Afternoon briefing, May 4

The weather is beautiful and voters are skipping to the polls in local and mayoral elections across the country, in what is expected to be a dismal day for Labour. Sheffield is holding a council by-election, 64 county councillors will be elected in Derbyshire, while Doncaster holds a mayoral vote and a Metropolitan Borough Council election. You can almost taste the apathy.

Oh, and in BREAKING NEWS from this morning, a 95-year-old immigrant living off taxpayers’ money is set to retire from public service. Roll on Friday.

Horse yet to bolt from strong and stable door

In what is possibly the nerdiest political poll anyone has ever seen, YouGov have found that just 15% of the public remember hearing the phrase “strong and stable” in the last fortnight. Aside from the obvious conclusion, that ignorance is bliss, the findings are a timely reminder that many people are just not paying attention/actually have a life. Yesterday eight out of 30 interviewees in a BBC package did not know that a general election was in the offing. The usual caveats about how unrepresentative that is apply, but it is food for thought nonetheless.

Mayoral candidate could “sue” police

In less sleep-inducing news, mayoral candidate Eddie Todd – dubbed “Donald Trump in Doncaster” by the Financial Times – has given an extraordinary interview to our very own Dan Barker, in which he accuses South Yorkshire Police of a “set up”, after they gave him a parking ticket in a bizarre altercation yesterday. More details here.

EU not falling for that old chestnut

Back to international shenanigans, and the EU has responded to Theresa May’s oh-so-strong-and-stable-and-not-at-all-paranoid speech yesterday. The European Commission’s chief spokesman dismissed May’s claims that the EU were interfering in June’s vote, suggesting it was merely electioneering – the cheek of the man. “We are not naive… People get excited when we have elections”, Margaritis Schinas said.

Russia also responded…

Like a doomed football manager, Macron gets dreaded vote of confidence

Following his unsuccessful pro-remain intervention in the EU referendum, Barack Obama has probably scared French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron by endorsing him. The dreaded backing follows what most pundits believe was a Macron victory in last night’s debate against Marine Le Pen. The second round of voting, which Macron is strongly expected to win, takes places on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Obama’s flagship health reform, dubbed ‘Obamacare’ moved another step closer to repeal today, with senior Republicans believing they now have enough votes to replace the bill.

Who run the world!? Not Miliband

Former Labour leadership favourite David Miliband has played down speculation linking him with a comeback in British politics. No, I don’t care either. Labour are more excited, however, by the promising news that 41% of their candidates are female (their highest proportion ever) and Jeremy Corbyn’s new nickname for himself: “Monsieur Zen”.

In South Yorkshire 

The Greens have picked three general election candidates in Sheffield, including Uni of student Logan Robin, who will challenge Nick Clegg, and Hallam lecturer Christine Gilligan Kubo. Tim Stickings has more.

We’ll be reporting from the Doncaster Mayoral count tomorrow, with incumbent Ros Jones facing competition from Conservative George Jabbour, Independent Eddie Todd, UKIP’s Brian Whitmore, TUSC’s Steve Williams, and Yorkshire Party candidate Chris Whitwood – you can read more about them all here.

Follow the website and social media for updates from 10pm, when the count begins. Results are expected at around 5am.

Tomorrow afternoon we’ll have news from the Derbyshire County Council election.