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What Is Each Party Pledging?

There are lots of different options available to you when voting in this general election. While you will need to vote for a person to be your MP, they will, in most cases, represent a political party who will have different policies. We've outlined the likely policies of each of the major parties below, and we'll continue to update this in the run-up to the election and when manifestos are released. 

Boris Johnson will be hoping for his perfect Christmas present - a Commons majority

The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson called the early election in an effort to break the Brexit deadlock. He is hoping that an election could see different MPs in Parliament that may be more supportive of his Brexit proposals, and in particular, many more Conservative MPs. The current government lacks a majority in the House of Commons, so passing any legislation that is remotely controversial is a very difficult task. Here's a snapshot of some of their key policy pledges;

  • Increasing the availability of after school and holiday childcare
  • £2 billion for "the biggest ever pothole-filling programme"
  • Training for 50,000 new nurses
  • Introducing a new £3 billion National Skills Fund to allow adults to retrain
  • Build 40 new hospitals over 10 years
  • End hospital car parking charges for NHS staff on night shifts, disabled and terminally ill patients and their families
  • A lock on tax rates for income tax, national insurance and VAT
  • Deploying 20,000 more police officers to the streets
  • Making sure rail services continue to operate even when there are strikes
For more pledges, check out the Conservative Party's website.
Boris Johnson, Leader of the Conservatives

Boris Johnson

Leader of the Conservatives

Could it be a Corbyn Christmas?

After the potential for a no-deal Brexit on October 31 was taken off the table, Jeremy Corbyn announced that his party would back a general election on the fourth time of asking.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described his party's manifesto and its offering as 'radical'. Included in the manifestos are policies to;
  • Reduce the voting age to 16
  • Deliver free broadband for all UK homes and businesses by 2030
  • Introduce a second homes tax
  • Introduce a 'real living wage' of a least £10 an hour
  • Impose VAT on private school fees
  • Increase the length of statutory maternity pay from nine months to a year
  • Kick-start a 'Green Industrial Revolution'
  • Invest an additional £1.6 billion a year into Mental Health services
  • Abolish prescription charges in England
On Brexit, the party is pledging to give the public a final say. The party says it will renegotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU and then would put this, and the option of remaining in the EU, back to the people in a legally binding referendum.

For more pledges from the Labour Party, read their full manifesto here.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn
Leader of the Labour Party
Photo Credit: Jeremy Corbyn via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

For the SNP, it's all about Scotland.

The name sort of gives it away - you can only vote for the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland. If you're a voter in Scotland, the SNP will be asking for your vote as they make the case for a second referendum on Scottish Independence.

Brexit: The SNP hates the idea of Brexit and has made this very clear in Parliament ever since the vote to leave the European Union over 3 years ago. Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the European Union, and the SNP argues that the current government is not respecting the will of the Scottish people. This argument, they hope, will allow them to win seats back from the Conservatives and increase their number of MPs from 35 to into the 50s.

Independence: The SNP, again suggested by their name, are in favour of Scotland being an independent nation separate from the UK. A referendum was held to tackle the issue in 2014, but the SNP want another one, claiming that Brexit in particular means that Scotland would now be better off out of the UK.

Votes for 16-year olds: 16 and 17-year-olds were able to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum, and the party will likely continue their campaign for this being rolled out across the UK.
Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the SNP

Nicola Sturgeon
Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP)

Remain, Remain, Remain

Put simply, the Liberal Democrats have somewhat turned into the anti-Brexit party. Hoping to continue their positive gains from the European Elections, the Lib Dems will be campaigning for Brexit to be stopped, in the hope of picking up votes from Remain-voting constituencies.

The manifesto, entitled 'Stop Brexit, Build A Brighter Britain' features the following pledges;
  • £130 billion investment for infrastructure to upgrade transport and energy systems
  • Restore corporation tax to 20%
  • Reversing school funding cuts
  • Employing an extra 20,000 teachers
  • Scrap SATs in schools
  • Insulate all homes in Britain by 2030
  • Freeze rail fares and season ticket prices
  • Invest £1 billion into community policing

The party's central election pledge is to revoke Article 50 if the party wins a majority in the upcoming election and to fight for a second referendum in other circumstances.

