A new film from ken Loach - Watch the Trailer

UK political parties & manifestos

Most political parties in the United Kingdom have their own websites that outline their individual policies, detail events and conferences, provide information on personnel and on publications and wider reading around key policies and thinking.

The main political parties that have contested General Elections since 1945 are detailed below including information and links to their current Manifesto. Where possible, historical Manifestos are also detailed with links directing to online versions of the full documents.

This is not an exhaustive list and should not be read as such.

The Political Parties:
The Conservative Party
The Labour Party
The Liberal Party
Conservatives logo


The Conservative Party website

The Conservative Party is currently the largest political party in the United Kingdom, the largest single party in the House of Commons with 306 Members of Parliament, and the largest party in local government with 8,628 councillors. A centre-right party, it governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats with the party leader, David Cameron as Prime Minister.

“We believe in responsibility: government responsibility with public finances, personal responsibility for our actions, and social responsibility towards each other. We believe in enterprise and aspiration. We believe there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state. Our fundamental tenet is that power should be devolved from politicians to people, from the central to the local. Personal ambition should be set as high as is humanly possible, with no barriers put in its way by the state. Perhaps most importantly, we believe that we are all in this together.” David Cameron, 2010 Conservative Party Manifesto

Conservative Party Manifestos
2010 - Invitation to Join the Government of Britain
David Cameron lays out the Conservative Party’s ideas, ambitions and intentions on creating a Big Society, repairing the economy, combating climate change, protecting the national interest and investing and backing the National Health Service.
The Conservative Party 2010 manifesto

2005 – Are You Thinking What We’re Thinking? It’s Time for Action
Michael Howard details the Party’s ambition for 'The British Dream', more police, cleaner hospitals, lower taxes, school discipline , controlled immigration and accountability
The Conservative Party 2005 manifesto (PDF)

2001 - Time for Common Sense
William Hague presents “the most ambitious Conservative programme for a generation” focusing on family values, employment, the NHS, care of the elderly, strong society and strong democracy.
The Conservative Party 2001 manifesto

1997 - You can only be sure with the Conservatives
John Major presents the Conservative Party’s thesis on why Britain still needs a Conservative government and why resting on the party’s achievements since 1979 is not enough.
The Conservative Party 1997 manifesto

1992 - The Best Future for Britain
John Major asserts his firm view that the Conservatives “can truly claim to be the party of opportunity; choice; ownership and responsibility,”  advocating continued privatization as the most powerful engine of economic efficiency and endorsing the public’s right to home ownership.
The Conservative Party 1992 manifesto

1987 - The Next Moves Forward
After 8 years in office, Margaret Thatcher sets out her plan to continue to change Britain for the better, asserting that “together we are building One Nation of free, prosperous and responsible families and people.”
The Conservative Party 1987 manifesto

1983 - The Challenge of Our Times
Margaret Thatcher calls for the country to unite to face the “formidable…challenge of our times,” namely “the defence of our country, the employment of our people, and the prosperity of our economy.”
The Conservative Party 1983 manifesto

1979 – The Conservative Party General Election Manifesto
Margaret Thatcher sets our a “broad framework for the recovery of our country” to reverse the process of a “society…increasingly titled in favour of the State at the expense of individual freedom.”
The Conservative Party 1979 manifesto

1974 (October) - Putting Britain First
Edward Heath urges the nation to vote Conservative to put an end to the economic and political dangers the country faces.
The Conservative Party 1974 manifesto

1974 (February) - Firm Action for a Fair Britain
Heath lays out his 5-year strategy for Britain including holding the line against inflation, beat the energy crisis, develop British industry and agriculture and develop the welfare system.
The Conservative Party 1974 February manifesto

1970 - A Better Tomorrow
Edward Heath takes a firm position against the policies of “more taxes, more blanket subsidies, more state ownership, move civil servants, more government interference” which he maintains is destructive to the nation’s health and wealth.
The Conservative Party 1970 manifesto

1966 - Action Not Words: The New Conservative Programme
The New Conservative Programme from Edward Heath laid out repairing and restoring the economy, reforming trade unions, remodeling the Welfare State, housing the nation and restoring Britain’s place in Europe as key points of action.
The Conservative Party 1966 manifesto

1964 - Prosperity with a Purpose
Alec Douglas-Home lays out his party’s policies designed for “the creation of a social and economic climate in which men and women can develop their personalities and talents to their countrys benefit as well as their own”, as well as a strong strategy for nuclear armament and spending.
The Conservative Party 1964 manifesto

