23/04/2017 The Papers


23/04/2017

A lively, informed and in-depth conversation about the Sunday papers.


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keep you up-to-date with that throughout the day. That is all for

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the sport. Now, the papers. Hello, and welcome to our look

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at the Sunday Papers. With me are the Deputy

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Europe Business Editor for the International New York Times,

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Preshant Rao, and the Sunday Times' Let's get you up to speed with the

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front pages. The Mail on Sunday claims

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the Conservatives' opinion poll lead has been slashed in half

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because of Theresa May's plans over The Sunday Mirror claims

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their survey gives the Tories their biggest lead since 1991,

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with more than 50% of the vote. Theresa May parks her battle

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tanks on Labour's lawn, according to the Sunday Times,

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as it reports on Tory manifesto plan to offer ?100 off

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energy bills for workers. A poll in the The Sunday Express

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suggest one in seven Labour voters will switch to the Tories

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in the upcoming election. The Sunday Telegraph

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has an interview with Patrick McLaughlin, Chairman

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of the Conservatives, who claims that Jeremy Corbyn

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is not suitable to take on the responsibilities

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of Prime Minister. And the Observer reports a pledge

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from Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, that he won't do any coalition

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deals, saying he wants the Liberal Democrats be

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the main opposition. Hello to you both. Let's plunge

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straight in with the Mail on Sunday. Tory lead slashed in half after tax

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U-turn. What U-turn, and which poll? It is extraordinary. Other polls

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elsewhere have the Tories well ahead, sort of 48, but the Mail on

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Sunday suggests it is down to 40- wanted nine. It is a triple the

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refusing to rule out any tax increases, refusing to contribute to

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the triple lock on pensions, and the commitment to .7% on aid, which

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appears to have gone down quite badly with the court Tory heartland.

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The interesting thing about the poll they quote is that the fieldwork for

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the interviews was done later, yesterday after the story started to

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bubble about tax. It is a curious one because we know that the

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Chancellor is looking for cash because he told us he was. He had

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his tax proposal effectively told he could not do it because it broke the

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last manifesto, so it won't be a surprise if the Conservatives has to

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find some more money and raise taxes to do so. How many of these things

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are real shockers? It is hard to tell which poll is to be believed.

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If any! I feel like still we should take all of these with a pinch of

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salt and an understanding that the polls have a margin for error. The

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Mail on Sunday does note that this would leave the Prime Minister with

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a majority of 46, which is more than she has currently. This is curious,

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it is the other thing with all of this, the Brexit effect on all of

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the parties. This could revive the Liberal Democrats we are told,

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because they are unashamedly pro the EU, but at the same time because the

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Conservatives and Labour have been divided over this, some uncertainty

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about what impact that could have on a more conventional election

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environment. I am sceptical about overall figures because this time

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round there will be tactical voting going on. There are a lot of domain

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is who still not happen, and can see situations where you are living in a

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stitch in C, people are voting tactically, not the way they would

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normally vote, just to make a point about exit. And the interesting

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thing about trying to make a comparison is that Brexit is

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something where every vote had the same value, whereas the in situ

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disease, this country operates things and makes it hard to know

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where their support is. The dream party is not a huge force in

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politics, but they were saying they would territory the lean back

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withdraw to have the Lib Dems a more successful run at it -- green party.

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If a 7000 vote Tory majority in one constituency could swing the result,

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they have two coordinate in some way. Let's move on to the Observer,

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which should appeal to both of you because you are reporting for an

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international audience. How foreign is this British election? This is a

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man who could be quite influential in Brexit terms. Yes, you will be

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running the European Parliament side of Brexit, who is critical of

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Theresa May, saying this is a nonsense, that there are pure

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political considerations that meant she called this debate. Of course it

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was. To some extent he is just stating the obvious. This is what

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politicians do. Precisely, the fact it is coming from a federalist and a

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Belgian to boot means it will not go down well. It is a classic Observer

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story, I can't see it running on the Mail on Sunday or the Sunday Times.

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Do you think there is a big risk for politicians from the EU because of

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the pressure in commenting on the UK election this time round?

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Absolutely, in the run-up to the Brexit referendum that incredibly

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powerful politicians from all over the world, including Barack Obama, a

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lot of their comments became toxic. At the same time it is worth noting

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that these are largely facts, that this was a bitter cold decision, but

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when it comes down to it there are numerous instances of elections in

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order to strengthen their hand, but look at Greece, it did not change

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that much. I'm not sure 27 other hunter Israeli care. That is an

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interesting person. The radical Prime Minister saying I'm going to

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show that the weak people are on my side and therefore the EU will have

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to listen to us, but it did not work. Dash-macro Greek.

