Halifax Nick's Election Takeaways


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Halifax

Nick Robinson sits down for dinner with a group of voters to examine how different parts of the electorate are making up their minds ahead of the general election.


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Transcript


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Between now and June the 8th, I'm going to be travelling

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the country trying to see how different groups of voters

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are making up their minds who to support in the general election.

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First stop, this pub in Halifax, where we're talking

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to people who voted Leave in the EU referendum.

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Working-class voters here.

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Many of them would have had a traditional link

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to the Labour Party, some, maybe have defected to Ukip,

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others may be considering the jump all the way to supporting

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the Conservative Party.

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Now, we've recruited this group of voters with the help

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of the opinion pollsters Ipsos Mori, and we want to try to get some

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answers to my questions.

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Let's go in for the first of my election takeaways.

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We're here above a pub in Halifax.

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It may look a bit like a church because this is no ordinary pub.

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This is actually the place where the Halifax Building

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Society was founded, hence the oak panels

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and the stained-glass windows, and we're here to talk

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about politics and have a bit of a curry.

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I just want to get a sense of people here.

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When you're thinking about how to vote in this election,

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how big a factor, if any - it may not be at all -

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is that Brexit decision?

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Is that going to affect how you vote or is it over?

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No, it's not over.

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It's going to affect how I vote , because I voted to come out.

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I think the Conservatives will definitely go down the Brexit route.

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Yes?

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I think, if Labour get in there's a possibility

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they will try for another referendum and change at all.

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So you're a bit nervous, John.

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A little bit, yes.

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It's not over as far as you're concerned?

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No, not yet, no.

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To me it's only just starting, really.

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I think it is over.

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OK?

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I think even if Labour get in and call for another referendum,

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I think the public will vote exactly the same way again.

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I think the vote would still go the same way so it doesn't worry me.

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John is a bit worried that if the wrong party gets in now,

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maybe it will all start again.

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Do you think so?

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No, no.

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So you can vote for who you like in the election,

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you don't have to worry about...

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No, and I think even if there was another referendum,

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I think the public would vote exactly the same way, I don't think

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it would alter the decision.

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Tony, yeah?

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I totally agree.

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I think the public feel a bit cheated, to tell

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you the truth, if anything.

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It's almost like saying to your kid, do your school day, school

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sports day, you come last, it's all about taking part.

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No, it's not, it's about winning, there's got to be a winner,

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there's got to be a loser.

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And when it's done it's done?

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And when it's done it's done, yes, exactly.

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You know, they're dragging their heels, aren't they?

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Who's "they"?

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Theresa May.

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She's dragging her heels?

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I think she's dragging her heels.

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I don't think her heart is in leaving Brexit,

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and I think all them sat on the bench going, "Oooh,"

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like that, I just think there...

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How can I put it?

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I'll believe it when I see it.

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It's not concrete and it's not set in stone.

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And I believe in black or white, in the sense of, you know,

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don't go round the houses.

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And you see, there's a big north and south divide, you know?

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You people down south - I don't mean you, Nick, but...

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LAUGHTER.

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You know...

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Phew!

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You're working-class, we don't live in fancy houses,

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million pound houses and half ?1 million houses.

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That's interesting.

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You think the worry is that people who do have the money...

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Yes.

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You think that Europe will...

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They think about themselves, money, money, money, money.

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You think they want to overturn the referendum?

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Yes, I do.

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I just...

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I think the public, we have spoken, we've said what we want,

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and I think even if, like I said, another

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referendum was called, it would go exactly

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the same way.

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There is so many people that want out, and like Tracy said,

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I think it is the people with money that benefit from staying in.

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But what Tracy is saying to you is, the rich people, they'll turn

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this around if they can, they'll find a way.

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No.

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You don't think so?

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No.

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I wonder what the future of Ukip is if we are going to be out...

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Well, we're going to be out, so...

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They lost really badly in the local elections.

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Yes.

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Do you care?