1959 - The Next Five Years
Harold Macmillan focuses on Prosperity and Peace including halting the nationalization of industry and giving greater freedom to privately owned industry.
The Conservative Party 1959 manifesto

1955 - United For Peace and Progress
Following the retirement of Winston Churchill, his successor, Anthony Eden puts a strong focus on East and West relations, making the hydrogen bomb and securing peace with a firm foreign policy strategy whilst concentrating on infrastructure, employment and agriculture on the domestic front.
The Conservative Party 1955 manifesto

1951 - The Conservative Party Manifesto
Winston Churchill seeks re-election to office with a strong attack on the nationalization by the socialist government offering a firm resolve to repeal acts of nationalization and put power back in the hands of private industry.
The Conservative Party 1951 manifesto

1950 - This is the Road: The Conservative and Unionist Party's Policy
Larger and more efficient production,  fighting unemployment, decentralized power, end of nationalization and home grown food production are just some of the policies Winston Churchill details for the forthcoming terms “should we be called upon to assume the responsibilities of Government.”
The Conservative Party 1950 manifesto

1945 - Mr Churchill’s Declaration to the Electors
In the closing months of war, Winston Churchill focuses on the rebuilding of Britain, creating employment, building homes, producing food, investing in healthcare and education, building overseas trade and honouring servicemen and women.
The Conservative Party 1945 manifesto

Labour Party logo


The Labour Party website

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom and currently forms the Official Opposition with 258 seats in the House of Commons. The Labour Party’s longest term in government, which began in 1997 with a landslide victory for Tony Blair, ended in 2010 when the Conservative Party won the greatest number of seats and formed the current coalition government.  Their official website states that the values that Labour stands for today are social justice, strong community and strong values, reward for hard work, decency and rights matched by responsibilities.

"Britain faces huge challenges but if we work together, we can rebuild Britain as One Nation. 

Britain is at a fork in the road.

We can either carry on as we are, heading further into a lost decade. A lost decade where young people can't find work, where energy companies and train companies charge rip off prices, where wages fall year on year and where the government says there is nothing they can do, apart from give tax cuts to millionaires.

Or we can work together to turn things round with a recovery made by the many and built to last.  We can build that recovery by nurturing new and higher quality jobs, ensuring everyone has access to proper education and training and that the businesses Britain needs for the future can get proper support from our banks.

I know that wealth is not created just by a few at the top but by every single person who goes to work in this country – every builder, teacher, small business, carer and checkout worker. 

All these people need to succeed is a government that's on their side, that helps everyone play their part.

That's what One Nation Labour is all about. And I hope you will join us in our work." Ed Miliband.

Labour Party Manifestos
2010  - A Future Fair For All

Rebuilding of the economy, protecting public services and political honesty post the expenses crisis are the key themes in Gordon Brown’s Manifesto.
The Labour Party 2010 Mantifeso (PDF)

2005 - Britain Forward not Back
Tony Blair concentrates on increasing prosperity, economic growth, education, crime reduction and welfare services advocating the principal idea “that it is the duty of government to provide opportunity and security for all in the changing world.”
The Labour Party 2005 manifesto (PDF)

2001 - Ambitions for Britain
Tony Blair seeks a second terms in office with a plan of “fulfilling Britain’s great potential” laying out a strategy of prosperity for all, world-class public services, a modern welfare state, safer communities and making foreign policy work for the country.
The Labour Party 2001 manifesto

1997 - New Labour Because Britain Deserves Better
Tony Blair presents New Labour  as the party “to give Britain a different political choice: the choice between a failed Conservative government… divided in everything other than its desire to cling on to power, and a new and revitalized Labour Party” in a bid to become the first Labour Government for 18 years.
The Labour Party 1997 manifesto

1992 - It’s Time to get Britain Working Again
Neil Kinnock marks this election campaign as “a choice between a Conservative government paralysed by recession and a Labour government determined to get on with building recovery,” with a focus on the economy.
The Labour Party 1992 manifesto

1987 - Britain will win with Labour
Anti-poverty, the reduction of unemployment, anti-crime, strengthening of industry and a sensible energy policy are some of the key strategies laid out by Neil Kinnock in this Labour Party manifesto.
The Labour Party 1987 manifesto

1983 - The New Hope for Britain
Michael Foot sets out his five year programme which includes ending mass unemployment, giving rights to workers through Trade Unions, rebuilding British industry and a better deal for women playing a part in the strategy.
The Labour Party 1983 manifesto

