well, obviouslyjeremy corbyn's late decision to turn up at this debate put the spotlight on theresa may, who was a notable absentee. and there were plenty ofjokes about how the prime minister called this election the most important in her lifetime and she could not be bothered to turn up. to which the conservative party says, thank you very much to those six parties, you are illustrating one of our key themes about this election, which is that ifjeremy corbyn emerges as the leader of the largest party onjune 9th, the uk will be governed by a coalition of chaos. what would i say about the overall verdict? there was no clear winner and there was no clear loser. jeremy corbyn did as he did in the channel a debate on sunday, he spoke from the heart on matters dear to him, food banks for example. amber rudd did what she did last year in the referendum debate, had some pre—packaged sound bites, one on the monopoly board that didn't quite work. but she stood up well against the six other parties and delivered her core message, which was the choice, who do you want to negotiate brexit?
jeremy corbyn or theresa may? a bit of a question mark, because theresa may wasn't here. before this debate, yougov carried out another poll, and it makes pretty interesting reading tonight. that's right. a yougov poll in the times tomorrow suggests the conservative lead is now down to three points, 42 the conservative, 39 to labour. there is a dramatic tightening of the polls as far as yougov is concerned. but that is not being borne out in other polls. the icm poll in the guardian yesterday gave the conservatives a 12 point lead. i spoke to one senior labour source who said to me, we are clear that there is a pattern that the polls are tightening. but as there being a dramatic tightening, well, they say they're going to be really cautious. thanks, nick. we will be talking about the polls and what's driving them a little later in the programme.
well, there were strong moments for everybody on stage, and no game—changing gaffes. david grossman was watching as the argument progressed. not since captain mannering's wife has a character so dominated a scene while not appearing. jeremy corbyn. there were four party leaders. one westminster party leader, one co—leader and a stunt double. the first question of the night, who is missing? theresa may. the reason any leading lady sends a stunt double is so she doesn't get damaged if things go wrong. so with this, amber rudd's tactic was clear. ignore the others, but slam jeremy corbyn hard at every opportunity. jeremy, i know there is no extra payment you don't want to add to, no tax you don't want to rise. but the fact is we have to concentrate our resources on the people who need it most and we have to stop thinking, as you do, that there
is a magic money tree. you have to be accountable for the money you want to spend. have you been to a food bank? have you seen people sleeping around our stations? jeremy corbyn managed quite a few slams back. we cannot go on giving money away to the very rich. this government is proposing another £60 billion in tax giveaways in the next five years. instead i say turn it round and invest in the future of all of our people. with so many participants, the debate often descended into chaos. particularly when they were arguing about chaos. this is chaotic, chaotic. as the government, the conservatives were doing the most defending. judge us on our record... laughter we have cut the deficit. it wasn't the past that worried the lib dems so much as the future. we have a general election in eight days, theresa may assuming
a colossal landslide, that's why she thinks she can ignore people and not bother turning up tonight. she is telling people, we will take your house off you and we will allow you to know how much you get to keep after your majority. if tonight you resolve to vote conservative on the 8th ofjune, you were resolving to give theresa may emission to do what you like. remove university tuition fees. there are other parties to be judged on their record. you have a labour government in wales that is charging students to go to university. this is a uk government... labour is different in the uk than in wales? it's going to be a uk policy. it is unbelievably cruel to using lives as bargaining chips. the greens attack the government and the uk on brexit. i want to make the case for free movement, it has been the most wonderful gift, the ability to travel and work
and live and love in 27 other member states, and for them to come here. i am sorry that the labour party now doesn't support that. frankly. when the subject turned to terrorism, the ukip leader called for internment of suspect if necessary. 23,000 jihadis out there want to do us harm. lets not give our freedom and our liberty awaits. british rights over the rights of jihadis. the question was about terrorism and extremism, and ukip went straight for muslims. applause it wasn't a muslim that shot jo cox. at the end of the 90 minutes, two questions hung in the. was theresa may harmed or helped by not being there, and was a single voter's mind changed by any of it's david grossman.