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I don't know.

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Let me let you into a secret.

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You all voted Leave, that's why you're here.

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We chose you because you were Leave voters.

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And you want to know why we voted Leave?

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No, we want to know whether that affects how you will

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vote in the election.

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For you, not?

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No.

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I'll tell you how it works.

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It's what we get out of it, us working class people get out of it.

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And at the moment we're not getting anything.

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Yes, that's the only thing swaying my vote

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is what policies are in place, what are they going

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to do with the NHS, what are they going to do

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with housing, disabled services.

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It's things like that.

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That's more important?

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That's far more important, yes.

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Do you agree?

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Yes, yes.

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Because I work in the public sector, I see it hands on, every day.

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I see the impact it has on families, young people...

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Did anybody vote Ukip before?

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Almost.

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Almost?

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Yes.

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It was down to the wire, wasn't it, you know?

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There were just one or two things that didn't sit right with me.

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But did you get...

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How far did you get, were you there with the ballot

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paper and your pencil...?

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I got to the front door, put it that way.

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Really?

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Yes, it was that close, and it was literally

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a three-minute mindset change.

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I just thought...

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I had to give my head a bit of a wobble.

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LAUGHTER.

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Anybody else get close?

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No.

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No.

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Didn't feel right for you?

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No.

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No?

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Well, I'm seriously thinking of voting Ukip this time.

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This time, but you haven't before?

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No.

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That's interesting.

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Yes.

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So somebody's got to negotiate this deal.

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What sort of qualities do we need to see in the person

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negotiating the deal?

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Let's just throw out some words, what sort of words?

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Somebody who is strong.

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Strong.

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Who's going to try and get the best deal for Britain when we come out,

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and who's not going to take the 85 billion euros

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bill they throw at us.

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Kerry?

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Confident.

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Confident?

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Not easily led.

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Nicola?

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Trustworthy.

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Strong.

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That's a good one.

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When they make a decision they have to stay there.

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Yes.

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You said trustworthy, as well.

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Yes, he said confident but then when you said

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trustworthy, that's a good one.

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Nigel Farage.

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Farage?

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Yes, well he's staying in Europe, isn't he, to make sure we get

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a decent deal when we come out.

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Do you wish he was in their...

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Do you wish he was in there?

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While he stays there, giving them what for, yes.

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So you'd vote for Ukip, then?

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Possibly not vote for Ukip.

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I think Farage is OK, and I think he wants

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what's best for Britain.

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I think we need somebody that doesn't exist at the moment.

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Somebody that's got a bit of backbone, somebody who's not

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frightened to say what they want and to say the people

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frightened to say what they want and to say what the people

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are believing in, and...

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You know, not getting all excited and overly upset

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about upsetting the PC people, you know?

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Politically correct?

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Yes.

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There's too much of it at the moment, so we need

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somebody that's a realist, somebody that's going to listen

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to the people and take what the people have spoken.

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Somebody who understands the needs of somebody

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from a working-class background, not somebody born with a silver

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spoon in their mouth.

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I don't think there's anybody at the moment.

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They don't exist.

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It has to be practical, like I said to you.

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They don't come out, practically, and give

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people what they need, actually, they just randomly check

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you or go on the paper, this is what people say,

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but they don't go out, basically.

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A practical person, I would say that is the person.

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So not someone who talks too much, somebody who's got a plan?

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A plan and practical.

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Are there no leading politicians in Britain who speak

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for the working class?

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Jeremy Corbyn.

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He does?

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He does, yes.

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Yes, he's definitely the most down to earth, the most...

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The biggest realist out of them all, I think, and probably the most

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trustworthy out of them all.

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I wouldn't trust any of them in particular,

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but I think he comes across as the most trustworthy one.

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He gets slated a lot, doesn't he?

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He does, but he takes it, though, and he just

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carries on and carries on.

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Anybody else like Jeremy Corbyn?

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No?

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Not sure?

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Just me, on my own!

