An In-Depth Analysis of the Conservative Party's 2024 Manifesto

The Conservative Party's 2024 manifesto, "Secure Future," outlines a comprehensive vision to ensure economic stability, enhance public services, and bolster national security.

An In-Depth Analysis of the Conservative Party's 2024 Manifesto

The Conservative Party's 2024 manifesto outlines a comprehensive vision to ensure economic stability, enhance public services, and bolster national security. The manifesto emphasizes delivering economic prudence, maintaining robust defence capabilities, and implementing stricter immigration controls.

While it presents a strategic approach to addressing the challenges faced by the UK in a post-pandemic and post-Brexit era, it has received a mixed reception from the public, commentators, and political opponents.

Key Insights and Policies

Economic Plan

Tax Cuts

    • The manifesto promises significant tax reductions, including a reduction in employee National Insurance from 12% to 6% by 2027 and the complete abolition of National Insurance for the self-employed. These measures are designed to alleviate the financial burden on workers and entrepreneurs, encouraging economic activity and investment.
    • However, given the current state of public finances, there is widespread scepticism about whether these promised tax cuts could be delivered. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has expressed doubts about the viability of funding these cuts through uncertain and unspecified savings, such as a proposed £12 billion reduction in the welfare bill.

Boost to Pensions

    • Introducing the "Triple Lock Plus," the manifesto ensures that pensioners' state pension and tax-free allowance will rise with the highest inflation, earnings, or 2.5%. This policy aims to protect the purchasing power of pensions, ensuring that retirees can maintain their standard of living amidst rising costs.
    • Despite the benefits for pensioners, there are concerns that the tax cuts' regressive nature could disproportionately benefit higher-income groups, with the top 20% of earners gaining significantly more than the poorest fifth.

Childcare Support

    • The manifesto outlines plans to provide 30 hours of free childcare for working parents with children nine months to school. This initiative aims to reduce childcare costs and support working families, enabling more parents to return to the workforce.
    • While this policy is generally welcomed, some critics argue that public preference leans towards higher spending on public services rather than tax cuts. An Ipsos poll found that a significant portion of the public prioritizes investment in areas like the NHS over tax reductions.

Increasing Domestic Energy Production

    • The manifesto emphasizes increasing domestic energy production through investments in renewable energy and infrastructure to enhance energy security. This strategy aims to reduce the UK's dependence on foreign energy sources and stabilize energy prices.
    • The focus on energy production is seen as a positive step, but environmental advocates argue that the manifesto lacks comprehensive climate policies and calls for more aggressive action on sustainability and emissions reduction.

New Trade Deals

    • The Conservatives propose new trade deals and cut the EU red tape to boost the UK's global trade relationships. Leveraging Brexit freedoms, the manifesto seeks to open new markets for British goods and services, enhancing economic prospects.
    • Critics, however, doubt the effectiveness of these measures in the face of global economic challenges and question the manifesto's lack of bold new ideas in trade and economic policy.

Public Services

Defence Spending

    • The manifesto commits to increasing defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. This reflects the party's focus on national security and military preparedness, ensuring the UK can respond effectively to global threats and maintain its defence capabilities.
    • While the increase in defence funding is generally supported, some commentators view it as a reiteration of previously announced plans, lacking the innovative solutions needed to address modern security challenges.

Food Security

    • A legally binding target to enhance food security is proposed. This policy aims to ensure the UK can sustain its food supply chain independently of international disruptions. It also aims to bolster domestic agriculture and reduce reliance on imports.
    • Given global supply chain issues, the focus on food security is seen as timely. Still, critics argue that the manifesto fails to address the broader environmental and sustainability issues linked to agriculture.

NHS Staff Recruitment

    • The Conservatives plan to recruit 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors. This initiative aims to address the NHS's staffing shortages, improve healthcare delivery, and ensure timely access to medical services for all citizens.
    • Despite this commitment, there are concerns about the feasibility of such recruitment targets, given existing budget constraints and the NHS's overall financial state.

Protecting Female-Only Spaces

    • The manifesto includes a pledge to protect female-only spaces based on biological sex. This policy aims to ensure safety and fairness in sports, public facilities, and services, addressing concerns over gender identity issues.
    • This proposal has sparked significant controversy, with critics arguing that it undermines the rights of transgender individuals and promotes exclusionary practices.

Housing Development

    • A commitment to build 1.6 million new homes is highlighted. This policy aims to address the housing shortage and improve affordability by focusing on well-designed housing in appropriate locations while protecting the countryside.
    • While ambitious, some view the housing targets as unrealistic, given the challenges in planning, infrastructure, and local opposition to large-scale developments.


Legal Cap on Migration

    • The manifesto introduces a legal cap on migration numbers to reduce net migration yearly to protect public services and maintain social cohesion. This policy reflects a commitment to controlled and sustainable immigration.
    • Despite the tough stance on immigration, the manifesto's pledges, such as resuming Rwanda deportation flights, are criticized as unworkable and lacking detail, with immigration declining as a priority for many voters.

Removing Illegal Migrants

    • A controversial proposal to remove illegal migrants to Rwanda is included, reflecting a tough stance on illegal immigration and asylum reform. This policy aims to deter illegal entry and ensure a more orderly immigration system.
    • Critics argue that this policy is unethical, potentially violates human rights, and is unlikely to be effective in managing migration issues.

Reforming Asylum Rules

    • The Conservatives aim to reform asylum rules to prevent system abuse, ensuring that genuine refugees receive protection while deterring fraudulent claims. This policy seeks to balance compassion with control.
    • Some see reforming asylum regulations as necessary, but the approach has been criticized for potentially compromising the rights and safety of asylum seekers.