1979 - The Labour Way is the Better Way
James Callaghan advocates the need for Labour’s values of “cooperation, social justice, and fairness” to fight inflation, improve job prospects, make Britain a fairer place and improve education and youth services.
The Labour Party 1979 manifesto

1974 (October) - Britain Will Win With Labour
Harold Wilson responds to the call for an early General Election by reiterating the need to get “Britain back to work, for overcoming what was universally acknowledged to be the gravest economic crisis Britain had faced since the war.”
The Labour Party 1974 manifesto

1974 (February) - Let Us Work Together: Labour’s Way Out of the Crisis
Harold Wilson asks the people to give their verdict on the last terms of Conservative Government and suggests that the Labour Party has “the policies essential to rescue the nation from the most serious political and economic crisis since 1945.”
The Labour Party 1974 February manifesto

1970 - Now Britain's Strong- Let's Make it Great to Live in
A strong economy, prosperity in the regions, education and social equality and the welfare state are four of the eight main tasks set out by Harold Wilson for the forthcoming term.
The Labour Party 1970 manifesto

1966 - Time For Decision
Harold Wilson bids to retain office with a comprehensive plan for a strong economy, a new welfare state and the key role of family within it, wider democracy and a resolve that “there can be no turning back to the tired and discredited policies of the long Conservative era.”
The Labour Party 1966 manifesto

1964 - The New Britain
Public ownership and investment in industry, science, technology transport and a plan for tax reform are detailed in the 1964 Labour Party manifesto from Harold Wilson.
The Labour Party 1964 manifesto

1959 - Britain Belongs to You: The Labour Party's Policy for Consideration by the British People
Hugh Gaitskell challenges Macmillan’s statement that “the old division of Britain into the two nations, the Haves and the Have Nots, has disappeared” and lays out the Labour Party’s policies in a bid to end eight years of Conservative rule.
The Labour Party 1959 manifesto

1955 - Forward With Labour:Labour's Policy for the Consideration of the Nation
Clement Attlee’s manifesto focuses on disarmament and easing world tensions, reducing the cost of living, a fairer taxation system and expanding home grown industry as Britain prepares to go to the polls.
The Labour Party 1955 manifesto

1951 - Labour Party Election Manifesto
Clement Attlee lays out what he believes are the four major tasks that face our nation: “to secure peace; to maintain full employment and increase production; to bring down the cost of living; to build a just society.”
The Labour Party 1951 manifesto

1950 - Let Us Win Through Together
Work for all and full employment is the main focus of Clement Attlee’s pledge for a second term in office along with the development of British industry and encouragement of enterprise.
The Labour Party 1950 manifesto

1945 - Let Us Face the Future
With the country in need of massive investment and infrastructure rebuild, Clement Attlee sets out the Labour  Party’s plan to create “jobs for all”, a massive re-building programme and the creation of a national health service.
The Labour Party 1945 manifesto

Liberal Democrats logo


The Liberal Democratic Party website

The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom. The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. Prior to the merger the two parties had formed the electoral SDP-Liberal Alliance for seven years. The Liberals have been in existence for over 150 years since its formation in 1959, and has had terms in office under leaders such as William Gladstone, Henry Asquith and David Lloyd George. Nick Clegg has been leader of the party since 2007 and is currently Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition Government with the Conservative Party.

"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives." Preamble to the Liberal Democratic Federal Constitution

The Liberal Democrats Manifestos
2010 - Change That Works For You

Nick Clegg fair taxes that put money back in your pocket, a fair future creating jobs by making Britain greener, a fair chance for every child and a fair deal by cleaning up politics as four key strategies for a Liberal Democrat term in office.
The Liberal Democratic Party 2010 manifesto

2005 - The Real Alternative
Charles Kennedy promotes “freedom, fairness and trust” as the guiding principles of the Liberal Democrats and as the principals he believes “must underpin the government of this country.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 2005 manifesto

2001 - Freedom Justice Honesty
Charles Kennedy sets out the Liberal Democrat policy priorities of “investing in schools and hospitals to cut class sizes and waiting times; extra police to prevent crime and catch criminals; increasing the basic state pension; and providing free personal care.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 2001 manifesto

1997 - Make the Difference
Education, investment and economic stability, a cleaner and safer environment, energy saving, housing, crime and investment in rural communities are some of the key strategies laid out in Charles Kennedy’s manifesto.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1997 manifesto

