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British PM Calls For Early Election On June 8th; Early Vote May Help Win Scotland Independence; FTSE 100 Has Sharpest Fall Since Brexit; Lib Dems Urge Voters To Block Hard Brexit; Leftist Melenchon Narrows Gap with Front Runners; White House Defends Trump's Call to Erdogan; Pence Denounces Reckless Actions of North Korea; Should We Trust U.K. Opinion Polls?; Pop Star Joins Royals in Mental Health Campaign. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 18, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tonight, a strategic surprise, the British prime minister calls for elections. How voters fear in the U.K.

could impact Europe again as Brexit negotiations hang in the balance.

Our breaking news this evening. Thanks for joining us. I'm Hala Gorani live outside the Houses of Parliament. You may hear Big Ben behind me. It

is precisely 8 p.m. here in London and across the country and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

It was a stunning announcement from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and it means Britain could be going to the polls again. In fact, they most likely

will be. She has called for a snap election on June 8th.

Parliament behind me will vote on that Wednesday. It comes just ahead of those crucial Brexit negotiations. As Diana Magnay reports, it's a big U-

turn for the prime minister.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There should be no general election until 2020. I am not going to be calling a snap election.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But it seems the lady is for turning.

MAY: I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet where we agreed that the government should call a general election to be held on the 8th of June.

MAGNAY: A general election Theresa May hopes will bolster the small 17- seat working majority she holds in the parliament and strengthen her mandates on Brexit.

MAY: So I have a simple challenge to the opposition parties. You have criticized the government's vision for Brexit. You have challenged our

objective. You have threatened to block the legislation we put before parliament. This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not

opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.

MAGNAY: In politics, though, there will always be game playing and right now, Theresa May has a strong hand. The latest opinion poll over the

Easter weekend giving her party a 21-point lead over the main opposition Labour Party.

JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: We want to put a case out there to people of Britain of a society that cares for all, an economy that works

for all and a Brexit that works for all.

MAGNAY: That is a case Labour under Jeremy Corby may find hard to make seeing as it voted alongside the government on Brexit to date. With more

to gain, a Scotland's nationalist and the opposition liberal Democrats, both of whom see this is their change to campaign against a hard Brexit.

NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Clearly, she sees the opportunity given the total disarray in the ranks of the Labour to crush

all position too hard to get rid of people to disagree with that and to give yourself a freehand to take the country in the increasingly rate wind

direction that she wants to take in

TIM FARRON, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER: What is an opportunity for the (inaudible) country to change the direction of this country, to decide that

they do not want a hard Brexit.

MAGNAY: Brexit has already divided the country. The constituents of the 52 percent leave, 48 percent remain hard to unite.

(on camera): This election is an all but name and now the vote on Brexit and there will be many in this country who feel an element of fatigue.

This is the fourth major vote in as many years you had Scottish independence in 2014, U.K. general election, and the E.U. referendum, and

now this, too much political turmoil for some.

But for Theresa May, she'll be hoping that it gets her the country's backing for the most tumultuous task of all taking Britain out of the

European Union. Diana Magnay, CNN, London.


GORANI: Well, just in, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has spoken to both the American president, Donald Trump, today as well as the German

Chancellor Angela Merkel, among other leaders.

Let's go live to 10 Downing Street, our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is there. Do we have a read out at all on any of these

conversations? What was discussed, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, so far, we don't. I mean, this all seemed to be an effort to just, sort of reassure those who

are closely involved in the future, Britain, if you will, President Trump, Angela Merkel, German chancellor as you say.

But also, she spoke with the European Council President, Donald Tusk, the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, and perhaps very

importantly, the Irish (inaudible) the prime minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny.

Of course, Britain's exit from the European Union is going to have a big impact on Ireland and that's been a very big issue, a big point for the

European Council President Donald Tusk has made that any exit must not destabilize Northern Ireland and Ireland.

[15:05:06]So that was perhaps an important call, but really we don't have a readout, but significant that Downing Street wants to say, she's done that

because she's clearly trying to reach out host to some of her biggest friends and allies as she takes Britain into Brexit.

GORANI: For all our international viewers, obviously, this is a very important domestic political stories, snap elections. She repeatedly said

she wasn't seeking an early election. She has gone ahead and called for one, but how does is impact Brexit negotiations if at all. This is really

the question on so many of our worldwide viewers' minds tonight.

ROBERTSON: You know, I think one of the things that Theresa may laid out was something that was clearly becoming coming into sharper focus on that

is that the Brexit negotiations, the whole process is not going to be done and dusted in two years. There will be a transition period.

Some of the key questions that are going to be decided are going to be decided towards the end of the negotiations, but that will be right about

the time Britain was heading into a new general election.

So until these snap elections were called, of course. So that would have led really to a period of uncertainty. So I think the broader context of

this is, whichever way it turns out, the world will have a better evaluation precisely where Britain is going at the end of this process.

If any country that deals in business turn to Britain and is trying to decide where the headquarters company in London and Frankfurt and in

Amsterdam or wherever it is because of Brexit will have a clear idea of understanding.