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LAUGHTER.

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Nobody said Theresa May?

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I tell you now, I voted Labour the past few times,

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but I honestly don't know if I will vote Labour

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again this time.

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Why?

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They just seem like they're doing round turns on themselves.

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A lot of in-house arguing, can't seem to get their own house

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in order, and if that's the state of their house, well, I don't want

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them coming to my house, sorry!

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LAUGHTER.

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I'm the same, to be honest, I'm undecided, I don't know

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which way I'm going to go.

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I have voted Labour the last couple of times, but...

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What's making you hesitate?

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Theresa May.

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She annoys me a bit, but Corbyn annoys me,

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so I'm a bit like...

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They are your main two, aren't they, really?

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Yes.

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Historically, as in previous generations of your family,

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did anybody vote...

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My dad's family was brought up Labour, Mum's family

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was brought up Conservative.

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That's like mine, yes.

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Catholic and Church of England, and I have never had any pressure

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on me to make a decision either way, so...

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I just wondered if sometimes people vote...

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Like their mum and dad?

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Generational.

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The problem with Corbyn to me, is, he doesn't have the charisma.

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He reminds me of somebody from the 1970s, like Michael foot

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He reminds me of somebody from the 1970s, like Michael Foot

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or an old Labour MP that's nice and cuddly, but he's

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got no charisma for me.

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Or he hasn't got enough charisma.

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So I couldn't vote for him, personally.

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Plus a lot of the Labour MPs, I can think of three,

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Corbyn, Diane Abbott and...

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In fact, I can't remember three, I can remember two.

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It's like a homogenous group and I don't even

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know who anybody years.

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know who anybody is.

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Nobody said anything good about Theresa May.

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Does anybody think she's good?

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I think she's all right.

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I think we can't blame a single person, though.

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It's not Theresa May's decision.

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If she's doing something obviously she is discussing

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with all the party members everything, then she can

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make the decision.

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We can't say in the Labour Party, that person is going

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to be a strong person.

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Do you like Theresa May, then?

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Not personally, I'm married!

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LAUGHTER.

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Has anybody heard the slogan they use a lot about Theresa May?

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She is strong and stable, that's what they keep saying.

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You're saying you've not heard that?

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No.

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No?

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Does that ring true?

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No.

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You don't think she's strong or stable, I mean,

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or the Tory government?

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No.

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And you don't.

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No, I don't.

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And the main reason you sounded upset...

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Yes?

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Was you thought they'd backed down, Tracy, on immigration.

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Yes, she's backed down, hasn't she?

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She has backed down.

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How?

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She says one thing, she says, oh, yes, we'll do it, you know,

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will close the borders, blah blah blah, and now,

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she is now turning round and saying, oh, well we'll let 10,000 in.

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That's 10,000 more kids for our schools, for our

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homes, for our NHS...

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No.

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What do you think on immigration?

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Tracy is really bothered that you should try to get it down

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to nil, really, aren't you?

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Nil.

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What do you think?

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Obviously I'm worried about it as well, no doubt about it.

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We people working here pay taxes and people that come from outside...

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Basically...

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Basically they get everything that we, basically,

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the people who live here, deserve it, but they get more

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things, but we don't, actually, and we pay taxes for themselves.

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You pay for it?

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They should only get...

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We are working and the tax we pay pays for them,

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for the last that are allowed in the country.

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So you want...

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So you want...?

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But some of the workers that come over are really hard workers

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and will do what some of our unemployed won't do.

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I don't think it's necessary then that's the problem,

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I don't think it's necessary them that's the problem,

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them who come over and they work and they integrate with society.

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I think it's the immigrants that come over and don't work,

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you know, take up the housing and the benefits, and locally it's

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definitely a problem.

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What is, sorry?

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Immigration.

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Definitely in this area.

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Because?

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There's so many about are not working, they take up

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the housing, crime...

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Crime is a big issue in Calderdale.

