The Conservative Party
“Strong leadership. A clear economic plan. A better, more secure future”
Who are they?
The Conservative Party is a centre-right political party. The party’s official name is the Conservative and Unionist Party and currently forms our government, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, being the largest single party in the House of Commons with 306 seats. David Cameron is the leader of the Conservative Party, and therefore also Prime Minister of the UK.
The Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party, giving rise to its commonly used nickname of the ‘Tories’. Whilst during the 19th century the Liberal Party was the main rival of the Conservatives, in the 1920s it was the Labour Party who rose to prominence as a strong competitor. Conservative Prime Ministers led governments for 57 years of the 20th century, most notably of whom being Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Although Thatcher’s tenure saw the Conservatives become the most Eurosceptic of the three major parties, David Cameron’s leadership has proven more liberal.
What are their values?
“We have a shared responsibility for our shared future”
The Conservative Party describes itself as ‘an open and inclusive Party’, acting to ensure that it is representative of modern Britain at every level. They believe the more we trust people, the stronger society becomes as we are all in this together. Key to the Tories’ values are to improve the quality of life for everyone, through a dynamic economy and a sustainable environment
What are their proposals for the upcoming election?
The key points of their long-term economic plan are as follows:
- Cutting income tax for over 26 million people, saving the typical taxpayer £825 per year from April 2015, meaning hardworking people keep more of the money they earn
- Helping small businesses by cutting the jobs tax and scrapping it altogether for those under 21 years old, cutting corporation tax helping companies to invest and grow and investing in better infrastructure so it’s easier to reach customers
- Capping benefits so no out-of-work household can claim more in benefits than the average household earns in work and stopping benefits from rising faster than wages to ensure that it always pays to work
- Working to control immigration by clamping down on benefits tourism and health tourism so that we only welcome those who want to work hard and contribute to society
- Making it much tougher for illegal immigrants to remain in the UK by restricting access to work, housing, benefits, health care, bank accounts and driving licences
- Improving education by protecting the schools budget, attracting the top graduates to teaching and investing £18 billion in new schools
- Cracking down on offshore corporate tax avoidance
Other important proposals are as follows:
- Continuing to support pensioners by cutting tax on pension pots so that people who have worked hard and saved all their lives can pass on more to their loved ones
- Keep supporting those who want to get on the housing ladder by delivering 100,000 new homes to first-time buyers and making 10,000 new affordable homes at below market rent
- Creating 3 million apprenticeships by the end of the next Parliament
- Adopting a new counter-extremism strategy to protect fundamental British values of freedom of speech, democracy and equal rights
- Commencing a new relationship with Europe, by renegotiating our membership of the EU, bringing powers back to Britain and away from Brussels, as well as giving the British people the final say in an in/out referendum in 2017
Could they be successful?
The current election forecast predicts that there will be no overall majority. An average of five forecasts tracked on May 2015, ranging from a pair of academic forecasts to the Guardian’s and the bookies’, gives the Tories 283 seats and Labour 270. However, the Polling Observatory’s latest election forecast actually predicts that Labour will come out on top, marginally. What is clear, however, is that it looks like it will be the tightest general election for decades.