So perhaps towards the end of the Brexit process there will be better clarity and that Theresa May hopes for that, but she hopes to have it

because she will be driving it because she would do better out of these elections.

GORANI: Well, she hopes to have a stronger hand certainly to come out stronger out of this process. Now this is certainly the bet of the prime

minister. Let's get a prospective from Theresa May's Conservative Party.

I'm joined by John Whittingdale, an MP and former government minister. Thanks, sir, for being with us. Why do this? You already have a majority

in parliament. Aren't you sitting pretty?

JOHN WHITTINGDALE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Well, we are about to go into probably the most important negotiations to this country for many decades.

We've had the referendum which indicated that the British people wanted to leave the European Union.

But now what Theresa May I think is asking for is a mandate for the kind of vision that she has set out for Britain's future relationship. She wants

to go into those negotiations being able say look, I set out my plan and the British people have endorsed it.

GORANI: But they still don't know what they are getting. I mean, what is in the general election, you are asking voters to support the Conservative

Party. Will they know what they are getting in these Brexit negotiations as a result of casting their votes? How?

WHITTINGDALE: We have now published a white paper which set sides the vision of the government to our future relationship with Europe is very

clear that we want to take back control of our immigration policy no longer be subject to the rulings of the European court in Brussels.

But at the same time, we want to negotiate the closest possible trading arrangement. That is a very clear agenda. As a result of this election, I

hope that Theresa May will be able to go and say it's a house with firm support of the British people.

GORANI: Well, some of your political rivals are saying this is just a cynical, political game, but Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael, for instance, had

this to say about this announcement by the Prime Minister. Listen.


ALISTAIR CARMICHAEL, BRITISH LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MP: If she was really acting now in the national interest, she would be focusing on the conduct of these

negotiations. Instead she's going to take six weeks off from that 18- months period that she's got to negotiate to fight general election campaign.

This is all about the best interest of the Tory Party. It's very little to do with the best interest of the century. But I would say to her be

careful what you wish for, already you look like an arrogant and complacent prime minister, who is taking the support of people for granted and people

never react well to that.


GORANI: Well, is this just for the good of the Tory Party, not for the good of the country? I mean, essentially you're looking at polls, you're

seeing clearly the conservatives are way ahead. This is going to strength your hand, isn't it?

WHITTINGDALE: Look, it was the liberals who were saying to us that (inaudible) people have voted to leave the European Union. They haven't

been asked whether or not they wanted to leave the single market. Theresa May has said very clearly the kind of relationship she wants outside the

single market and the customs union but nevertheless having a very strong trading relationship.

GORANI: So outside the customs union for sure, completely hard Brexit?

WHITTINGDALE: We want to be able to reach new arrangements with countries like America, India, and China. We can't do that inside the customs union.

So we have set out a very clear plan of what the kind of relationship we would like to see.

And obviously Theresa May's hand will be much stronger if she can go into those negotiations saying it's been endorsed by the British people.

GORANI: Do you have any concerns at this stage, though, were just a few weeks after the triggering of Article 50, we are seeing big organizations,

the European Banking Authority, for instance, talking about leaving.

[15:10:13]Very big regulatory bodies that are currently based in London that say we need access to E.U. markets. We can't stay here. What are

your concerns today?

WHITTINGDALE: I won't (inaudible) access to E.U. markets, but actually, since the decision taken into referendum, we've seen a succession of

decisions by international companies who still want to come and invest in this country. They still see Britain as the location in Europe for their

headquarters and I think --

GORANI: Banks are already making contingency plans and thousands of jobs moving.

WHITTINGDALE: No, there is not thousands of jobs moving. In an actual fact, we've had a number of investment decisions which will create a lot

more jobs. But obviously, we want to get the best possible trading arrangement. We want to clear up the uncertainty.

And actually by having a general election now and giving Theresa May a very clear mandate from the people to try and achieve the kind of relationship

by which she was set out, I think her negotiating position will be much stronger.

GORANI: What else will this election be about?

WHITTINGDALE: Well, obviously there are a lot of domestic items on the agenda as well. It's about who is best equipped to leave this country into

the near future outside the E.U. I believe that Theresa May and the government is very strongly placed to do very well in that election.

Brexit will be the biggest issue, but obviously there will be other issues too.

GORANI: Lastly, how do you reach out to the almost half of the voters in your country who didn't want any of this?

WHITTINGDALE: Well, I think actually if you look at the opinion polls that have taken place since the decision, most people in this country accept the

decision what was taken. They now want to get on with it and to reach that new arrangement, clear up all the uncertainties that exist and to start

building a future for Britain while we have very strong relations --

GORANI: But a sizable portion of the country says they don't want to leave the E.U. And in the referendum, it was very -- it was a win obviously for

the Brexiters, but it was still 48.

WHITTINGDALE: Yes, but things have not moved on. If you go and talk to people who voted remain, they accept that the British peple decided to

leave and actually the poll showed that the majority of people don't want to revisit that argument. That has been settled.

What they now want is to get on with reaching an agreement with the rest of Europe, which will allow us to continue to trade with them but at the same

time allow us to start reaching new agreements with countries around the world.

