2024 general election: how popular are the parties’ manifesto policies?

Jemma ConnerResearch Manager
June 10, 2024, 7:09 AM GMT+0

This page is being updated on an ongoing basis as and when political parties make major policy announcements / manifesto releases

With the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Party all launching their manifestos this week, followed by Reform UK next week, YouGov has looked at public support for the various pledges made by each of the parties.

What do Britons think of the policies in the Conservative manifesto?

Of all the Conservative pledges made so far, the promise to protect pensions sees the highest level of support – three quarters (73%) back the plan to increase the amount of income pensioners can receive before having to pay income tax in line with the annual increase in the state pension under the system.

The Conservatives chose to kick off their campaign with a policy about national service for 18 year olds, which may, in hindsight, have been a misstep – it is one of just two policies announced across the entire campaign where there is a more opposition (52%) than support (39%).

These two policies have led to criticism of the party, with some accusing them of focusing on older generations at the expense of younger voters, but it isn’t all negative for the younger age brackets. The Tories have several pledges aimed to help first time buyers get on the property ladder, and two thirds (67%) of Britons support their proposal to abolish stamp duty for first time buyers with a home value of up to £425,000. An identical proportion support the introduction of a new Help to Buy Scheme.

What do Britons think of the policies in the Liberal Democrat manifesto?

Much of the Lib Dems’ focus has been on health and social care, and it is proving to be a popular approach. Looking at the NHS, a vast majority of Britons support policies that would see quicker response times in the NHS, with 93% supporting a legal right that all urgently referred cancer patients in England will start treatment within 62 days, and 90% backing a legal right to see a GP within seven days.

Within social care, there are also high levels of support (83%) for increasing the minimum wage for social care workers by £2 an hour.

Outside of health and social care, environmental policies focused on rivers are proving popular with the British public – 87% would support awarding Blue Flag status to rivers to give them protection from sewage discharge, and 84% back a 16% tax on water company profits to fund cleaning up rivers.

What do Britons think of policies in the Labour manifesto?

Unlike the Conservatives, Labour’s highest profile policy announced so far has strong public backing. Three quarters (74%) back their proposal to create a publicly owned renewable energy provider – dubbed Great British Energy by the party and featured as one of their five ‘national missions’.

Another policy that has received a lot of media attention is Keir Starmer’s promise to charge VAT on private school fees – six in ten (61%) Britons would support this, including 49% of 2019 Conservative voters, although Rishi Sunak has publicly opposed the idea.

Labour's desire to lower the voting age to 16 is the most unpopular of the manifesto policies we have polled so far. Six in ten Britons (60%) are opposed, with only 31% who would approve of the change.

What do Britons think of the policies in the Green manifesto?

The Green party's most popular proposal has been to raise the minimum wage to £15, which 76% support and only 15% oppose.

Other notable policy announcements from the Greens have been to increase taxes on higher earners, which are also broadly supported: 56% back increasing National Insurance on those earning more than £50,270, and a wealth tax of 1% tax on assets over £10 million and 2% tax on assets over £1 billion is even more popular at 71%.

Key Green environmental policies are less popular. A ban on domestic flights for journeys that would take less than three hours by train - mirroring a similar ban introduced by France last year - is supported by 49% but opposed by 39%. And a pledge to phase out nuclear energy - which the German Greens were instrumental in bringing about there in 2023 - is only supported by 29% of Britons, with 49% being opposed.

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Photo: Getty