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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Between now and June the 8th, I'm going to be travelling
the country trying to see how different groups of voters
are making up their minds who to support in the general election.
First stop, this pub in Halifax, where we're talking
to people who voted Leave in the EU referendum.
Working-class voters here.
Many of them would have had a traditional link
to the Labour Party, some, maybe have defected to Ukip,
others may be considering the jump all the way to supporting
the Conservative Party.
Now, we've recruited this group of voters with the help
of the opinion pollsters Ipsos Mori, and we want to try to get some
answers to my questions.
Let's go in for the first of my election takeaways.
We're here above a pub in Halifax.
It may look a bit like a church because this is no ordinary pub.
This is actually the place where the Halifax Building
Society was founded, hence the oak panels
and the stained-glass windows, and we're here to talk
about politics and have a bit of a curry.
I just want to get a sense of people here.
When you're thinking about how to vote in this election,
how big a factor, if any - it may not be at all -
is that Brexit decision?
Is that going to affect how you vote or is it over?
No, it's not over.
It's going to affect how I vote , because I voted to come out.
I think the Conservatives will definitely go down the Brexit route.
I think, if Labour get in there's a possibility
they will try for another referendum and change at all.
So you're a bit nervous, John.
A little bit, yes.
It's not over as far as you're concerned?
No, not yet, no.
To me it's only just starting, really.
I think it is over.
I think even if Labour get in and call for another referendum,
I think the public will vote exactly the same way again.
I think the vote would still go the same way so it doesn't worry me.
John is a bit worried that if the wrong party gets in now,
maybe it will all start again.
Do you think so?
So you can vote for who you like in the election,
you don't have to worry about...
No, and I think even if there was another referendum,
I think the public would vote exactly the same way, I don't think
it would alter the decision.
I totally agree.
I think the public feel a bit cheated, to tell
you the truth, if anything.
It's almost like saying to your kid, do your school day, school
sports day, you come last, it's all about taking part.
No, it's not, it's about winning, there's got to be a winner,
there's got to be a loser.
And when it's done it's done?
And when it's done it's done, yes, exactly.
You know, they're dragging their heels, aren't they?
She's dragging her heels?
I think she's dragging her heels.
I don't think her heart is in leaving Brexit,
and I think all them sat on the bench going, "Oooh,"
like that, I just think there...
How can I put it?
I'll believe it when I see it.
It's not concrete and it's not set in stone.
And I believe in black or white, in the sense of, you know,
don't go round the houses.
And you see, there's a big north and south divide, you know?
You people down south - I don't mean you, Nick, but...
You're working-class, we don't live in fancy houses,
million pound houses and half ?1 million houses.
You think the worry is that people who do have the money...
You think that Europe will...
They think about themselves, money, money, money, money.
You think they want to overturn the referendum?
Yes, I do.
I think the public, we have spoken, we've said what we want,
and I think even if, like I said, another
referendum was called, it would go exactly
the same way.
There is so many people that want out, and like Tracy said,
I think it is the people with money that benefit from staying in.
But what Tracy is saying to you is, the rich people, they'll turn
this around if they can, they'll find a way.
You don't think so?
I wonder what the future of Ukip is if we are going to be out...
Well, we're going to be out, so...
They lost really badly in the local elections.
Do you care?
I don't know.
Let me let you into a secret.
You all voted Leave, that's why you're here.
We chose you because you were Leave voters.
And you want to know why we voted Leave?
No, we want to know whether that affects how you will
vote in the election.
For you, not?
I'll tell you how it works.
It's what we get out of it, us working class people get out of it.
And at the moment we're not getting anything.
Yes, that's the only thing swaying my vote
is what policies are in place, what are they going
to do with the NHS, what are they going to do
with housing, disabled services.
It's things like that.
That's more important?
That's far more important, yes.
Do you agree?
Because I work in the public sector, I see it hands on, every day.
I see the impact it has on families, young people...
Did anybody vote Ukip before?
It was down to the wire, wasn't it, you know?
There were just one or two things that didn't sit right with me.
But did you get...