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You sound like you're saying to us, hold on,

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Nicola, you're saying, remember that immigrants

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are important.

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The ones who do want to come across, I've got friends and family who work

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abroad, and it's tit for tat kind of thing, but some services over

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here cost double the amount because we need

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interpreters to support them.

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Because you work in the public sector?

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I do, yes.

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Let's just do a couple of other issues.

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What other issues?

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A few of you have mentioned the NHS, John, you mention the NHS.

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Yes.

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I think we pay VAT to Europe, couldn't we pay VAT when we come out

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of Europe and put it into the NHS and education and stuff like that?

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Still pay VAT that use it for our own benefit

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rather than paying it into the bureaucracy of Europe?

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I think that would be a good idea.

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That is the NHS important enough?

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But is the NHS important enough?

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They say that the issue.

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Just go with the party that gets that right for me.

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That's one of the main issues, I think.

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Yes.

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I think getting out of the EU is a very important thing because it

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gives us our own sovereignty and we can determine

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our own borders, who comes here, also we determine how our money

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is spent on what we need in this county rather than paying,

0:15:120:15:15

what is it, ?45 million a day to be in Europe,

0:15:150:15:18

something like that,

0:15:180:15:19

so we could benefit from that a lot more than people

0:15:190:15:22

in Europe, you know?

0:15:220:15:23

I want to ask you to think about the parties, OK?

0:15:230:15:25

So, when you think of the Tory party, what do you think?

0:15:250:15:28

Snobs.

0:15:280:15:31

Yes, more for posh people.

0:15:310:15:33

Boys' club.

0:15:330:15:34

Yes.

0:15:340:15:36

Jolly boys' club, funny handshake society.

0:15:360:15:41

Is it Eton, they've all been to Eton?

0:15:410:15:42

They're all private.

0:15:430:15:44

You said you were thinking of voting for the?

0:15:440:15:46

Yes, I am, yes.

0:15:460:15:47

I mean, I went to grammar school but that's by the by.

0:15:470:15:50

But yes, I'm thinking of voting for them,

0:15:500:15:51

because Labour just don't...

0:15:520:15:52

They leave me cold at the minute, sorry, but they just do.

0:15:520:15:55

Anthony, I got the impression you might...

0:15:550:16:01

It's possible, anything is possible.

0:16:010:16:02

You might vote for all these posh Old Etonians?

0:16:020:16:04

No, I don't...

0:16:040:16:05

If they tick all the boxes I'm looking for...

0:16:050:16:08

You will hold your nose and do it anyway?

0:16:080:16:10

I will do what needs to be done, you know, because it's...

0:16:100:16:13

Like I say, if they tick my boxes, well then, I'm sorry if somebody

0:16:130:16:16

else doesn't feel the same, but hey ho, that's what politics is.

0:16:160:16:19

OK.

0:16:190:16:20

Anybody want to have another word on the Tories?

0:16:200:16:22

What about Labour, then, what words come to mind on Labour?

0:16:220:16:25

Undecided.

0:16:250:16:27

Labour?

0:16:270:16:29

I think for the workers.

0:16:290:16:30

For the workers?

0:16:300:16:31

For the working class.

0:16:310:16:34

I don't think they are for the working class.

0:16:340:16:36

Do you not?

0:16:360:16:38

No, I think they're for anybody who will vote for them.

0:16:380:16:41

How soon do you think they'll actually...

0:16:410:16:43

Because you all voted Labour.

0:16:430:16:45

Because you all voted Leave.

0:16:450:16:47

How soon do you think we will be actually out, totally out?

0:16:470:16:49

Two years.

0:16:490:16:50

Two years and we're out?

0:16:500:16:52

I think 2018, actually, end of 2018.

0:16:520:16:53

But if Theresa May says we're going to phase it

0:16:530:16:56

and take our time to get out...

0:16:560:16:57

Yes, it'll be five years, I reckon.

0:16:570:16:59

Five?

0:16:590:17:00

But why phase it?