GORANI: John Whittingdale, thanks very much for joining us, Tory MP on this very important day here in the U.K. Snap elections called for June

8th. This proposal will be voted on in the Houses of Parliament behind me.

A lot more to come this evening, more live reaction to the surprise announcement, conversations with lawmakers from the Labour Party and from

the Liberal Democrats, the only party that wants a new Brexit referendum.

And what might this mean for business, we were discussing this, and investors as well. Financial perspective with my colleague, Richard Quest,

in New York. We'll be right back.


[15:15:02]GORANI: What about Scotland in all of this, clearly the first minister is not pleased. She says the British prime minister made a major

political miscalculation, but Nicola Sturgeon says she will use this snap election to Scotland's advantage.


STURGEON: I will be facing this election to win. I think the prime minister has called this election for selfish, narrow, party political

interest, but she has called it and therefore, I relish the prospect of getting (inaudible) and standing up for Scotland's interest and values,

standing up for Scotland's voice being heard, and standing against the ability of our right-wing Conservative Party to enforce whatever policies

it wants in Scotland so I relish the prospect.


GORANI: Well, if approved by parliament, this vote could have lasting consequences for years to come for Britain and the European Union. Let's

bring Vernon Bogdanor, a research professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History at Kings College London. Hello, sir. Thanks

for being with us.

What did you think -- what went through your mind when you first heard Theresa May who seven times said I promise I am not seeking an early snap

election say actually I am.

VERNON BOGDANOR, RESEARCH PROFESSOR, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: Well, it is a surprise, but she has a case that she needs a mandate. It's worth

remembering the parliament elected in 2015, just two years ago, was composed of three quarters of remain MPs. They are being required to vote

for Brexit, which they are against. So Theresa May (inaudible) to saying look I'd like a parliament which will support Brexit.

GORANI: Will she get it, though?

BOGDANOR: She almost certainly will. The polls are showing the Conservatists have a very strongly lead and it's likely that most

Conservative candidates will stand for Brexit, but the second argument she started off after she's a new prime minister.

David Cameron was elected in 2015, governments becoming much more presidential. She wants her own personal mandate and she's rather

different conservative from David Cameron.

GORANI: In what way?

BOGDANOR: She's got a much closer link with what you might call provincial England, which voted for Brexit. Now David Cameron really represented much

more those who voted remain and she feels provincial was being neglected.

She said the vote was not just about Brexit, it was about the way Britain was governed and she wants to alter way Britain was governed, which I think

David Cameron did. So this is a new government with a new prime minister and that is the case for a general election.

GORANI: You mentioned the polls, the polls have been wrong in very dramatic ways over the last two big contests, the general election first

and Brexit second.

BOGDANOR: That is absolutely right. All we can tell from the polls is what would happen if there was a general election today. Now there isn't

going to be one today. The general election is in seven weeks' time. Anything can happen in those seven weeks as everything to play for.

GORANI: Yes, but if you look at the opposition, they are in a pretty terrible spot. The Labour Party is disintegrating. The Lib Dems suffered

a complete wipeout in 2015. So really that's the bet she is making, right? It's a political calculation.

BOGDANOR: The opposition have very serious problems. Labour has a mountain to climb. That's absolutely right. The Liberal Democrats were

almost wiped out in 2015, but they are a clear remain party. They may get the votes of discontent remainers.

There are other opposition parties worth mentioning in the non-English parts of United Kingdom. The Scottish nationalist who did almost a clean

sweep in Scotland in 2015, they will be fighting the election not so much on Brexit, but on the second referendum by which Scotland can get


GORANI: Absolutely --

BOGDANOR: And then in Northern Ireland, you've got (inaudible), another Nationalist Party, they'll be seeking a mandate for United Ireland.

GORANI: Let me ask you just overall about the impact this could have on Brexit negotiations because we are seen all around the world and many of

our viewers are in Europe. And of course, it comes as no surprise to them that I am going to mention the fact that most French and Germans would have

wanted Britain to stay in the E.U.

So their question is how does this impact the negotiations, the talks between this perhaps government that will become stronger as a result of

this process and they are E.U. partners?

BOGDANOR: Well, if Therese May gets the larger majority, which looks like at the moment will strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations. It will

make it more certain. I believe that Britain will leave the European Union.

It's going to be very difficult in this election for conservatives like George Osborne (ph), who wanted Britain to remain in the European Union.

The (inaudible) to get a deal to get it out and Theresa May has said Brexit means Brexit. We are leaving so I think it makes it more likely that

Britain will leave, but more likely that you'll get a good deal because you'll have strong authority behind her.

GORANI: But why would Europeans give Britain a good deal? I mean, in their minds let's not make this an example for others to follow.

BOGDANOR: That's absolutely right. But it's in their economic interest to give Britain a good deal because we trade with them as they trade with us.

We have shown off to the last year what a very stable and moderate political system we have compared with those on the continent.

[15:20:03]We are looking at France where the (inaudible) National may come second in the presidential elections. We are looking at other continental

countries, which are not as stable and moderate as Britain is.

