.

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

:50:20.:50:23.

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

:50:24.:50:27.

are worried about their sons and daughters struggling to get decent

:50:28.:50:33.

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

:50:34.:50:37.

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

:50:38.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:55.

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

:50:56.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:02.

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

:51:03.:51:06.

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

:51:07.:51:12.

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

:51:13.:51:17.

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

:51:18.:51:24.

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

:51:25.:51:26.

polling stations check who's already voted.

:51:27.:51:32.

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

:51:33.:51:38.

checked against the register back at the committee room.

:51:39.:51:46.

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

:51:47.:51:48.

conservatory, transformed into a political hub.

:51:49.:52:05.

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

:52:06.:52:09.

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

:52:10.:52:12.

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

:52:13.:52:16.

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

:52:17.:52:21.

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

:52:22.:52:27.

Absolutely. It's the same for Labour's

:52:28.:52:31.

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

:52:32.:52:35.

Labour. Just one vote could decide the election.

:52:36.:52:41.

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

:52:42.:52:50.

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

:52:51.:52:53.

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

:52:54.:52:57.

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

:52:58.:53:00.

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

:53:01.:53:04.

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

:53:05.:53:06.

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

:53:07.:53:12.

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

:53:13.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:21.

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

:53:22.:53:27.

anything about politics. Local politics is changing,

:53:28.:53:31.

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

:53:32.:53:37.

tradition still rules. Martin Jones there. Now there was

:53:38.:53:42.

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

:53:43.:53:46.

a look back at what else happened in 60 Seconds.

:53:47.:53:53.

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

:53:54.:53:57.

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

:53:58.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:07.

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

:54:08.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:19.

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

:54:20.:54:24.

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

:54:25.:54:26.

The charity believes the government should have appointed an independent

:54:27.:54:29.

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

:54:30.:54:33.

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

:54:34.:54:36.

English Heritage. There had been concern the application could stop

:54:37.:54:40.

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

:54:41.:54:43.

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

:54:44.:54:46.

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

:54:47.:54:59.

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

:55:00.:55:12.

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

:55:13.:55:20.

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

:55:21.:55:25.

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

:55:26.:55:31.

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

:55:32.:55:36.

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

:55:37.:55:43.

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

:55:44.:55:46.

leather this week and peopld were talking about jobs for their

:55:47.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:55:58.

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

:55:59.:56:01.

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

:56:02.:56:09.

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

:56:10.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:26.

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

:56:27.:56:31.

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

:56:32.:56:37.

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

:56:38.:56:41.

Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds sometimes that does not go down

:56:42.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:50.

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

:56:51.:56:55.

the spotlight continuously tntil the next general election, everx

:56:56.:57:02.

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

:57:03.:57:09.

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

:57:10.:57:14.

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

:57:15.:57:21.

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

:57:22.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:34.

about Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates sayhng the

:57:35.:57:37.

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

:57:38.:57:47.

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

:57:48.:57:56.

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

:57:57.:58:00.

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

:58:01.:58:07.

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

:58:08.:58:16.

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

:58:17.:58:21.

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

:58:22.:58:29.

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

:58:30.:58:35.

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

:58:36.:58:42.

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

:58:43.:58:50.

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

:58:51.:58:58.

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

:58:59.:59:05.

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

:59:06.:59:06.

politics. benefits system to make it

:59:07.:59:11.

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

:59:12.:59:17.

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

:59:18.:59:25.

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

:59:26.:59:31.

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

:59:32.:59:37.

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

:59:38.:59:41.

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

:59:42.:59:49.

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

:59:50.:00:01.

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

:00:02.:00:05.

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

:00:06.:00:11.

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

:00:12.:00:14.

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

:00:15.:00:20.

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

:00:21.:00:23.

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

:00:24.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:38.

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

:00:39.:00:48.

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

:00:49.:00:51.

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

:00:52.:00:58.

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

:00:59.:01:04.

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

:01:05.:01:08.

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

:01:09.:01:14.

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

:01:15.:01:22.

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

:01:23.:01:30.

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

:01:31.:01:33.

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

:01:34.:01:38.

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

:01:39.:01:45.

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

:01:46.:01:51.

seriously. Your colleagues are taking it seriously, including

:01:52.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:06.

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

:02:07.:02:11.

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

:02:12.:02:14.

will probably have a terrible European election. It will cut

:02:15.:02:19.

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

:02:20.:02:24.

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

:02:25.:02:29.

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

:02:30.:02:35.

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

:02:36.:02:42.

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

:02:43.:02:49.

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

:02:50.:02:54.

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

:02:55.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:04.

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

:03:05.:03:08.

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

:03:09.:03:14.

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

:03:15.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:39.

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

:03:40.:03:48.

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

:03:49.:03:52.

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

:03:53.:03:58.

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

:03:59.:04:05.

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

:04:06.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:19.

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

:04:20.:04:22.

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

:04:23.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:30.

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

:04:31.:04:37.

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

:04:38.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:47.

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

:04:48.:04:52.

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

:04:53.:04:58.

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

:04:59.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:08.

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

:05:09.:05:17.

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

:05:18.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:26.

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

:05:27.:05:30.

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

:05:31.:05:34.

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

:05:35.:05:39.

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

:05:40.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:47.

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

:05:48.:05:56.

suggesting. We have done the Liberal Democrats,

:05:57.:06:03.

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

:06:04.:06:07.

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

:06:08.:06:12.

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

:06:13.:06:16.

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

:06:17.:06:20.

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

:06:21.:06:27.

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

:06:28.:06:30.

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

:06:31.:06:36.

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

:06:37.:06:42.

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

:06:43.:06:46.

taken against Ed Miliband and the Metropolitan sophisticates around

:06:47.:06:53.

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

:06:54.:06:59.

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

:07:00.:07:06.

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

:07:07.:07:12.

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

:07:13.:07:16.

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

:07:17.:07:20.

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

:07:21.:07:27.

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

:07:28.:07:30.

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

:07:31.:07:35.

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

:07:36.:07:38.

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

:07:39.:07:45.

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

:07:46.:07:53.

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

:07:54.:07:58.

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

:07:59.:08:03.

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

:08:04.:08:08.

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

:08:09.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:18.

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

:08:19.:08:22.

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

:08:23.:08:28.

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

:08:29.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:40.

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

:08:41.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:50.

Friday morning had been practising their lines in expectation of a

:08:51.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:08:59.

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

:09:00.:09:03.

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

:09:04.:09:10.

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

:09:11.:09:14.

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

:09:15.:09:22.

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

:09:23.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:38.

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

:09:39.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:57.

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

:09:58.:10:00.

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

:10:01.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:20.

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

:10:21.:10:28.

bakery stores, the blue buns outsold the UKIP buns.

:10:29.:10:34.

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

:10:35.:10:38.

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

:10:39.:10:40.

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

:10:41.:11:35.

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

:11:36.:11:42.

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

:11:43.:11:46.

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

:11:47.:11:53.

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

:11:54.:11:58.

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

:11:59.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:07.

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

:12:08.:12:14.

can play somebody accurately. Politicians are largely of a

:12:15.:12:19.

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

:12:20.:12:23.

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

:12:24.:12:28.

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

:12:29.:12:34.

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

:12:35.:12:38.

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

:12:39.:12:43.

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

:12:44.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:53.

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

:12:54.:12:59.

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

:13:00.:13:05.

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

:13:06.:13:09.

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

:13:10.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:19.

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

:13:20.:13:23.

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

:13:24.:13:29.

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

:13:30.:13:34.

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

:13:35.:14:11.

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

:14:12.:14:14.

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

:14:15.:14:19.

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