How far did you get, were you there with the ballot
paper and your pencil...?
I got to the front door, put it that way.
Yes, it was that close, and it was literally
a three-minute mindset change.
I just thought...
I had to give my head a bit of a wobble.
Anybody else get close?
Didn't feel right for you?
Well, I'm seriously thinking of voting Ukip this time.
This time, but you haven't before?
So somebody's got to negotiate this deal.
What sort of qualities do we need to see in the person
negotiating the deal?
Let's just throw out some words, what sort of words?
Somebody who is strong.
Who's going to try and get the best deal for Britain when we come out,
and who's not going to take the 85 billion euros
bill they throw at us.
Not easily led.
That's a good one.
When they make a decision they have to stay there.
You said trustworthy, as well.
Yes, he said confident but then when you said
trustworthy, that's a good one.
Yes, well he's staying in Europe, isn't he, to make sure we get
a decent deal when we come out.
Do you wish he was in their...
Do you wish he was in there?
While he stays there, giving them what for, yes.
So you'd vote for Ukip, then?
Possibly not vote for Ukip.
I think Farage is OK, and I think he wants
what's best for Britain.
I think we need somebody that doesn't exist at the moment.
Somebody that's got a bit of backbone, somebody who's not
frightened to say what they want and to say the people
frightened to say what they want and to say what the people
are believing in, and...
You know, not getting all excited and overly upset
about upsetting the PC people, you know?
There's too much of it at the moment, so we need
somebody that's a realist, somebody that's going to listen
to the people and take what the people have spoken.
Somebody who understands the needs of somebody
from a working-class background, not somebody born with a silver
spoon in their mouth.
I don't think there's anybody at the moment.
They don't exist.
It has to be practical, like I said to you.
They don't come out, practically, and give
people what they need, actually, they just randomly check
you or go on the paper, this is what people say,
but they don't go out, basically.
A practical person, I would say that is the person.
So not someone who talks too much, somebody who's got a plan?
A plan and practical.
Are there no leading politicians in Britain who speak
for the working class?
He does, yes.
Yes, he's definitely the most down to earth, the most...
The biggest realist out of them all, I think, and probably the most
trustworthy out of them all.
I wouldn't trust any of them in particular,
but I think he comes across as the most trustworthy one.
He gets slated a lot, doesn't he?
He does, but he takes it, though, and he just
carries on and carries on.
Anybody else like Jeremy Corbyn?
Just me, on my own!
Nobody said Theresa May?
I tell you now, I voted Labour the past few times,
but I honestly don't know if I will vote Labour
again this time.
They just seem like they're doing round turns on themselves.
A lot of in-house arguing, can't seem to get their own house
in order, and if that's the state of their house, well, I don't want
them coming to my house, sorry!
I'm the same, to be honest, I'm undecided, I don't know
which way I'm going to go.
I have voted Labour the last couple of times, but...
What's making you hesitate?
She annoys me a bit, but Corbyn annoys me,
so I'm a bit like...
They are your main two, aren't they, really?
Historically, as in previous generations of your family,
did anybody vote...
My dad's family was brought up Labour, Mum's family
was brought up Conservative.
That's like mine, yes.
Catholic and Church of England, and I have never had any pressure
on me to make a decision either way, so...
I just wondered if sometimes people vote...
Like their mum and dad?
The problem with Corbyn to me, is, he doesn't have the charisma.
He reminds me of somebody from the 1970s, like Michael foot
He reminds me of somebody from the 1970s, like Michael Foot
or an old Labour MP that's nice and cuddly, but he's
got no charisma for me.
Or he hasn't got enough charisma.
So I couldn't vote for him, personally.
Plus a lot of the Labour MPs, I can think of three,
Corbyn, Diane Abbott and...
In fact, I can't remember three, I can remember two.
It's like a homogenous group and I don't even
know who anybody years.
know who anybody is.
Nobody said anything good about Theresa May.
Does anybody think she's good?
I think she's all right.
I think we can't blame a single person, though.
It's not Theresa May's decision.
If she's doing something obviously she is discussing
with all the party members everything, then she can
make the decision.
