Labour vs Conservatives: How the manifestos compare (2024)

Both the major parties have now set out their manifestos ahead of the general election.

Sir Keir Starmer on Thursday unveiled his “Change” document in Manchester, as he urged voters to back him to “rebuild our country”.

But he was forced to reject allegations of being “Captain Cautious” as the manifesto did not reveal any major surprise policy.

Rishi Sunak, at his Silverstone race track launch on Tuesday, said he had “bold” ideas as he warned the electorate against handing Sir Keir a “blank cheque”.

But Mr Sunak’s document was met with private doubts from some Tory candidates that it would be a game-changer for their fortunes.

Here, The Telegraph looks at how the two manifestos and their promises stack up:


Labour has unveiled £8.6 million of tax rises by 2028-29, with raids on private schools, overseas property investors and non-doms.

It also set out its plans for a windfall tax on oil and gas giants, which it says will raise £1.2 billion per year.

The manifesto reiterated the promise not to raise National Insurance, income tax or VAT.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives offered a variety of tax cuts, including a further two per cent cut to NI and abolishing it altogether for four million self-employed workers, as well as abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £425,000.


Labour has promised to reduce net migration, with measures such as banning employers who breach employment law from recruiting overseas workers.

The party also pledged to reform the current points-based approach, and to upskill British workers in sectors where immigration is currently used to address skills shortages.

Meanwhile, the Tories have unveiled plans to introduce a “binding, legal” annual cap on visas, giving Parliament an annual vote on the numbers recommended by Government migration advisers.

The manifesto also includes a commitment to raise salary requirements for skilled workers in line with inflation every year so that they do not “undercut UK workers”.

Tackling small boats

On tackling illegal migration, Labour has committed to putting an end to the Rwanda scheme, which it called a “desperate gimmick”.

Instead, it plans to set up a new Border Security Command with “hundreds of new investigators, intelligence officers and cross-border police officers.”

It will also seek a new security agreement with the European Union in order to access intelligence and lead joint investigations with EU counterparts.

The Tories are sticking with the Rwanda scheme, with a promise to run a “relentless, continual process of permanently removing illegal migrants” .

The manifesto also opens the door to possibly leaving the European Court on Human Rights by vowing to put UK border security ahead of membership of a foreign court.

The party has also set up plans to sign further returns deals, like the one agreed with Albania.


Labour has said it will cut NHS waiting lists so that patients will wait no longer than 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent health conditions.

This would involve delivering an extra 40,000 more appointments each week, by “incentivising staff to carry out additional appointments out of hours”.

Labour has also said it will train “thousands more GPs”, although it does not state how many, and will overhaul the “8am scramble” appointment booking system.

Sir Keir’s party has also set out a Dentistry Rescue Plan to provide 700,000 more urgent dental appointments a year, 100,000 of which will be for children. It will also introduce a supervised tooth-brushing scheme for three-to-five year olds.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have said that they will deliver 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors by the end of the next Parliament as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan - a pledge that Labour has matched.

The Tories will also provide 2.5 million more dental appointments, and have committed to increasing NHS spending above inflation each year.

The party has also vowed to drive up productivity in the NHS, move care closer to people’s homes by utilising pharmacies, and create more community diagnostic centres.

Education and childcare

Labour has promised to recruit 6,500 more teachers and put mental health specialists in every school, funded by imposing VAT on private school fees. It will also introduce free breakfast clubs in every primary school.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have promised that new teachers in priority areas would receive bonuses of up to £30,000 tax-free over five years from September, to boost recruitment.

The Tories have also pledged to create a further 100,000 apprenticeships by 2029, paid for by scrapping “poor quality” degrees.

In terms of childcare, Labour has said it would open an additional 3,000 primary school-based nurseries, and has promised to review the parental leave system within the first year of government.

The Conservatives have said they will deliver the largest ever expansion of childcare in history, giving parents with children from nine months old access to 30 hours of free childcare a week from September 2025.


The Conservatives have sought to put defence at the heart of the election, with promises to increase military spending to 2.5 per cent GDP by 2030, a timeline Labour does not match.

The Tories also pledged £3 billion a year to support Ukraine, and to bring back National Service for school leavers.

Meanwhile, Labour said it will “set out a path” to 2.5 per cent defence spending and in its manifesto states its commitment to the nuclear deterrent as “absolute”.

Energy and net zero

Labour has set the date to reach clean power by 2030, working with the private sector to double offshore wind, triple solar power and quadruple offshore wind by that date.

