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Election Daily

Manifesto-fest! (the worst summer festival)

plus Ed Davey at a theme park

8:28 AM GMT+1 on June 11, 2024

    I'm back! What did I miss? Nothing much, I see, except Rishi Sunak self-immolating by leaving the D-Day ceremony early, Douglas Ross announcing he will resign as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and Reform UK candidate Ian Gribbin saying the UK would have been "far better" if it had "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality". Ok, just a few things then. Given the cracking pace of this election I promise not even to blink until 4 July. In the meantime, thanks to Annabel Deegan for standing in for me while I was away.

    Now, straight back to business. Here is what the the great and the good of the news podcasting establishment made of the last 24 hours of rollicking politicking, including the start of a whole week of party manifesto launches.

    The Election Shortcut with Kate McCann: The show's eponymous host went on location at a theme park as Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey launches his party's manifesto yesterday. Did he fall off anything? No. In fact, the Lib Dems look in pretty good shape this election with some projecting that they could even win the surprisingly big prize of becoming the country's third largest party, edging out the SNP. 

    The Two Matts: Matthew d’Ancona and Matt Kelly of The New European go a step further asking whether Lib Dem leader Ed Davey could end up as leader of the opposition. Could he wind up standing across the dispatch box from PM Starmer? A wild, but not impossible prospect.

    Election Newscast: Also looking at the Lib Dems' manifesto launch is the BBC Newscast team, who pick up on whether a "manifesto to save the NHS" with pledges of £8bn for health and care services in England is a vote winner. Meanwhile, Nick Robinson also got to have a chinwag with everyone's favourite (outgoing?) PM, Rishi Sunak. The first in a series of party leader chats the BBC is going to be conducting.

    The Daily T: The Telegraph's political correspondent Dom Penna comes in today to crunch the numbers on just how many seats the Lib Dems can win from the Tories. The numbers are surprising. This is the first in the manifesto shows the Daily T will be doing with Conservatives tomorrow and Labour at the end of the week after their launch on Thursday.

    The News Agents: Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner comes onto the show to tell Lewis Goodall she carries the weight of working class women on her shoulders, and doesn't ever want to be the Labour Leader. A classic thing people who end up being party leader tend to say, no? And how does she like being on the road, Goodall asks her. "I love it", she replies, "although it can be a bit bouncy on the back seats of the bus. Especially because the roads of Macclesfield are quite windy… but I really enjoy being out and about meeting people." Again, you really have to say that as future party leader, don't you.

    Oh God, What Now?: Sunak sure got himself into hot water with that whole D-Day thing. Hosts Andrew Harrison, Hannah Fearn and Matt Green discuss just how hot. Will it leave his election hopes in tatters? Does he even have election hopes, one wonders? They even speculate whether he might be thinking of quitting the race altogether. Hard to know if that would help or hinder the Conservatives given how things have been going so far. Also under discussion is the team's selection of heroes and villains of the week. Deciding the villains must be easy; heroes rather less so.

    Today in Focus: Over at Guardian Towers, Zoe Williams looks at whether the Tories are going to "embrace" Nigel Farage, as Suella Braverman has suggested. Farage, of course, says a pact between his party and the Tories "ain’t gonna happen". But then just over a week ago he was insisting he wasn't going to run to be an MP, so is he the most reliable person to consult on this one? Meanwhile, in their other episode of the day Michael Safi is also talking elections… just not our ones. In fact the focus of today's other Today in Focus is what Macron is playing at by launching parliamentary elections after his party got trounced in the European parliament elections. Will his high-stakes gamble pay off? Gambling always results in good things, right? Just see Sunak's current snap election gamble or any number of gambling websites' fine print as proof of that.

    The Rest Is Politics: This is where it has all been leading for a while: Farage engineering a reverse takeover of the Tory Party. Could such a thing come to pass? That is the fascinating question Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell are discussing today, which follows hot on the heels of a great article in The Observer over the weekend about where the Tories will go next if, as expected, they are trounced in a few weeks' time. Also under discussion is whether Labour could lose votes to the Greens.

    Macrodose: Another worthy deviation into the European elections that is worth listening to today is Macrodose's effort. Launching a new micro-series, Election Economics, which is set to run up until 4 July, host James Meadway speaks today to rockstar economist Yanis Varoufakis. Together they unpack and reflect on the weekend’s European Election results. Varoufakis is always well worth listening to, and not just because of his deep sonorous voice. 

    For the Many: Now, I can't talk, because I just took a few days off this election, but why did Rishi Sunak need to take two days away from the campaign trail? That is one of the questions under discussion by Iain and Jacqui as they talk about the release of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. Plus, what does the resignation of Douglas Ross as Conservative leader in Scotland mean?

    Talking Politics: ITV's UK editor Paul Brand has gone to some trouble for this one, travelling to blue and red wall seats around the country to get a sense of what those old walls, which let's face it haven't been behaving like walls recently, are going to do come 4 July. Election analyst Professor Jane Green joins in to look at what voters are looking for in the next prime minister. Meanwhile, Nina Hossain is joined by Robert Peston and Anushka Asthana to discuss all the excitement of manifesto week.

    Politics Without The Boring Bits: Matt Chorley talks to Conservative Brandon Lewis about his time in parliament, explains why he thinks Rishi Sunak is "managerial", and why he hosted a radio show with Eric Pickles. Plus Times columnists Rachel Sylvester and James Mariott talk about Labour's "tangle" over plans for VAT on private schools.

    Coffee House Shots: So why exactly has Douglas Ross announced he will resign as Scottish Conservative leader? Well, explain Michael Simmons, Isabel Hardman and Katy Balls, it is at least partially because he had lost the support of his colleagues following his decision to effectively take over a Westminster colleague’s constituency when that MP was seriously ill in hospital. But there are other good reasons too, as the Spectator team explain.

    And now for something completely different:
    Come by Chance: This is a quite incredible story about how two men in rural Canada working at the same factory realised they shared a birthday. Then they realised they looked just like each other's siblings. And, as it turned out, both had families they'd never quite fit into. But finding out they were switched at birth is just the start of this story, which has multiple baby switches, a (possibly) guilty nurse, and much more. Enthralling, twisty stuff!

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