The party's full manifesto can be found here.

Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Jo Swinson
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Photo Credit: Liberal Democrats via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

New on the block, but its a familiar face leading the party

Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party say its time to change politics for good and guess what - that starts with leaving the European Union.

Mr Farage promised a "political revolution that puts ordinary people first" as he launched the manifesto. Some key pledges include;

  • Scrapping VAT on fuel bills
  • Plant millions of trees to absorb carbon emissions
  • Ban the exporting of waste to other countries for it to be burned
  • Phase-out the BBC licence fee
  • Scrapping the HS2 rail project
  • Making changes and adding guidelines to the Supreme Court
  • Provide free wi-fi on all public transport
  • Ensure no provision of the NHS

The full manifesto, or 'contract' as it is being described, can be found here.

Nigel Farage, Leader of the Brexit Party

Nigel Farage
Leader of the Brexit Party
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Green, Green, Green - and a People's Vote too

The Green Party's primary focus is to lead the fight against what it calls 'climate chaos'. The awareness of environmental issues and climate change has significantly increased since the last election, so the party may be optimistic of gaining more votes and maybe even get more than one MP.

The manifesto, titled 'If Not Now, When?' was unveiled by the party's co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley. The manifesto largely focuses on a 'Green New Deal' and policies to help save the environment. Some key pledges include;

  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero
  • Replace petrol and diesel cars within a decade
  • Invest an extra £6 billion a year in the NHS
  • Plant 700 million trees by 2030
  • Scrap tuition fees for undergraduate students
  • Ban single-use plastics
  • Scrap the HS2 project
  • Scrap the first-past-the-post electoral system

The party's full manifesto can be found here.

Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry - co-leaders of the Green Party

Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry
Co-leaders of the Green Party
Photo Credit: West Midlands Green Party via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Fix broken British politics

The Independent Group for Change say they want to fix broken politics, though critics would argue their party itself is broken - in fact so far it has seemed pretty much as a non-starter. What was originally Change UK, the party has changed its name as well as MPs multiple times and ultimately failed to make an impact in the European elections.

Brexit: The party wants to revoke Article 50 and take Brexit back to a People's Vote.

Economy: The party wants to build a strong economy and remove the barriers of poverty - related policies could, therefore, be expected in the party's manifesto.
Anna Soubry, Leader of the Independent Group for Change

Anna Soubry
Leader of the Independent Group for Change
Photo Credit: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 
via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

'Come on Arlene!'

If a party comes out of the election just short of a majority, they might be turning to the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster. That's exactly what Theresa May did following the 2017 election, and let's face it, until that point nobody outside of Northern Ireland had really heard of the DUP. The DUP is currently the largest party in Northern Ireland, but due to power-sharing argument, the country hasn't had a government for over 1000 days.

Brexit: The DUP think that the current Brexit Deal proposed by Boris Johnson would weaken the union, and hence they have refused to support it.

Business: The party is likely to put policies in its manifesto which argue for the creation of new jobs, a better business rates system and potentially also changes to corporation tax.

Health: The party says on their website that they want to build a world-class health service, and are likely to continue pledges for more funding and frontline staff.
Arlene Foster, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Arlene Foster
Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Photo Credit: Northern Ireland Assembly 
via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

'Party of Wales'

Plaid Cymru call themselves the party of Wales - admittedly you can't vote for them anywhere else.

Brexit: The party thinks Boris Johnson's deal is bad for Wales and want to seek a European future for the country.

NHS: The party is likely to continue pledging similar policies to the last election, where it argued for cutting waiting times and investing in additional doctors and nurses for the NHS.

Economy: The party is likely to pledge for significant investment in transport and green infrastructure.
Adam Price, Leader of Sinn Féin

Adam Price
Leader of Plaid Cymru
Photo Credit: Euskampus Fundazioa 
via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)