0:17:000:17:01

It is what it is, let's have some backbone, right,

0:17:010:17:03

Brussels, up yours, sunshine, two finger salute,

0:17:030:17:05

Brussels, up yours, sunshine, two-finger salute,

0:17:050:17:06

long live the Queen.

0:17:070:17:07

Yes.

0:17:070:17:09

You know, and crack on with it.

0:17:090:17:10

I get a sense, Nicola, sorry to look at you again,

0:17:100:17:13

but I get the sense, Nicola, there's a chance

0:17:130:17:15

you might not vote at all.

0:17:150:17:16

I've had times when I haven't voted.

0:17:160:17:18

Anyone else think they might not vote?

0:17:180:17:21

No.

0:17:210:17:22

Definitely not?

0:17:220:17:31

You'll efinitely vote?

0:17:310:17:32

I think I will, yes.

0:17:320:17:33

It's a shame to waste your vote, isn't it?

0:17:330:17:35

I think it's the criticism you get, it's kind of the PC thing,

0:17:350:17:38

isn't it, when you get...

0:17:380:17:40

It's one of those things that...

0:17:400:17:41

You don't actually say who you voted for because you going to be

0:17:410:17:44

criticised either way.

0:17:440:17:45

I just choose not to vote sometimes because I really don't know

0:17:450:17:48

who to vote for and I felt it was a wasted vote if I vote

0:17:480:17:52

for somebody and counteract somebody else when you don't know

0:17:520:17:54

what you're doing.

0:17:540:17:55

Just do this word game when you shout out some words.

0:17:550:17:58

So I'm going to say Theresa May.

0:17:580:17:59

What you of her?

0:17:590:18:00

Weak.

0:18:000:18:02

Weak?

0:18:020:18:03

A liar.

0:18:030:18:04

I think it's quite good that the country is led by a few

0:18:040:18:07

females, we've got, obviously, the Queen...

0:18:070:18:10

Even if you don't like her, do you think she's strong?

0:18:100:18:12

Yes.

0:18:120:18:13

I think she's a bit of a battle-axe but I think she's quite

0:18:130:18:17

a strong person, yes.

0:18:170:18:18

I think she's stronger than Corbyn, I'm sorry.

0:18:180:18:19

Ashley?

0:18:190:18:20

Yes, even though I don't particularly like her,

0:18:200:18:23

I think she has to be strong to have got where she is, she,

0:18:230:18:26

today, even though she's a replacement, isn't she?

0:18:260:18:28

She wasn't voted in.

0:18:280:18:33

Some words about Corbyn, what do you think of when I say Corbyn?

0:18:330:18:36

A wet blanket.

0:18:360:18:38

I think a bit of a snake.

0:18:380:18:40

Ashley?

0:18:400:18:41

Annoying!

0:18:410:18:42

LAUGHTER.

0:18:420:18:44

I can't say anything, you know?

0:18:440:18:45

No words?

0:18:450:18:46

No.

0:18:460:18:47

Nicola?

0:18:470:18:51

No personal opinion because I don't really tend to watch much about him

0:18:510:18:54

but he hasn't got a very good reputation when it comes

0:18:540:18:57

to what you do read about and think about him.

0:18:570:19:01

comes to what you do read about and hear about him.

0:19:010:19:04

Insipid.

0:19:040:19:05

He's for the people.

0:19:050:19:06

That's not a word!

0:19:060:19:07

Sorry.

0:19:070:19:08

LAUGHTER.

0:19:080:19:09

It's not, is it?

0:19:090:19:10

No!

0:19:100:19:11

You feel strongly about this.

0:19:110:19:12

Yes, I do, yes.

0:19:120:19:13

I think Labour have created a mess and I think they should come

0:19:130:19:16

back in and clear it up.

0:19:160:19:18

They'll make a bigger mess.

0:19:180:19:28

I don't think they will, I think they'll right their wrongs

0:19:280:19:30

that they created in the first place.