1992 - Changing Britain for Good
Paddy Ashdown sets out the party’s plans for Public Investment, Private Enterprise,  Environmental Protection and Conservation, Excellence for All, and a Healthier, Safer and Better Housed Britain under a Liberal Democratic government.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1992 manifesto

1987 - Britain United : The Time Has Come
The Alliance's vision is of a Britain united, a Britain confident, compassionate and competitive. We know that it is possible to unite our country. We know the British people want greater unity. But we also know the task of drawing Britain together again can only be achieved through political, economic and social reform on a scale not contemplated in our country for over 40 years. David Steel and David Owen set out the SDP – LiberalAlliance’s strategy for a term in office.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1987 manifesto

1983 - Working Together for Britain
David Steel and Roy Jenkins set out their plans to tackle unemployment, the rising cost of living, a plan for industrial development and success, the de-fragmenting of society and political system reform.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1983 manifesto

1979 - The Real Fight is for Britain
“It would, after all, be a profound and radical change for Britain to benefit from stability in economic policy, to gain a new consensus in pay policy and industrial relations, to achieve a wider agreement on the structure of taxation, or to open up a searching debate on the best use of Britain's limited resources.” David Steel sets out the Liberal Party’s strategy for implementing these changes.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1979 manifesto

1974 (October) - Why Britain Needs Liberal Government
Jeremy Thorpe details why Britain needs a Liberal Government focusing on what he calls the economic and political crisis facing the country.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1974 manifesto

1974 (February) - Change the face of Britain: Take power - Vote Liberal
Jeremy Thorpe calls for the nation to vote Liberal so that “the essential condition for democratic survival” can be implements: the recreation of a loyalty to “the general good” and for a “representation of the general interest.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 1974 February manifesto

1970 - What a Life!
The worker, the shopper, the small business, the farmer, the grower, the independent trader, the young, the old, the low-income family, the homeless and the slum-dweller all feature in Jeremy Thorpe’s 1970 manifesto.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1970 manifesto

1966 - For All the People: the Liberal Plan of 1966
Jo Grimond lays out what the Liberals have already achieved and what they will achieve if they are selected to form a Liberal government.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1966 manifesto

1964 - Think For Yourself
Jo Grimond details the three central aims of the Liberal Party: harnessing modern technology as a “means of achieving a new age of abundance which could provide everyone with a richer life and great new opportunities”, “to ensure that the individual people benefit from the new industrial revolution,” and “to apply the idea of partnership in international affairs.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 1964 manifesto

1959 - People Count
Jo Grimond promises self-government for Scotland and Wales, a fairer voting system, greater benefit for the sick and elderly, investment in education, cuts in the cost of living and a greater influence in international matters under a Liberal government.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1959 manifesto

1955 - Crisis Unresolved
Clement Davies states that the post war crisis of unemployment, homes for all, peaceful foreign policy and the cost of living remain unresolved and that a vote for a Liberal government will empower the individual in “this new fast-moving world… to be a champion of constructive policies rather than a victim of negative apprehensions.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 1955 manifesto

1951 - The Nation’s Task
Clement Davies calls for the nation to vote Liberal to put “a strong Liberal Party in the House of Commons”, to strengthen the liberal forces within Labour and the Conservatives and increase the majority of “the only party free of any class or sectional interests.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 1951 manifesto

1950 - No Easy Way: Britain's Problems and the Liberal Answers
The Liberal Party’s plans for building homes offering a decent standard of living, fairer employment rights for women, a fairer deal for the nation’s farmers and ending peacetime conscription are laid out in Clement Davies’ manifesto.
The Liberal Democratic Party 1950 manifesto

1945 - 20 Point Manifesto of the Liberal Party
Archibald Sinclair submits his “programme to the Nation” for the rebuilding of Britain post World War II. Duty and care to the service men and women, social security, full employment, housing, the development of the land and investment in health, education and industry all feature heavily in the Liberal’s “vision of a healthier society in which our people may live, full, happy and useful lives and bring up their families in decent homes with out dear of war or of unemployment.”
The Liberal Democratic Party 1945 manifesto

Join the Conversation

On Twitter

Join the conversation

Find us on Facebook

View Reviews & Articles


Ken Loach's nostalgic homage to the birth of the welfare state and Beveridge spirit is salutary for our age of austerity


A salutary reminder of exactly what Ken Loach is for

The Spirit of '45: where did it go? - The Observer

Ken Loach on cinema as an act of rebellion - Time Out

View all reviews & articles