Britain has a lot to teach the continent in terms of political moderation and stability. Our argument there that keeping Britain within the broad

European trademark.

GORANI: The first round of the French election is this Sunday. I mean, maybe the establishment candidate will win. We don't know although Marine

Le Pen certainly is doing well in the polls.

BOGDANOR: Well, we will be delighted if Marine Le Pen come second, will we not and that is a great change in the past when extremist party did very


GORANI: OK, why delighted?

BOGDANOR: Well, that hasn't come first.

GORANI: OK, delighted --

BOGDANOR: There were great worries.

GORANI: Right.

BOGDANOR: What would that do to the European Union is she were to win the French elections.

GORANI: Well, we could say that the European Union would probably not survive it.

BOGDANOR: That's right. You see some of your questions implied is a very uncertain Britain with a very stable European Union, but one could argue

the opposite. There is a very stable Britain beside a very uncertain European Union.

GORANI: Certainly, uncertainty is the name of the game. (Inaudible) will be in France this weekend covering this important election. Vernon

Bogdanor, as always, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Now this announcement was as much a shock to lawmakers as it was to businesses, companies in the U.K. are already facing the uncertainty of

Brexit negotiations. There is an uncertain road ahead as well.

So how is this political gamble playing out on financial markets? Richard Quest has been watching the numbers and joins us from New York.

We saw a big dip for the pound initially when the announcement was made that Theresa May was about to address her countrymen and women, and then

what happened?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": And then it went in exactly the opposite direction and the pound rose to its strongest level in

several weeks. It is now or close about 1.27 and at 1.28 now even more at the moment.

So a gain of 2 percent, but I think one has to put this in context also with what was seen in the equity markets where the FTSI was the largest

loser of the day.

It was down over 2 percent, and what you are seeing here is absolutely relationship which were seen over the past few weeks. Of the currency and

the equity and the shared market, normally, the two are not so related.

But when you have had a currency so badly devalued, but is actually having a positive effect on the trade numbers then you can start to see why the

rise in the pound was bad for the stock market.

It's a sort of a slightly topsy-turvy relationship at the moment. Uncertainty though and volatility everyone I've spoken to says, Hala,

that's the rule of the day.

GORANI: So the pound is back up a couple of cents against the dollar there, but why? Is it because the announcement that there would be

probably we expect an early election on June 8th will give Theresa May and her government a stronger hand in these negotiations and that we'll know

quicker what the road ahead will look like?

QUEST: I can offer you any one of a thousand different reasons for why the pound went up. All will be plausible. None of them are provable. Yes,

there are some who would say, well, this makes the possibility of a second referendum if the opposition, you know, all gives another opportunity for

the British people to express their will to stay in Europe.

There's a thousand and one reasons why. It's way too premature and I think -- and also it's reading too much into one days numbers. But yes, the view

in the market is, as you have just said, a stronger hand to Theresa May makes a better negotiation from the U.K.'s point of view.

But here's the point, Hala, a stronger hand for Theresa May is also an indication of a firmer hard Brexit.

GORANI: All right, so what though would that mean for businesses, for industry? I mean, we know that the British government is going to

negotiate perhaps sector by sector. But you do have warning signs when it comes to banking, which is so important to GDP in this country.

That first these big regulatory bodies are saying, look, we need to have presence inside the E.U. You might see some jobs and in sizable numbers

shift outside this country.

QUEST: Well, first of all, on the sectoral (ph) question, the E.U. has already said as part of their negotiating guidelines that they are going to

be approved by the Council this week and will be approved by the whole E.U. next week.

They've already said they will be no sectoral negotiations. It's an all or nothing. This idea that somehow you can have a half-way house. Of course,

what the reality will be is a Brexit in 2019 with transitional arrangements that will last maybe two or three more years.

[15:25:10]But again, you know, you got to keep going back to the documents here, Hala, and the two documents that are driving this first of all,

Theresa May's letter to Donald Tusk setting out what she believes for this new deep and special partnership.

That is a phrase. Never forget it, deep and special partnerships, and the other document, of course, is the negotiating guidelines or the mandate

from the Council to the commission to Bornier (ph).

GORANI: All right, Richard Quest, thanks very much. We'll see you at the top of the hour in "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

Meantime, in this country, the Liberal Democrats say voting Lib Dem is the only way to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit. They are urging voters to join

their cause to prevent the Conservative majority, it's a tall order, though, if you look at the polls.

I'm joined now by the party's foreign affairs spokesperson, Tom Brake. Hello. Thanks for being with us. What went through your mind when you

heard the announcement this morning from the prime minister?

TOM BRAKE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESMAN, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: Well, it wasn't a complete surprise although the prime minister said she was not going to

call a snap general election. We thought that she might and in fact we put in place candidates for a snap election last autumn. So we have our

candidates is in place up running and we are ready to take on the Conservatives in this battle.

GORANI: You suffered a huge defeat in 2015.

BRAKE: It was a bad election for us, but what the prime minister has done by choosing hard Brexit as the subject on which she wants to fight a

general election. She stirs on this exact territory that we as a party once sufficed the election.