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We know that he is great friends with Norman Lamont. An awful lot of

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this is about giving Theresa May some wiggle room after the

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negotiation. The idea that there is a two-year period that takes us into

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2019, and then the concern that Britain would then be in full

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pre-election mode, and so if she wins, and nothing is guaranteed, she

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has an extra two years to deal with that, to maybe get a longer

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transition period. So you think that could strengthen her hand, if she

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does not have that fear of a general election immediately after these

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Brexit negotiations? Yes, it gives her strength to be weaker, which is

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a strange thing. The Sunday Times. This is interesting. Theresa May

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parks her battle tanks on Labour's lawn. This was on the news channel

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yesterday lunchtime. I guess the campaign has not officially kicked

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off. The policy fight has started. Theresa May, when she first became

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Prime Minister, struck everyone as being surprisingly interventionist

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for a Conservative, and this is another example of this. This is a

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policy we have seen before, except it was a labour policy that was

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pilloried. Now the Prime Minister potentially suggesting that the

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Odyssey is that the Prime Minister will use the Conservative manifesto

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to cap the utility bills for those paying standard tariffs which have

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been dubbed a rip-off. It is interesting how Theresa May is

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looking to peel off some Labour voters where she can. This is your

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paper's front-page story. It is fascinating. I have seen previous

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evidence saying that if you put the same policy to voters, they will

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either supported or won't support it, depending on who offers it. The

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policy could be identical, but if they don't like the person offering

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it, it won't help. Precisely, it is like you could make a deal with

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China? Richard Nixon because he was Republican, but the Democrats never

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could. It is a crazy policy. The Tories criticised it when Ed

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Miliband came up with it, and other people piled in and said it is

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economic nonsense. Why stop at utility bills? Why not put a cap on

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what you pay for food in a supermarket, or in a restaurant, no

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starter can cost more than ?5 question mark I worked in a country

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where this kind of stuff went on, called the Soviet Union, where

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prices were controlled. I am exaggerating, but it seems odd. We

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have a privatised energy system, so just make sure there is proper

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competition. How does it look from your perspective on as a business

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journalist? I agree. It is hard to understand how you can make this a

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feasible, working policy. The idea would be theoretically you would

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promote competition and make it easy for customers to switch so naturally

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companies would only be able to offer lower prices. Unfortunately,

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this does not seem to have been the case in Britain. It is pretty easy

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to switch. It is basically because we are too lazy. Is that true? I

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don't know, but it is annoying. You go to a different shop to buy a

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different product, but the last time I switched my electricity, I don't

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remember it coming out a different colour or a different flavour, or

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being more powerful than my previous electricity. It is a pure financial

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thing. Life is too short. We have all got more interesting things to

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do. Well maybe we will have more interesting things to talk about as

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the pain continues. Talking of which. I don't know if we can see

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this on camera. This is a survey in the Mail on Sunday, proof that the

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paper is not taking everything in its opinion polls too seriously.

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This is one of my favourite things about the British elections, that

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there is a sense of humour. Which type of dog reminds you of party

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leaders? Theresa May is a labrador. Tim Farron is a poodle, and Jeremy

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Corbyn is a stray. A labrador, that is interesting. They are a bit

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docile, aren't they? She is clearly not a Rottweiler. I am not very good

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on dogs. I have a cat at home. Not the best person to ask. There are

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lots of questions in this survey, covering all kinds of things,

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including whether voters think Theresa May is like Helen Mirren in

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the Queen. There is a bit of a generational issue. One about Albert

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Steptoe, which probably passed dozens of people by. Precisely. The

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Mail on Sunday know that demographic. But be ready for more

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of this. Have pity for those of us who work in the newspaper industry

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because there are lots of these inside pages to fill. It will get

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more and more desperate. I don't think there is too much pity, but I

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know there is an election that both of you are excited about which is

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happening in France as we speak. Peter, your paper has been following

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this. As a weekly paper, there must be a dilemma about how you cover

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this next Sunday. We have the first round of voting today, with 11

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candidates. The top four are really competing, of whom two will go

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through to the run-off two weeks from now. So next Sunday will be

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fine because we will be in the middle of it. The interesting thing

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today is that it is so wide open. We have got Marine Le Pen from the

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National Front. Emanuel has emerged from nowhere. They are both the

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front runners, but only just ahead of the traditional conservative who

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has a Welsh wife and a generous expense account, and the Jeremy

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Corbyn of French politics. They are both behind. We can see Manuel

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there, he has just voted in Paris. Lots of attention for him, of course

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one of the front runners. The Sunday Telegraph has got a very striking

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photograph to tie in with that election result. Yes, the headline

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is "France on the brink". Every time we come into an election, we say

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this is the most important election the country has ever faced, but

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France is very interesting in the sense that these two frontrunning

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candidates, we don't know, if they were to win, the future of France

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and the EU, they are big questions that will quickly need to be

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answered. France's future relations with Russia. There are some really

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big issues at stake that extend far beyond France. The impact of the

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vote will be felt much further than the borders of that one country.

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This is an election we should care about? Very much so. It is slightly

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odd for us because it happens in two stages, but it is mathematically

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possible that we have a run-off between Marine Le Pen on the far

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right and the candidate on the far left, which would be an

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extraordinary result. They are both fairly sceptical about the euro.

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They are both sceptical about the EU. But very different points of

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view. The last time we had a National Front when I in the lead,

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it was Marine Le Pen's father. Some could not bear the thought of him as

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president. Presumably this is a big dilemma. It might be a case of

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voting for the least worst option. I think if we have what the polls are

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suggesting, that would be fairly straightforward, although if you

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were centre right... I suppose some people on the right that would peel

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off and go to Marine Le Pen. But the other, nations are very interesting.

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Any last thoughts on that? These four are so tightly trumped. --

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clumped. It is hard to tell until you get to the ballot box.

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Just a reminder we take a look at tomorrow's front pages every

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