0:19:300:19:32

Does anybody speak for the working class in politics?

0:19:320:19:34

Not really.

0:19:340:19:35

Not even you...

0:19:350:19:43

Not even you, and you believe in Jeremy Corbyn!

0:19:430:19:45

I do, I think out of all of them, it's definitely him,

0:19:450:19:48

but I don't think...

0:19:480:19:49

I think they've all come from privileged backgrounds

0:19:490:19:51

to get to where they are, and I think none of them have ever

0:19:510:19:54

lived on a council estate or have ever lived off benefits all come

0:19:540:19:57

from single-parent families.

0:19:570:19:58

None of them have ever queued in a food bank, you know...

0:19:580:20:01

That is what politicians lack, I think.

0:20:010:20:03

They lack that...

0:20:030:20:04

Experience.

0:20:040:20:05

Yes, the experience.

0:20:050:20:06

On the ground.

0:20:060:20:07

Nicola, you're a single mum.

0:20:070:20:08

Do you have that sense of people not having had the life

0:20:080:20:11

experience that you had?

0:20:110:20:12

I think I've...

0:20:120:20:14

I've been brought up by a 2.4 family, but I work in fields

0:20:140:20:18

where they are mainly from vulnerable families.

0:20:180:20:28

Youth offending, domestic violence, and a lot of the families I work

0:20:280:20:31

with, they don't vote, either.

0:20:310:20:35

Because, you think, they think politicians are other

0:20:350:20:37

people, not like us?

0:20:370:20:41

Yes, I think they think they're just not like us, yes.

0:20:410:20:43

They don't vote because it doesn't make a difference to them.

0:20:430:20:46

Yes.

0:20:460:20:51

That's the point.

0:20:510:20:52

If it changed anything, they'd ban it!

0:20:520:20:53

LAUGHTER.

0:20:540:20:57

All they're interested in most probably is how much my pint

0:20:570:20:59

is going to be and how much it's going up, petrol

0:20:590:21:02

and a packet of fags!

0:21:020:21:03

Yes.

0:21:030:21:04

But are they wrong?

0:21:040:21:05

Well, no, it is their main thing, isn't it?

0:21:050:21:07

That's the first, oh, what's it gone up, oh, tax, well...!

0:21:070:21:10

I remember my mum watching the news just to see how much a packet

0:21:100:21:13

of fags had gone up by.

0:21:140:21:15

She'd never voted in her life but that's what she used to watch.

0:21:150:21:19

How much it had gone up by.

0:21:190:21:23

Growing up now, I do think that isn't the main issue.

0:21:230:21:25

There are bigger things!

0:21:260:21:26

Yes, there are bigger things in life!

0:21:260:21:32

Some of the families I work with, they don't overspend,

0:21:320:21:34

but they are very poor.

0:21:340:21:35

They live hand to mouth.

0:21:350:21:37

Yes.

0:21:370:21:38

And...

0:21:380:21:41

There is quite a big rich-poor divide at the minute, I think.

0:21:410:21:47

Well, thank you very much, thank you to Kerry, John,

0:21:470:21:49

Nicola, Anthony, Ashley, Irfan and Tracy, thanks very much

0:21:490:21:51

for sharing your views.

0:21:510:21:52

Now, no small group of people, even though they've been chosen

0:21:520:21:55

by the pollsters Ipsos Mori, can ever tell you how any one

0:21:550:21:58

constituency will vote, let alone how the whole country

0:21:580:22:00

will vote, but what they can do is put the flesh on the bones

0:22:000:22:03

of the things that we see in opinion polls and the things

0:22:030:22:06

we hear every day.

0:22:060:22:07

Next week we'll be hearing not from a group of Leave voters

0:22:070:22:10

but a group of Remain voters.

0:22:100:22:13

In the first of three special programmes, Nick Robinson sits down for dinner with a group of voters to examine how different parts of the electorate are making up their minds ahead of the general election.