Reaction from Political Commentators

Left-Leaning Commentators

Criticism of Tax Cuts

    • Left-leaning analysts argue that the proposed tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy, exacerbating income inequality. They contend that these measures fail to address the needs of lower-income households and could widen the wealth gap.
    • A major point of contention is the regressive nature of the tax cuts, which provide significant benefits to higher earners while offering minimal relief to the poorest.

Opposition to Rwanda Asylum Policy

    • The Rwanda policy is criticized as unethical and a violation of human rights, with concerns about its legality and morality. Commentators argue that it fails to address the root causes of migration and asylum-seeking.
    • Opponents highlight the potential humanitarian crises that could arise from forcibly relocating migrants to Rwanda, calling for more humane and comprehensive asylum policies.

Controversy Over Defining Female Sex

    • Defining female sex based on biology is seen as discriminatory and anti-trans, raising concerns about inclusivity and equality. This policy is viewed as undermining the rights of transgender individuals and perpetuating exclusionary practices.
    • Critics argue that this approach could lead to increased discrimination and marginalization of transgender people, calling for policies that respect and protect gender diversity.

Skepticism on Housing Targets

    • The ambitious target of building 1.6 million new homes is viewed as unrealistic. Doubts about its feasibility and potential impact on local communities exist. Commentators also question whether the necessary infrastructure and support services will be available.
    • There are concerns that rapid housing development could lead to poor-quality construction, environmental degradation, and displacement of existing communities.

Right-Leaning Commentators

Support for Economic Policies

    • Right-leaning commentators praise the pro-business tax cuts and deregulatory measures, viewing them as essential for economic growth and competitiveness. They argue these policies will attract investment, boost entrepreneurship, and drive job creation.
    • Supporters highlight the potential for increased disposable income and consumer spending, stimulating economic activity and enhancing overall prosperity.

Approval of Tough Immigration Stance

    • The manifesto's tougher stance on illegal immigration and asylum reform is welcomed as necessary to protect national security and public resources. Commentators argue that strict immigration controls are vital for maintaining social stability and public trust.
    • Supporters believe these measures will deter illegal entry, reduce strain on public services, and ensure a fairer and more manageable immigration system.

Endorsement of Protecting Female-Only Spaces

    • The commitment to protect female-only spaces based on biological sex is supported as a measure to ensure fairness and safety. Commentators argue that this policy upholds the rights and protections of women and girls in various settings.
    • Supporters contend that clear definitions are necessary to prevent potential abuses and maintain the integrity of female-only spaces in sports, public facilities, and services.

Backing Increased Defense Spending

    • The increased defence spending is crucial for maintaining the UK's military capabilities and responding to global threats. Commentators argue that a strong defence is essential for national security and international influence.
    • Supporters highlight the importance of modernizing the armed forces, enhancing military readiness, and fulfilling NATO commitments, which they view as critical for the UK's strategic position.

A Balanced Critique


Pro-Business Policies

    • The proposed tax cuts and deregulatory measures could stimulate economic growth and make the UK more attractive for investment and entrepreneurship. These policies are designed to reduce the financial burden on businesses, fostering innovation and job creation.
    • By enhancing the business environment, the Conservatives aim to drive economic recovery, support small and medium-sized enterprises, and promote long-term prosperity.

Defencedefence and NHS Spending

    • Increased defence spending and substantial recruitment of NHS staff address critical national security and healthcare delivery issues. These measures aim to enhance military readiness, support global commitments, and improve patient care and access to health services.
    • Strengthening the NHS workforce is crucial for reducing wait times, improving health outcomes, and maintaining public confidence in the healthcare system.

Tackling Illegal Immigration

    • Committing to reducing illegal immigration and reforming asylum rules could strengthen border security and ensure a more orderly immigration system. These measures aim to address public concerns about immigration and protect public resources.
    • By implementing strict immigration controls, the Conservatives seek to manage migration levels, support social cohesion, and ensure fair access to public services.


Potential Inequality from Tax Cuts

    • The tax cuts may disproportionately benefit higher earners, potentially worsening income inequality and social divides. Critics argue that these measures fail to address the needs of low-income households and could exacerbate economic disparities.
    • A more balanced approach to taxation could include measures to support lower-income families and ensure equitable distribution of economic benefits.

Controversial Definition of Sex

    • Legally defining sex based on biology is highly controversial and divisive, risking alienation of the transgender community and legal challenges. This policy could lead to increased discrimination and marginalization of transgender individuals.
    • A more inclusive approach to gender identity could involve policies that respect and protect the rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

Limited Environmental Policies

    • Beyond increasing domestic energy production, the manifesto is light on comprehensive environmental measures, raising concerns about the UK's climate commitments. Critics argue that more aggressive action is needed to address the climate crisis and promote sustainability.
    • A robust climate policy could include substantial investments in renewable energy, stringent emissions targets, and comprehensive strategies for environmental protection.


The Conservative Party's 2024 manifesto is a comprehensive platform reflecting the party's economic security priorities, robust defence, and strict immigration control. While it offers a clear vision for a "secure future," its impact may be tempered by criticisms of potential inequality, divisive social policies, and a perceived lack of environmental action.

Nevertheless, the manifesto's detailed policies provide a solid foundation for the Conservatives' campaign, setting the stage for significant debate and scrutiny in the lead-up to the election. Whether one agrees with its proposals or not, the manifesto outlines a bold and ambitious agenda for the UK's future.

Whether one agrees with its proposals or not, the manifesto outlines a bold and ambitious agenda for the UK's future.

The Conservative Party's manifesto is a solid document addressing some of the UK's key challenges. However, the party's significant chance of not being the leading power in the government reduces the immediate impact of these policies.