well, as is traditional with these things, the debate tonight was followed by rounds of frantic pr from all sides afterwards in the so—called spin room. it's all wrapped up now, butjust before we came on air i caught up with the brexit secretary, david davis. we'll hearfrom him in a moment. first, i spoke to labour's shadow foreign secretary, emily thornberry. i started by asking her whetherjeremy corbyn taking part in the debate plays into those tory warnings of a coalition of chaos. well, i think that's probably the desperate attempt of conservative party central office to try and spin this. but, you know what, i think if i was amber rudd i would be going back to theresa may and saying, you really on me. i'm in front of all of those people and i say, judge us on our record, and people laughed. i had to be that a front that up, it should have been you, you are the prime minister, you are supposed to be the one who is strong and stable and able to negotiate brexit,
and yet you're not even prepared to debate with people to what i want to push a little harder on the coalition of chaos line. many people thought it was rather effective, and the polls, which have had a surge for labour, the polls perhaps suggest a hung parliament is more likely than we have bought. that means there could be a coalition led by the labour party. you know what i'm going to say, evan, you know, we don't believe the polls, we don't pay attention to polls. what we're doing is we are out there to win it. we do sense on the ground that things are beginning to change and that they want to listen to us and that they do see there is an alternative, and an alternative which is a potential government that has the vision for britain and is about hope and is about an alternative. it does not have to be that way, and the power is in the hands of the people, they can decide that no, despite the fact that you guys in the media and everywhere else has been saying, theresa may is going to walk it, it is just a question of how big a majority it will be.
it is up to the media to decide, and the people are beginning to listen to us and realising that we are a serious alternative. it does not have to be like this. point made. you can just clarify for the hypothetical situation in which it is a hung parliament, that labour will not have a collision agreement with the scottish national party, correct? we can take that as read, that will not happen, and you can be clear about that now and it would be a breach of the promised if there is one of two the election? i'm not dealing with hypothetical is with you, i'm sorry. why not? it's a perfectly reasonable question. because we're fighting to win! we want to have a majority in the house of commons and we want to be the next government and we are putting for and our alternative to the british people and it's
for them to decide which government they want. one thing is for sure, it's either going to be a labour government or a conservative government, and that's how it is. it's very interesting that you won't rule out a collision with the snp, and anybody listening to you will say, if we don't agree with emily thornbury that it may be a hung parliament, then we'd be right to think they will do a deal with the snp. we have put ourfaith in the british people and in our ability to be able to put forward our arguments and alternative vision. the fact is, you know, this is the biggest star that we have in our show, which is a series of ideas and an alternative vision for britain. let me just take a couple of points in there. if you want to wave the manifesto... the manifesto says, it is very carefully costed. it's not that funny! it says it's carefully costed. sorry, i'm laughing because i know you're going to start asking me numbers. believe me, i'm not trying to test you on your numbers, i'm not.
however, there are some policy areas, policy areas where it is simply not costed. 0ur benefits going to be operated or not? because working age benefits, on mondayjeremy corbyn said they would be but there is no cost in there for that, that is not a costed manifesto, is it? if we have a great honour of taking over as the next government, we will need to go into the department of and look at the chaos that is currently universal credit, and we need to look again at how well it is working, how that it is, and how the cuts will be effecting real people's likes. we have set aside £2 billion per year in order to be able to look again at universal credit and sorted out and make sure it is there. there is a series of benefits that we will. the cuts off, i can reel them off if you want. it starts with the bedroom tax and how unfair that is. it's just the operating of benefits. some of your plans are carefully costed and they are there. this is not costed and it is quite expensive. this is when you have basically changed on the hoof, you have you turned on your manifesto,
it is not in there. jeremy corbyn says it is on the tv. that is different to your manifesto. the reason we put into the manifesto by the focus on universal credit also doing his duty at the spin room tonight 35... if 2 lee i asked him how he felt amber rudd did this evening standing in for her leader. i think she did astonishingly well, she was straightforward, calm, sober, answered questions directly. it was a metaphorical comparison with the coalition of against her, noise and the argument, she was the voice of calm in the middle of it, she did very well indeed. theresa may did well not to go because she would not have done as well as amber rudd.
