General election: which party has the best policies for you?

In one day’s time, you get to decide our next Prime Minister. From the young vote to the pensioner vote, which party is doing the most to win you round?

Voter heads to polling station in the rain for UK election.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The country will head to the polls tomorrow, electing the UK’s next Prime Minister. Whoever is chosen could be in charge of running the country for the next five years.

Politicians are almost out of time to win your vote. It’s crunch time, and voters need to decide whose name to put their cross next to on the ballot paper. 

The manifestos were published last month, with the Conservatives promising a 2p National Insurance cut as their headline pledge. 

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Meanwhile, leader of the opposition Keir Starmer has fashioned his party as a changed Labour – one that stands in stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s party in terms of its pursuit of growth and its pro-business stance.

The Liberal Democrats, Reform UK, the Green Party, the SNP and Plaid Cymru have all announced a string of policies too, and will play a significant role in exerting pressure on the two main parties. 

None of them can expect to supply the next inhabitant of Number 10, but they will be hoping to hang on to existing seats and, in some cases, grow their share of the House of Commons. 

But which party will win your vote in tomorrow’s general election? We look at who has the best policies for voters of different ages and demographics. 

Which party is offering the most to pensioners?

Pensioners typically turn out in force at the ballot box, so it is unsurprising that all major parties have been vying for their fair share of the pensioner vote in recent weeks. 

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have all promised to maintain the triple lock, if they win the upcoming general election. This increases the state pension each year in line with inflation, average earnings or 2.5% – whichever measure is highest. 

Arguably, the Conservatives have gone the furthest with their ‘triple lock plus’ policy, which promises to unfreeze the personal allowance for pensioners. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said this would prevent pensioners from ever paying income tax on their state pension, however analysis from former pensions minister Steve Webb suggests the issue is actually more complex than Sunak allows.

Critics of the policy point out that the state pension is already expensive enough as it is. They also argue that the ‘triple lock plus’ promotes intergenerational unfairness at a time when workers continue to face a higher tax bill thanks to fiscal drag.

What’s more, a poll conducted by YouGov on 29 May (a couple of days after the ‘triple lock plus’ policy was announced) suggests the Conservatives might not have done quite enough to win pensioners round. Fifty-four percent of the age group said the party’s plans did not go far enough. 

Perhaps those leaning more towards a Labour vote are concerned that Sunak’s plans to cut National Insurance could put the state pension at risk – an accusation Starmer’s party has levelled at the Conservatives in the past.

In terms of the other parties, the Greens have said they would move away from the triple lock to a double-lock system. Meanwhile, Reform UK’s manifesto makes no mention of the triple lock. 

“This could mean that it is so ingrained within the system that it doesn’t need to be mentioned or it could mean it’s for the chop,” says Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown. 

Which party is prioritising working parents?

Both Labour and the Conservatives are committed to continuing the rollout of Jeremy Hunt’s free childcare reforms. Previously, there had been some doubts as to whether Labour would commit to the policy amid concerns about the strain it could put on the sector. 

Labour has also announced plans to convert over 3,000 classrooms into nurseries in schools with spare capacity, creating 100,000 additional nursery places. The party plans to fund this by ending tax breaks for private schools

Labour has also promised free breakfast clubs for primary school children, and 6,500 new teachers for the state sector. 

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have promised to “end the unfairness in child benefit by moving to a household system”. Currently, parents start losing their allowance as soon as one parent’s income hits £60,000. The Tories have also said they will raise the child benefit threshold to £120,000. 

Whether parents end up voting Labour or Conservative could be determined by how much they earn, and whether their children are educated in the state or private system. 

Those with children in the state sector will be pleased by the prospect of additional teachers and more nursery places. Meanwhile, those with children in private school will likely be nervous about the prospect of a potential 20% fee hike, if VAT is imposed on school fees. 

Of course, Labour and the Conservatives aren’t the only two parties on your ballot paper. The Liberal Democrats could also look attractive to those thinking about having children in the future. 

Ed Davey’s party has promised to double statutory maternity pay and shared parental pay to £350 per week, as well as introducing “an extra use-it-or-lose-it month for fathers and partners, paid at 90% of earnings”.

The Lib Dems have also said they would make these “day-one rights” and extend them to self-employed parents.

Which party is doing the most for young people?

When it comes to young people, a key focus for both major parties is housing. Mortgage rates have skyrocketed in recent years, pushing the dream of home ownership out of reach for many.

Labour has unveiled a Freedom to Buy pledge on the election trail, which we explored in a recent article. Meanwhile, the Conservatives have promised to launch a “new and improved Help to Buy scheme”, while permanently scrapping stamp duty for first-time buyers, up to a threshold of £425,000. 

“Neither of the main parties mentioned the Lifetime ISA in their manifestos. However, it still offers a vital leg-up onto the property ladder,” adds Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“An estimated 11% of first-time buyers with a mortgage used a Lifetime ISA to get onto the property ladder in the most recent year we have data for (2022-23),” she explains.

Other Conservative policies directed at young people include replacing certain “rip off” degrees with 100,000 new apprenticeships. Meanwhile, Labour has promised a “youth guarantee”, which will ensure 18 to 21-year-olds have access to training, an apprenticeship or support finding work.

The Conservatives have also said they will introduce a new form of national service – a policy which has been met with a mixed reception among young people. The programme would not involve being conscripted into the armed forces, but would require 18-year-olds to get involved in community service. 

In terms of the other parties, the Greens are likely to prove popular with young voters who often point out that they will have to live with the effects of climate change for longer than anyone else. One of the Green Party’s headline policies is to reach net zero by 2040 by rolling out more renewable power.

Labour has also focused on energy transition, pledging to set up a new publicly-owned clean energy company. The party would pay for this by upping the windfall tax levied on oil and gas companies.

Which party is doing the most for renters?

Some experts have argued that “generation rent” could play a big role in influencing the outcome of this election, with around 35% of all people in England currently living in rented accommodation. 

Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all stated their commitment to abolishing no-fault evictions – a significant step in improving renters’ rights. There had been efforts to get this measure through Parliament before it was dissolved for the election, but the government ran out of time.

High rental costs have also been in focus. Labour has said it will empower tenants to challenge unreasonable rent increases, while the Greens have said they would look to introduce rent controls. 

Other manifesto pledges from Labour and the Greens have focused on improving the energy efficiency of rental properties. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have said they would make three-year tenancies the default and introduce a national register of licensed landlords.

See our recent article for further details: “How will the general election impact renters and buy-to-let landlords?

Katie Williams
Staff Writer

Katie has a background in investment writing and is interested in everything to do with personal finance, politics, and investing. She enjoys translating complex topics into easy-to-understand stories to help people make the most of their money.

Katie believes investing shouldn’t be complicated, and that demystifying it can help normal people improve their lives.

Before joining the MoneyWeek team, Katie worked as an investment writer at Invesco, a global asset management firm. She joined the company as a graduate in 2019. While there, she wrote about the global economy, bond markets, alternative investments and UK equities.

Katie loves writing and studied English at the University of Cambridge. Outside of work, she enjoys going to the theatre, reading novels, travelling and trying new restaurants with friends.