GORANI: So what is your hope then?

BRAKE: Well, our hope is we'd be able to convince people that if they don't want a hard Brexit, if they do not want the extreme crashing out of

the European Union, the prime minister seems to want to offers us, if they wants to stay in the single market, stay in the customs union, keep jobs in

Britian --

GORANI: It seems the single market is off the table. I mean, people voted in Brexit for this country because they don't want the movement of labor,

and they want --

BRAKE: Old people voted for (inaudible) last year was come out to the European Union. What they didn't vote for was the terms of any deal. So

we want to make that deal the best possible for the U.K. I mean, (inaudible) that means being as close to European Union as possible.

We want to ensure that people have a chance at the end of those negotiations to vote on whether they like the deal the government have

secured or (inaudible) whether they want to stay in the European Union.

GORANI: So what's your strategy to achieve this?

BRAKE: Our strategy, I mean, we're being helped by the prime minister. She has made this almost a black and white election. You vote for the

prime minister, you get hard Brexit. You vote for the Democrats, you're going to get the best possible deal in Europe and that is good for British

jobs and that's good for British families.

GORANI: But it seems if you believe that polls and I know we have been burned by the polls before the general election in Brexit, but if you look

at the polls, the Conservative Party is in a very good position. They have a 21-point lead in the last few polls. So based on those numbers, what do

you do strategically?

BRAKE: Well, if Brexit is going to be the subject of this general election and that's what prime minister has chosen, of course, 52 percent of the

population voted to leave, 48 percent voted to remain so for us as a party, 48 percent is a good pool to fish in.

But of course, that's not the only pool were are going to focus on, we've got a lot to say about the future of our hospitals and the National Health

Service, the underfunding, we are starting to see waiting times in our hospitals starting to grow again.

So we are also going to make that a focus of our campaign and of course, that appeals across the board whether it's leave supporters or remain


GORANI: For all of our viewers in Europe especially, who may know people used it in this country or (inaudible) watching inside the E.U., you have

to settle this issue right away, right, of E.U. citizens living in the U.K. You can't let that linger --

BRAKE: Absolutely. That is something that as a party we are campaigning on very hard. Three million E.U. citizens in the U.K. who don't know what

their future is, possibly one and half million U.K. citizens in other E.U. countries who again don't know what their future is.

Our prime minister has failed to do what she could have done, which is make a unilateral decision to secure the future of E.U. citizens in the U.K. We

think she still needs to do that.

GORANI: She's say I'm not going to show my hand now. It's the beginning a very long negotiation process. I do not want to reveal right away what my

strategy is --

BRAKE: The best strategy for securing the rights of U.K. citizens in other E.U. countries would actually to be settle the (inaudible) of E.U. citizens

in the UK. She sure is not to do that. She is wrong.

GORANI: And in terms of the other things, hard Brexit, customs union, all the rest of that, I mean, in the end, the referendum gave a clear victory

to those who wanted to leave you the E.U. She's is the prime minister. She will most probably be strengthened from this election. In the end,

she's holding all the cards, isn't she?

BRAKE: Well, it's in fact a very close result 52 to 48. What people get why voting for the Liberal Democrats is the certainty of a strong voice

that is going to try and secure the best future for us in Europe, not the hard Brexit the prime minister is offering.

GORANI: Are you hoping to get a little bit closer to where you were before 2015 in terms of numbers of seats?

BRAKE: We are going to gain seats.

GORANI: OK, if you have, what's your estimate?

[15:30:00] BRAKE: -- I'm now going to predict we're going to gain seats.

GORANI: Tom Brake, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

BRAKE: Thank you.

GORANI: Ahead on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW on CNN, the other stories we're following including chilling news out of France. Authorities are saying

they thwarted an imminent attack, that's what they're calling it, just days before the presidential election in Marseille. We'll be right back.


GORANI: Hello and welcome back to a special edition of the program. We're live from outside parliament here in London. We'll have more on Prime

Minister Theresa May's surprise call for an early election, but we want to focus on some of the other important news we're following here on CNN.

French authorities are tightening security ahead of the presidential election on Sunday after announcing they foiled a, quote, "imminent

attack." Now, police arrested two men in Marseille and found a stash of weapons in a flat there. They say it included three kilos of explosives.

They also reportedly found an ISIS flag.

A top prosecutor says the suspects are both French nationals and were known to authorities after turning to radicalism. This is according to the

authorities in France. Tens of thousands of police and soldiers are mobilizing to protect polling stations this Sunday. One figure, 50,000

extra police.

The candidates are making their final push and the race is too close to call, especially given the unexpected surge of left-winger Jean-Luc

Melenchon. Now, the candidates are spreading themselves very thin in the final days of campaigning, trying to reach as many voters as possible, but

Melenchon has come up with a way to be at multiple rallies at once. CNN's Melissa Bell has details.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: The last time Jean-Luc Melenchon was in several places at once was back in February.