well, i don't think that is true, bear in mind a couple of things: she appeared on the same programme asjeremy corbyn on monday, doing the same again friday, she has done 5500 miles of touring around the country, answering loads of questions from public and journalists. do you think she watched tonight, do you know if she watched it? i don't know, but i wouldn't necessarily assume so. it is embarrassing if you are the leader of the party, the prime minister, and somebody stands in for you, and to some extent, shows you up, by answering the questions so nimbly, which is not characteristic of theresa may in this campaign. i don't think that shows her up,
one of the real underestimated characteristics, of great leaders, is they have good people around them, good people around her, amber rudd is one of the stars, that is a very good thing. amber was able to be straightforward because we have a strong argument, a strong case, she made it well. one of the things she said related to your department. she said, when it comes to brexit, you have a plan. yes, we do. i thought that you had a set of objectives, but having objectives is not the same as having a plan. i plan is what you do when they do not like your objectives! well, we have both, the manifesto, has a page and a half, what it refers to is well over 100 pages. two white papers, major speech, that long letter. behind all of that, those are the aims, $525: "459 ﬁt i sﬁfiimiﬁt i are there but underpinning that,
there is also chairing a meeting today, as i was, first steps of the plan, where we hope we win the election and we start, 11 days later, into the negotiations. great, maybe, as it is the brexit election by your own admission, maybe you can share with us some aspects of the plan, maybe you can tell us what your immigration policy will be, once we leave. first thing we have said is that we will bring control back to britain. that is not a policy, it is a phrase, david...! wait a minute, let me get to the point, evan, people voted for control the borders and money and their own laws in the referendum, all of those matter, in the control of borders, we are talking about bringing control back to britain's parliament
so they can decide on eventually what the immigration policy is and we have said clearly that the aim is to bring it down to sustainable levels. that is not a policy, with respect, that is not a policy. a plan... too often the commentators want to go into the weeds and the details... laughter what? the outcome will be that. you have told us no deal is better than a bad deal, but you have not told us how bad a deal has to be... i just want to ask you, would you walk away, literally say, no deal, if, for example, the european court ofjustice had to be involved in the european aviation agreement that we sign, or something like that. no deal is better than a deal that has anything...? many components of a bad deal, we will not draw the lines for you so that our negotiations partners on the other side nowhere to push it too, but i will say that we will not have the european court ofjustice ruling on issues inside britain.
this is not a plan, it is a lot of things that you say, that you are going to do. set of demands that are unpleasant and not compatible, is that what you are talking about? why would... not at all, why would they be presented with incompatible and unpleasant things, we are looking for the best deal possible, a free—trade agreement, customs agreement, an agreement on counterterrorism and security, those are not unpalatable things, and in addition, we'll seek to open up free—trade agreements with the rest of the world, those are all very good things, not very bad things. the last one, another poll this evening, yougov poll, 3% difference between the tories and labour. what are you reading into this, into this surge, too much theresa may and not enough amber rudd on the campaign?
you have been a television commentator, radio commentator, for a long time, you are very numerate, above all people, you should know how untrustworthy polls are. what it reminds people is that if you do not have theresa may going to that negotiation, 11 days after the election, it will bejeremy corbyn. the people watching your programme have got to make a decision, which do they want? i know which, it is clear to me. well, this has not been the election the tories thought it would be when they called it. an easy cruise to a much enhanced majority, all based on the broad appeal of theresa may. something has gone wrong. instead of being on a roll, the party seems to be in the midst of a wobble. although still in the lead according to the polls, it's hard to think of an election campaign that has seen a more dramatic turn against the leader than this one has. role for the final week,
newsnight has learned. nick watt looks at what is next for theresa may. voiceover: just a few short weeks ago, theresa may was banking on a blue surge sweeping her back into downing street with an emphatic mandate. it turns out that a few weeks is now an eternity in british politics. with just eight days to go, our strong and stable prime minister is stumbling towards the finishing line. elections rarely work out as they're meant to work out. it looked like this was going to be a very boring campaign, and it hasn't turned out that way. i think, in lots of ways, what the conservatives have because actually i think they're looking at this huge problem of care, which is growing because — luckily, i'm growing older myself — we're all living longer, and it's a problem that has to be addressed sometime. but to do that kind of in the middle of an election campaign isn't always the best timing.
