Public Policy

November 27, 2019

The UK Votes: Manifestos


Last week saw the Labour and Conservative Parties release their manifestos as part of their bid for Number Ten; but they weren’t the only ones setting out their pitch to the country’s voters. While polls show this is increasingly a two-horse race between Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, we know from previous elections that polls are likely to tighten and a lead at this point in the race does not always translate into a majority in the House of Commons. In that scenario – who might be Kingmaker…?

The Instinctif Partners’ Public Policy team have pulled together some of the key takeaways as the minor parties set out their stalls ahead of December 12.

Liberal Democrats

The clear focus of Jo Swinson’s manifesto was to stop Brexit reiterating their commitment to immediately revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit; looking to broaden its appeal beyond its Remain base, they have put free childcare and legalising cannabis front and centre of their pitch. The Liberal Democrats also resurrected a favourite of theirs – adding a penny on income tax, this time with a focus on investing that in the NHS.

Lib Dems


While the SNP is also focused on stopping Brexit calling for a second referendum with ‘Remain’ on the ballot paper, their main message was to give Scotland another referendum on independence in 2020. Sturgeon has also said the SNP will push legislation that would explicitly protect the NHS from being on the table in any future trade negotiations if Brexit were to happen.


The Greens

With a clear call for immediate action on climate change, the Greens have said they would spend £100bn a year on cutting emissions and plant 700 million trees by 2030. In addition to scrapping tuition fees and investment £6bn in the NHS, they are calling for a reform of the voting system and replacing first-past-the-post with a proportional and fair alternative.


The Brexit Party

Nigel Farage didn’t release a manifesto, rather a contract with the people. Where other smaller parties have been vocal in their opposition to Brexit, Farage is clear there must not be an extension to the transition period and the UK should have a clean break from the EU. There is a commitment to scrap HS2 and invest £50bn in regional road and rail projects instead and a call to move toward a US-style system where judges would be subject to political scrutiny.


Plaid Cymru

The Party of Wales used its manifesto to, like the Greens and the SNP, call for a second referendum on Brexit where they would campaign for Remain. Looking to straddle a difficult issue, they have said they are opposed to the development of new nuclear sites, but in a nod to balancing the existing jobs, have commented on redevelopment of existing sites. Adam Price’s party has called for further devolution of tax powers and more investment in education and more money for low-income families. They have also said that all four UK nations should be required to support any decision to go to war.

Plaid Cymru