SEBASTIEN MIZERMONT, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ADRENALINE STUDIO HOLOGRAM (through translator): Marine Le Pen was due in Lyon so he was able to be in Lyon

and in Paris at the same time, and therefore get double the audience. And he was able to get ahead of her on T.V. and with the media because everyone

wanted to see the holographic effect.

JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): So where am I? In Lyon? Or in Paris?

BELL: The far left firebrand was the first French politician ever to hologram himself while delivering a live speech. In front of two adoring

crowds, he spoke for an hour and a half about his radical left wing platform of reform, which includes a referendum on Europe, a rise in public

spending, and in taxes.

[15:34:56] The technology was developed here in this Paris studio. This time, though, the challenge is even greater with Melenchon due to be in

seven French towns at once, including one in the Indian Ocean.

MIZERMONT (through translator): The technology is such that it's not an image that are seeing, but a real person. The same height, the same

presence, and within 10 minutes, people will have forgotten that it's a hologram.

BELL: It is his very real rise in the polls that Melenchon is hoping to cement. He is now one of four candidates with a real chance of making it

through to the second round, thanks partly to his strong showing in the T.V. debates and the legal troubles of some of his opponents.

MELENCHON (through translator): This campaign has been polluted by the scandals that concern some of you, not me. No, I think it's important to

underline that. Here there are only two people who are concerned, Mr. Fillon and Mrs. Le Pen.

BELL: Given his rise in the polls since, the holograms creator believe that, this time, the technology could help carry the message even further.

MIZERMONT (through translator): It's not the people travelling to see the politician. It's the politician making himself available to the whole of


BELL: Technology perfectly suited to a man whose left wing version of populism appears to be gaining ground.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


GORANI: Well, he certainly could disrupt the election. As I mentioned, we will be covering the first round and the second round from Paris with a

special edition of our program.

Now, the White House is defending President Trump's congratulatory phone call to Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Sunday's referendum expanding the powers

of the Turkish presidency. A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump says his intention was to find common ground with President Erdogan, not to discourage


My colleague, Becky Anderson, sat down for an exclusive interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They covered a lot of ground, including that phone



RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): We talked about our relationship in the forthcoming period. He shared with me his

views about that and about Syria, and I had the same opportunity to share my views with him.

And I said to him, especially on the matter of seeing each other, I said now that the election is over, rather than having to do it toward the

phone, it would be better to have a face-to-face meeting and to, ahead, take forward our relationship and matters about Syria. And we have agreed

that we will have that meeting in due course.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ABU DHABI MANAGING EDITOR: Do you like doing business with somebody like Trump as opposed to these European leaders that you have

a problem with?

ERDOGAN (through translator): We should not compare Mr. Trump with the leaders in Europe. Again, that shouldn't be right. We haven't started to

work with Mr. Trump. We are about to start it.

Our concern is to have as good a relationship as possible with Mr. Trump, with political leaders. And the better the relationship, the better it is.

We have an agreement with Mr. Trump, for example, which we hadn't had with President Obama.


GORANI: President Erdogan. You can see the exclusive interview with the Turkish President, Wednesday on "CONNECT THE WORLD" on CNN.

All right. We're live in Westminster. It is the very beginning of this snap election campaign, but polls indicate Labour may have a seriously

uphill climb. Can we trust the pollsters after the last two major contests in this country? Well, I'll ask one of them next.


[15:41:00] GORANI: Welcome back, everybody. Let's take you live to Kenosha, Wisconsin. That is where Donald Trump is unveiling a new policy

he says will help protect American jobs. This is the type of setting, of course, Donald Trump is very comfortable in. It's reminiscent of a

campaign event.

And he's really, really hammering home, once again, that America first message. Trump is touring a tool manufacturing plant there in Wisconsin.

He's giving these remarks before signing an executive order on his "Buy American, Hire American" initiative. Let's listen a bit to President



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we can only get there with all of you. We can only restore this nation we love so much by

working and building with all of you. We can only get there together. We are the one people sharing one destiny, saluting one great beautiful

American flag.

I'm thrilled to be here today to celebrate our great American heritage and to proudly embrace our great American future. I want to thank the people

of Wisconsin for doing so much for me. That's why I came back here, not just for the company, frankly, for the people of Wisconsin. You have been

so incredible to me and my administration, and we will never, ever let you down.

God bless you. God bless the American worker. God bless the American dream. And God bless --


GORANI: All right. President Trump there in Wisconsin before signing his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order, speaking and touring a

manufacturing tooling company. He mentioned his administration. He thanked the people there in attendance for supporting his administration.

Well, speaking of that, his Vice President is visiting an Asian ally. He's continuing his trip there and bringing the message that American wants a

nuclear-free North Korea. Mike Pence had reassuring words for Japan.

On Monday, North Korea accused the U.S. of pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war. Pence was asked about those very comments by CNN's Dana

Bash in an exclusive chat. Listen.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The North Koreans have noticed the things you've been saying while you have been here in Asia. In

fact, the deputy ambassador to the U.N. from North Korea said that you and the administration, but was clearly responding to your words, you're

creating a dangerous situation in which thermonuclear war may break out at any moment. Would you like to respond to that?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My hope is that the wider world and that the leadership in North Korea is listening to what President

Trump and the world community is saying, that the time is come for them to abandon and dismantle their nuclear and ballistic missile program.