and that's made it a much more interesting campaign. the new pressure on the prime minister followed an estimate by the pollsters yougov that theresa may could lose 20 seats. tory high command is disdainful of the findings. they believe the prime minister is still on course for a decisive victory on the grounds that jeremy corbyn is not seen as a credible prime minister. for all of the bullish talk amongst senior tories, cabinet ministers acknowledge that their campaign did experience a wobble last week after theresa may's u—turn on social care. but rare nerves in the may camp led to one major change, sir lynton crosby, who masterminded david cameron's victory in 2015, has taken sole command of the tory election campaign. everybody bar the prime minister now answers to him. under lynton crosby's leadership, there has been a renewed focus on the original issue the prime minister said would decide this election,
who is best placed to deliver brexit? david cameron's former director of communications believes he will strengthen the campaign. people are willing to follow him. they're willing to check to go over the top with him and go in the direction that he sets. he's a very charismatic person. and i remember in 2015, lots of people just wanted to follow what he said and were prepared to listen to him and hear what he had to say. but he was also very clear in 2015 — i'm in charge. the dominant role now played by lynton crosby shows how the architect of the original social care policy, the prime minister's joint chief of staff, nick timothy, has been damaged by the u—turn. 0ne minister told newsnight that after the election, there will be calls to curb the unconstitutional dominance of timothy and his colleague fiona hill. ministers say the prime minister's authority has taken a knock. they say she can recover, but only if she secures a decisive victory.
the unofficial target is a parliamentary majority of at least 50. anything under that, and ministers will ask questions theresa may's less—than—perfect campaign was forced onto the defensive again tonight over the television leaders‘ debate. we invited the leaders of seven parties to take part. some are here, others chose to send senior representatives. but gordon brown's former pollster believes the prime minister is still in a strong position. the tories lost a little bit of that message discipline that they're so good at. they allowed themselves to be distracted from their basic brexit positioning, which i now note they've gone back to. i think if they can now stick to that, then they will coast home and it will not be a problem for them. it turns out that a late spring tide that should have allowed theresa may.
the prime minister is bruised, but she remains convinced that the blue tide is after all headed in one direction, a clear win. studio: now, we have to talk about the opinion polls. silly as it is to endlessly dwell on forecasts of the election result when we'll know the actual facts in just eight days, it is still impossible not to be gripped by what is going on. part of it is that the polls have moved a lot against the conservatives but the main point is that the polling experts are now coming up with a variety of plausible stories that diverge massively. chris hanratty and his team, who we used at the last election, come next week, they will either be
the heroes or the zeros. 0ur come next week, they will either be the heroes or the zeros. our policy editor is with me. is this spread between the poles unusual at the moment? it is. you mentioned that three points to the tories. icm have 12 points to the tories. icm have 12 point lead for the tories. if you go back historically, if you go back to 1970, there have been a hundred occasions in which two polling companies have both published a poll on the same day. and they disagree with one another about the size of the tory— labour lead by 3.5 centage points. these are unprecedented, very big numbers. what is driving the difference? from a 3% yougov tory lead?
some of this may be labour's very rapid rise, which causes problems. we will not go to that. more turnout weighting. they have to make sure that who is actually going to turn out. and the assumptions and measures at least are radically different. for example, once you have the measure before, only six percentage points. relatively good for labour. they are assuming that 80% of under 2as vote. they think it will be around 40% turnout among the under 24s. given so many young people are corbyn supporters, labour supporters, whether they turn out is basically what drives them?‘ supporters, whether they turn out is basically what drives them? a big pa rt basically what drives them? a big part of what is going on. the clearest exa m ple part of what is going on. the clearest example of where there are