We can't say in the Labour Party, that person is going
to be a strong person.
Do you like Theresa May, then?
Not personally, I'm married!
Has anybody heard the slogan they use a lot about Theresa May?
She is strong and stable, that's what they keep saying.
You're saying you've not heard that?
Does that ring true?
You don't think she's strong or stable, I mean,
or the Tory government?
And you don't.
No, I don't.
And the main reason you sounded upset...
Was you thought they'd backed down, Tracy, on immigration.
Yes, she's backed down, hasn't she?
She has backed down.
She says one thing, she says, oh, yes, we'll do it, you know,
will close the borders, blah blah blah, and now,
she is now turning round and saying, oh, well we'll let 10,000 in.
That's 10,000 more kids for our schools, for our
homes, for our NHS...
What do you think on immigration?
Tracy is really bothered that you should try to get it down
to nil, really, aren't you?
What do you think?
Obviously I'm worried about it as well, no doubt about it.
We people working here pay taxes and people that come from outside...
Basically they get everything that we, basically,
the people who live here, deserve it, but they get more
things, but we don't, actually, and we pay taxes for themselves.
You pay for it?
They should only get...
We are working and the tax we pay pays for them,
for the last that are allowed in the country.
So you want...
So you want...?
But some of the workers that come over are really hard workers
and will do what some of our unemployed won't do.
I don't think it's necessary then that's the problem,
I don't think it's necessary them that's the problem,
them who come over and they work and they integrate with society.
I think it's the immigrants that come over and don't work,
you know, take up the housing and the benefits, and locally it's
definitely a problem.
What is, sorry?
Definitely in this area.
There's so many about are not working, they take up
the housing, crime...
Crime is a big issue in Calderdale.
You sound like you're saying to us, hold on,
Nicola, you're saying, remember that immigrants
The ones who do want to come across, I've got friends and family who work
abroad, and it's tit for tat kind of thing, but some services over
here cost double the amount because we need
interpreters to support them.
Because you work in the public sector?
I do, yes.
Let's just do a couple of other issues.
What other issues?
A few of you have mentioned the NHS, John, you mention the NHS.
I think we pay VAT to Europe, couldn't we pay VAT when we come out
of Europe and put it into the NHS and education and stuff like that?
Still pay VAT that use it for our own benefit
rather than paying it into the bureaucracy of Europe?
I think that would be a good idea.
That is the NHS important enough?
But is the NHS important enough?
They say that the issue.
Just go with the party that gets that right for me.
That's one of the main issues, I think.
I think getting out of the EU is a very important thing because it
gives us our own sovereignty and we can determine
our own borders, who comes here, also we determine how our money
is spent on what we need in this county rather than paying,
what is it, ?45 million a day to be in Europe,
something like that,
so we could benefit from that a lot more than people
in Europe, you know?
I want to ask you to think about the parties, OK?
So, when you think of the Tory party, what do you think?
Yes, more for posh people.
Jolly boys' club, funny handshake society.
Is it Eton, they've all been to Eton?
They're all private.
You said you were thinking of voting for the?
Yes, I am, yes.
I mean, I went to grammar school but that's by the by.
But yes, I'm thinking of voting for them,
because Labour just don't...
They leave me cold at the minute, sorry, but they just do.
Anthony, I got the impression you might...
It's possible, anything is possible.
You might vote for all these posh Old Etonians?
No, I don't...
If they tick all the boxes I'm looking for...
You will hold your nose and do it anyway?
I will do what needs to be done, you know, because it's...
Like I say, if they tick my boxes, well then, I'm sorry if somebody
else doesn't feel the same, but hey ho, that's what politics is.
Anybody want to have another word on the Tories?
What about Labour, then, what words come to mind on Labour?
I think for the workers.
For the workers?
For the working class.
I don't think they are for the working class.
Do you not?
No, I think they're for anybody who will vote for them.
How soon do you think they'll actually...
Because you all voted Labour.
Because you all voted Leave.
How soon do you think we will be actually out, totally out?
Two years and we're out?
I think 2018, actually, end of 2018.