My presence here, which the President strongly urged even in this challenging time, is really to deliver that message, that we've really

moved beyond the era of strategic patience. We've moved beyond the failed dialogues of the past. And now, we've moved into an era where President

Trump is absolutely committed to marshalling the energy of the world community, of countries in the Asian Pacific to use economic and diplomatic

power to isolate North Korea and achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

BASH: And they are listening. And the deputy ambassador that it sounds like you and the administration are insisting on gangster-like logic, that

the idea of an investigation of a sovereign nation -- he was talking about your remarks clearly about Syria and Afghanistan -- it decreases the

likelihood that this could end peacefully.

[15:45:04] Are you concerned that what you are saying is being taken in North Korea as saber rattling despite the fact that you're also talking

about diplomacy?

PENCE: I think what the President is concerned about, what countries that we've visited are concerned about, are the reckless and irresponsible

actions of the regime in Pyongyang. Another failed missile attempt, notwithstanding this weekend, an unprecedented number of ballistic missile

test, testing nuclear weapons twice in the last year. The time has really come for North Korea to get the message.

As the President says, it's time for them to behave, to listen to the world community, and to set aside their nuclear ambitions, their ballistic

ambitions, and be willing to join the family of nations. And for my part, in some odd ways, encouraging that they're getting the message. And my

hope is that they'll continue to get the message, not just from the United States and here in Japan and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis,

from China and countries all over the world have long ago committed to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.


GORANI: An exclusive interview there with the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence saying North Korea, in his opinion, is "getting the

message," quote/unquote.

Back to the U.K., in 51 days, voters in this country could be heading to the ballot box. We're fully expecting that to happen. And opinion polls

right now are well on the Prime Minister's side. Here is how one poll out today puts it.

The Conservative Party has a huge 21-point lead, with 44 percent of voters expressing support for Theresa May's party. Just 23 percent say they will

vote Labour. This is today's snap shot. But as we have seen, elections are not easy to predict, are they?

Joe Twyman is Head of Political and Social Research at YouGov, the organization that published this survey, and he joins me now. Thanks for

being with us.


GORANI: So you can understand if some of our viewers will say, we believe the polling institutions before the last general election and before

Brexit, and they were wrong.

TWYMAN: Well, of course, I understand this hesitancy to believe everything we say this time around. But it's worth remembering that for the 16 years

that YouGov had been operating, first in the U.K. and the U.S., we had consistently accurately predicted election after election, at local level

and at national level, general election after general election, which is we were so widely followed come 2015.

But what 2015 reminded us was that that we're not perfect and that we do need to constantly think about how we adjust things. And we now spend

hundreds of thousands of pounds recruiting normal people to take part in our surveys because that's the difficult thing.

GORANI: But that's an interesting thing. I mean, you must have looked back at some of the methodology, maybe how to account for people who don't

have landlines, all sorts of different ways of measuring opinion. How has that changed over the last two years?

TWYMAN: Oh, well, in the last two years, it's changed enormously. In the last 20 years, it changed enormously. We do our polls online, recruiting

people to take part in surveys. And we go back and look at methodology on all those times you get it right just as we did when we weren't precisely

where we wanted to be.

But what we can't do, unfortunately, is abolish the laws of probability. And that means that every poll, for those of who don't speak geek word, it

means that every poll has a margin of error associated with it. And it's only ever snapped short of public opinion at the time. So the moment the

conservatives have a large lead, that may change the campaign.

GORANI: It's a very large lead that looks almost insurmountable for any rival party in this particular snap shot that you've provided.

TWYMAN: Well, certainly, historically, we had an extremely strong position to be, and not just the horse races, we call it, but also the underlying

data. When you ask people, who would be the best Prime Minister, 50 percent of the electorate says Theresa May. Fourteen percent of the

electorate says Jeremy Corbyn.

If you ask the electorate, who's best on the economy, immigration, security, all these different issues, the conservatives come on top, and

they often, by some distances. Only the NHS were they're just a little bit behind. And no party has come from behind on the Prime Minister question

and the economics question to win an election in the past. But as we've seen over the last couple of years, politics have changed significantly.

GORANI: And I'm not just pointing the finger at YouGov. I mean, polling institutions overall.

TWYMAN: Oh, it's very kind of you.

GORANI: You're welcome. In the United States. I mean, we covered, for instance, the Austrian election where there was also their predictions that

didn't pan out.

The Dutch elections, certainly gave Geert Wilders in the polls more than he ended up getting in reality and actuality in the actual election. Now,

we're looking at the French election coming up on Sunday, and people are thinking and are saying openly, don't look at the polls. You need other


So, I mean, just looking at your methodology, at the methods that you've used in the past, what has changed?

[15:49:59] TWYMAN: Well, it's becoming more and more difficult to contact people. And so we are spending more and more money to specifically target

people, not just based on their age and gender as you would in the old days, but on a complex series of variables on their political interests,

how they voted in the European referendum, how they voted in the last election, what newspaper they read. All these sorts of things all go into

the mix and that's really important.