Its plans will be partly achieved through the creation of a new publicly-owned energy company, Great British Energy.

Labour will not issue new oil and gas licences in the North Sea, but pledges not to revoke existing ones.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have branded their net zero plans “affordable and pragmatic”, saying they will ensure annual licensing rounds for oil and gas in the North Sea.

They have pledged to treble offshore wind and have said they would seek “democratic consent” for onshore wind and “support solar in the right places”.

Mr Sunak’s party has also pledged to ensure household green levies on household bills are cut.

Labour vs Conservatives: How the manifestos compare (2024)


What is the manifesto of the Labour party? ›

Labour's manifesto for change is a plan to kickstart economic growth by reforming Britain's economy and bring about a decade of renewal. This manifesto is an ambitious programme driven by belief in our country and its potential for the future. It is the change the country needs.

What does the Labour Party stand for? ›

It proclaimed a socialist party whose principles included a guaranteed minimum standard of living for everyone, nationalisation of industry and heavy taxation of large incomes and of wealth.

What were the values of the Labour party? ›

Mission-driven government
  • 1) Kickstart economic growth. ...
  • 2) Make Britain a clean energy superpower. ...
  • 3) Take back our streets. ...
  • 4) Break down barriers to opportunity. ...
  • 5) Build an NHS fit for the future.

What does the Conservative Party believe in? ›

In an effort to create a cohesive platform following its creation, the Conservative Party declared its founding core philosophies and principles to be fiscal accountability, upholding individual rights and freedom, belief in constitutional monarchy, the institutions of Parliament and Canada's democratic process, ...

What do conservatives stand for? ›

In most democracies, political conservatism seeks to uphold traditional family structures and social values. Religious conservatives typically oppose abortion, LGBT behaviour (or, in certain cases, identity), drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage.

What are the party manifestos? ›

A manifesto is a publication issued by a political party before a General Election. It contains the set of policies that the party stands for and would wish to implement if elected to govern. About Parliament: General Elections.

What is the meaning of Conservative Party? ›

The Conservative Party is a name used by many political parties around the world. These political parties are generally right-wing though their exact ideologies can range from center-right to far-right.

Why do people support labour? ›

The Labour Party was founded by trade unions over a hundred years ago, because unions believe that working people must represent themselves in Parliament. A century on, and Labour is the only Party that truly speaks for working people.

What's the difference between a Tory and a conservative? ›

The Conservative and Unionist Party, commonly the Conservative Party and colloquially known as the Tories, is one of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom, along with the Labour Party.

What is the symbol of the Conservative Party? ›

The Conservative Party's logo has been refined and now appears primarily as the Union flag in the tree shape.

What was the ideology of Labour Party? ›

Labour Party (Nigeria)
Labour Party
HeadquartersNo. 2 IBM Haruna Street, Utako, Abuja FCT. (Near ABC Transport & NUJ Office), Abuja
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionCentre-left
ColorsRed and green
13 more rows

What are the beliefs of the socialist Labor party? ›

The party advocates "socialist industrial unionism", the belief in a fundamental transformation of society through the combined political and industrial action of the working class organized in industrial unions.

What are 3 beliefs of conservatives? ›

7 Core Principles of Conservatism
  • Individual Freedom. The birth of our great nation was inspired by the bold declaration that our individual,God-given liberties should be preserved against government intrusion. ...
  • Limited Government. ...
  • The Rule of Law. ...
  • Peace through Strength. ...
  • Fiscal Responsibility. ...
  • Free Markets. ...
  • Human Dignity.

What do conservatives focus on? ›

They often advocate for a strong national defense, gun rights, capital punishment, and a defense of Western culture from perceived threats posed by communism and moral relativism. American conservatives tend to question epidemiology, climate change, and evolution more frequently than moderates or liberals.

What do Republicans believe in? ›

The Republican Party since the 1920's has adhered to an ideology of fiscal conservatism. Republicans strongly believe that free markets and individual achievement are the primary factors behind economic prosperity.

What is the goal of the Labour party? ›

Similarly, the Labor Party, along with the Liberal Party, expresses a commitment to a strong and productive economy, to ministering to those in need through state provision of welfare, to the role of the community, the private sector and the associations of civil society in achieving important goals and outcomes, as ...

What is the meaning of the word party manifesto? ›

A document summarising the key promises, ideas, opinions, views or plan of action of a political party to the people.

Who created the Labour party? ›

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