But if Theresa May says we're going to phase it
and take our time to get out...
Yes, it'll be five years, I reckon.
But why phase it?
It is what it is, let's have some backbone, right,
Brussels, up yours, sunshine, two finger salute,
Brussels, up yours, sunshine, two-finger salute,
long live the Queen.
You know, and crack on with it.
I get a sense, Nicola, sorry to look at you again,
but I get the sense, Nicola, there's a chance
you might not vote at all.
I've had times when I haven't voted.
Anyone else think they might not vote?
You'll efinitely vote?
I think I will, yes.
It's a shame to waste your vote, isn't it?
I think it's the criticism you get, it's kind of the PC thing,
isn't it, when you get...
It's one of those things that...
You don't actually say who you voted for because you going to be
criticised either way.
I just choose not to vote sometimes because I really don't know
who to vote for and I felt it was a wasted vote if I vote
for somebody and counteract somebody else when you don't know
what you're doing.
Just do this word game when you shout out some words.
So I'm going to say Theresa May.
What you of her?
I think it's quite good that the country is led by a few
females, we've got, obviously, the Queen...
Even if you don't like her, do you think she's strong?
I think she's a bit of a battle-axe but I think she's quite
a strong person, yes.
I think she's stronger than Corbyn, I'm sorry.
Yes, even though I don't particularly like her,
I think she has to be strong to have got where she is, she,
today, even though she's a replacement, isn't she?
She wasn't voted in.
Some words about Corbyn, what do you think of when I say Corbyn?
A wet blanket.
I think a bit of a snake.
I can't say anything, you know?
No personal opinion because I don't really tend to watch much about him
but he hasn't got a very good reputation when it comes
to what you do read about and think about him.
comes to what you do read about and hear about him.
He's for the people.
That's not a word!
It's not, is it?
You feel strongly about this.
Yes, I do, yes.
I think Labour have created a mess and I think they should come
back in and clear it up.
They'll make a bigger mess.
I don't think they will, I think they'll right their wrongs
that they created in the first place.
Does anybody speak for the working class in politics?
Not even you...
Not even you, and you believe in Jeremy Corbyn!
I do, I think out of all of them, it's definitely him,
but I don't think...
I think they've all come from privileged backgrounds
to get to where they are, and I think none of them have ever
lived on a council estate or have ever lived off benefits all come
from single-parent families.
None of them have ever queued in a food bank, you know...
That is what politicians lack, I think.
They lack that...
Yes, the experience.
On the ground.
Nicola, you're a single mum.
Do you have that sense of people not having had the life
experience that you had?
I think I've...
I've been brought up by a 2.4 family, but I work in fields
where they are mainly from vulnerable families.
Youth offending, domestic violence, and a lot of the families I work
with, they don't vote, either.
Because, you think, they think politicians are other
people, not like us?
Yes, I think they think they're just not like us, yes.
They don't vote because it doesn't make a difference to them.
That's the point.
If it changed anything, they'd ban it!
All they're interested in most probably is how much my pint
is going to be and how much it's going up, petrol
and a packet of fags!
But are they wrong?
Well, no, it is their main thing, isn't it?
That's the first, oh, what's it gone up, oh, tax, well...!
I remember my mum watching the news just to see how much a packet
of fags had gone up by.
She'd never voted in her life but that's what she used to watch.
How much it had gone up by.
Growing up now, I do think that isn't the main issue.
There are bigger things!
Yes, there are bigger things in life!
Some of the families I work with, they don't overspend,
but they are very poor.
They live hand to mouth.
There is quite a big rich-poor divide at the minute, I think.
Well, thank you very much, thank you to Kerry, John,
Nicola, Anthony, Ashley, Irfan and Tracy, thanks very much
for sharing your views.
Now, no small group of people, even though they've been chosen
by the pollsters Ipsos Mori, can ever tell you how any one
constituency will vote, let alone how the whole country
will vote, but what they can do is put the flesh on the bones
of the things that we see in opinion polls and the things
we hear every day.
Next week we'll be hearing not from a group of Leave voters
but a group of Remain voters.
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.