And, yes, you may say, oh, well, look at other things. But what are the things that you're going to look at? We know we're not perfect. We know

we operate within the margin of error.

But what else are you going to do? Ask the candidate? Ask what their private poll is? Perhaps count the lawn signs of the people turning up at

the campaigns.


GORANI: Look at the rallies, for instance. Yes.

TWYMAN: Yes, it just doesn't work in what we regard as the real law.

GORANI: But we're in a time of change, is really what I'm basically saying.

TWYMAN: Absolutely.

GORANI: Is that the way we measure opinion is shifting.

TWYMAN: Absolutely. And as I say, this margin of error is so essential. But even let's assume we were five points, which would be in line with the

worst polling misses in history, that would still mean the Conservatives were on a for a majority and a good majority, at that. And so the idea

that the situation may somehow be switched because of some fluke in methodology, it's just not borne out by facts.

GORANI: OK. Well, thank you very much, Joe Twyman of YouGov. We really appreciate you coming on this evening. And hopefully, we'll be talking

again very soon on CNN.

Coming up, a prince and a pop star open up about mental health details and push to raise awareness. A live report is ahead. Stay with us.


GORANI: We are live outside Parliament. Thanks for being with us this evening. We told you earlier that we'd hear from the Labour Party

politician Toby Perkins. He's still in a meeting, unfortunately for us, with his Labour colleagues and at the last minute, could not join us this


We'll continue to bring you all the relevant voices when they are available. Of course, CNN, the network, will continue to cover this

important news with diverse voices across the next few hours.

Now, a woman whose music is known around the world is now lending her voice to a different cause, mental health. Lady Gaga has joined the campaign

called "Heads Together" launched by Prince William and the royals to raise awareness.

The pop star spoke to the Prince about the need to open up the dialogue on mental health. Listen.


LADY GAGA, SINGER: It can make a huge difference. I feel like we are not hiding anymore. We're starting to talk, and that's what we need to do


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Absolutely, it's time everyone to speak up. And really, you know, it feels very normal about mental health. It's

the same as physical health. Everyone has mental health and that we shouldn't be ashamed of it, and that just having a conversation with a

friend or a family member can really make such a difference.


GORANI: All right. Nina dos Santos joins me now with more. And Prince Harry, of course, had that very revealing interview with "The Telegraph"

and now this.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Yes. This is part of a really big initiative for these two young royals, the two princes in particular,

but also the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's wife here, who've launched this mental health campaign about a year ago called "Heads


And this particular initiative that you saw here with Lady Gaga having this video conference, if you like, via FaceTime with Prince William, it's all

part of Twitter campaign that they have going, saying, OK to say you have a problem with something, OK to say you may need to talk about mental health


And the charity in particular is going to be showcased later on, this very weekend. And when we have the London Marathon, which is going to be run

throughout the streets going right past here, in fact, the Houses of Parliament, what we're probably see is people wearing this headbands.

[15:55:06] So the mascot of this particular campaign, the Heads Together campaign, is the charity of the princes but also the charity of the London

Marathon. So this is all part of a big campaign in the run up to that.

GORANI: And it's a great initiative. I mean, it's great to say, especially to young people, if you have a problem, don't bottle it up.

Talk about it. I mean, so many more suicides are male suicides than female because people don't reach out. But why is this so important to the

princes in particular? Do we know why?

DOS SANTOS: Well, because, obviously, Prince Harry has now made public that he's had this very difficult battle a few years ago when his life

turned into a sequel, that total chaos.


DOS SANTOS: And he came close to the verge of a complete breakdown after failing to process the emotions that he had when his mother, Diana,

Princess of Wales -- also, she's the mother of his brother, Prince William, as well -- died in 1997, 20 years ago. And in fact, Prince Harry, probably

it was his interview with "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper, that really shook the tree, if you like, on this particular subject.


DOS SANTOS: Prince William, you're right to point out, that he just had this video conference with Lady Gaga. He's also given an interview to a

mental health campaign magazine in which he said, well, the stiff upper lip and brushes asides might have its place sometimes but not at the expense of

mental health.

And that is a very strong message coming from the royal family, which is the institution in this country that is known for the stiff upper lip.

It's a major departure from what we've seen in the previous generation.

GORANI: Right, certainly. And I hope it does help some people to speak out because it does make a huge difference when you do. Thanks so much,

Nina dos Santos, for covering this story. As we were mentioning with Nina, Prince Harry, yesterday, had that interview with "The Telegraph" and now

we're seeing this exchange, this FaceTime conversation, between Prince William and lady Gaga in support of this cause.

Don't forget, you can check out the latest news, interviews, and analysis on our Facebook page,

A recap of the big news we've been following, of course. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, calling for an early snap election on

June 8th, an initiative that will be voted on in the houses of Parliament behind me.

It is a cold, breezy evening here in London. We will see you same time, same place tomorrow. Do stay with us on CNN. There's a lot more ahead.

My colleague Richard Quest takes up with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" after a quick break. Stay with us.