Living standards
Political parties and elections

Thursday 28 November 2019

The choice facing Britain: What the manifestos reveal  

The manifestos have been published and the soundbites crafted – now the parties have only a few weeks left to make them land with voters. A few common themes have emerged: austerity is off and the spending taps are on, but there are big differences between the parties in terms of the size and role of the state, their approach to tax and benefits, and their priorities for crime and climate change. And yes, of course, Brexit.

What are the big-picture takeaways from each manifesto? How deliverable are the parties’ election pledges? What do the inclusions – and omissions – tell us about the state of modern Britain? And do these weighty, or not so weighty, tomes really make a difference at the ballot box?

At an event at its Westminster offices, Resolution Foundation Chief Executive Torsten Bell presented an overview of the manifestos. He then chaired a panel debate with leading experts, including pollster Deborah Mattinson and former Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Gavin Barwell, to examine the content and impact of the parties’ manifestos, and reflect on the election so far.