Political parties in the UK can be seen everywhere. The British political system is built on lots of different parties with very different views. These parties create divide in this country, but aside from the opinions of people you know you never actually get a non-biased news story which just lays out the British political parties. So that is what I have tried to do in this Ultimate Breakdown of Political Parties in the UK:
Sometimes referred to as the tory party, the Conservative Party is currently the party in control of the county. The leader of this party is Theresa May, the main aspect of her Prime Ministership is dealing with Brexit negotiations. The Conservative Party’s manifesto promises lower taxes and higher wages for working people and have agreed that there will not be a rise in income tax for anyone. The Conservatives have historically been accused of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, this government has set out to change this image.
Democratic Unionist Party
Founded in 1971 by Ian Paisley during the Troubles. This party was founded on unionist issues and is currently in coalition with the Conservatives. This party was founded on Christian, family values and has been described as having a socially regressive manifesto. With regards to Brexit, the DUP is strongly pro-leave and is therefore in a very strong position to be working with the Conservatives towards Brexit. Another of their main manifesto points is hoping for economic growth for ‘everyone, everywhere’. This could, arguably, go against the Conservatives own views for economic growth. But this point is very important for the DUP as they are a unionist party.
The Green Party’s manifesto is a kind to all affair. It speaks of more jobs, bringing back council services and letting people work 4 days a week. With these amazing ideals in mind, there is no outline of how these ideas will be achieved. This party also wants to get rid of zero-hour contracts, lower the gap between the richest and poorest in the country, and bring in a basic living wage of £10 an hour. The Green Party is also famously anti-army and of course, believes in greener living and greener energy. In the 2015 general election, the Green Party achieved 1,157,613 votes, however only retained one seat (in Brighton). This is comparable to the Scottish National Party who received 1,454,436 and gained 50 more seats. As Britain does not have proportional voting, the Green Party is still relatively small.
The labour party is one of the political parties in the UK that was founded in 1900, and is very welcoming to unions, socialism, and democratic ideals. The party is currently led by Jeremy Corbyn whose beliefs are a lot more socialist than his predecessors. In 1997 when Tony Blair became Prime Minister he pushed the idea of ‘New Labour’ which was the movement of the labour party from being aligned with socialism on the left, to just being left of centre. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn is hoping to bring back some of the previously lost social issues, his further-than-before left view is causing lots of older voters to mis-trust him. However, Corbyn and his party are favourites with young adults and students. Labour’s current tag line is ‘For the many, not the few,’ this tag line stands up in their manifesto as they are trying to lower the gap between the highest earning people and the lowest earning people.
The Liberal Democrats were once one of the most respected political parties in the UK. They were very central and had support from previous Conservative and previous Labour voters. However, they went into coalition with David Cameron’s Conservative government in 2010 and broke the promises they had made when they were elected. The biggest broken promise was Nick Clegg’s (the former leader of the Liberal Democrats) promise to not raise University tuition fees. Unfortunately, the government did raise fees amongst mass protesting. The Liberal Democrats believe in ‘fairer taxes’, which could mean higher income taxes for certain groups of people. Similarly, they want to raise the National Insurance threshold to the same level as income tax to help lower income citizens.
This Welsh party stood on an anti-majority stance, saying that they were the best option for Wales’ agriculture and economy. In their manifesto they described the Conservatives as ‘cruel and reckless’ and said that Labour was too ‘divided’ to run a country. Plaid Cymru’s ideas for the economy included opening a new publicly owned bank and dealing with tax discounts for new and existing businesses. Despite these strong economic ideas for Wales, the party retained the three seats they had and did not gain anymore.
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party famously became one of the very powerful political parties in the UK in 2015 when they gained 50 seats in the general election. This meant that they held a very strong majority, 56 seats out of 59. Following this the Scottish government held a referendum for independence and lost, meaning they are still currently part of Great Britain. The party describes themselves as being social democrats, left of centre and a progressive party. With their success of 2015, the SNP have created a Scottish Growth Fund to help Scottish businesses thrive across the world, and were also the first government to implement the living wage in the UK. The SNP also puts emphasis on trying to help young people and women find employment.
Sinn Fein is a republican party in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They are currently holding four seats in parliament and are known for having quite a left-wing view. Historically, they are the people who represent the IRA in parliament but refuse to take their seats which means they do not go to Westminster, this acts as a protest against Britain.