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2019 UK General Election: Manifesto Analysis

The 2019 General Election sees the UK heading to the polls for the third time in five years. UK politics remains in a state of flux as the public is asked to break the deadlock in parliament. Even if no one party is able to reach the 326 seats needed in order to obtain a majority in the House of Commons, the election results may shift the balance of power just enough to allow progress to be made on key policy issues.

Brexit continues to dominate the political agenda and the outcome of the 2019 election will be pivotal in deciding how, when, and even if, the UK departs from the European Union. However, the manifestos set out the various political parties’ priorities, and details how they will address the most significant policy questions of our time. These are issues that are also at the heart of actuarial science, for example, tackling climate change, investing in infrastructure, and meeting the needs of an ageing population.

The areas we have prioritised are:

  • Ageing Population – looking at the opportunities and challenges associated with increases in life expectancy and the proportion of older people in the population.
  • Inclusive Insurance looking at new approaches to emerging risks and the potential impacts on the insurance industry and different segments of consumers.
  • Sustainability seeking long-term solutions to the risk of environmental change and the transition to net zero for governments, businesses and individuals.

As a chartered body the IFoA provides an objective, fact-based and politically neutral view of the key issues facing the UK today. As an actuarial body, it is unsurprising that a key theme running through all of our policy positions is the belief that long-term problems need long-term solutions, to ensure fair and effective policymaking.


In the interest of brevity we have decided to limit our analysis to the main UK parties’ manifestos. Also included is the Scottish National Party manifesto, as they are likely to return a significant number of MPs to Westminster. The parties are listed in alphabetical order throughout our manifesto analysis document; if you wish to discuss our analysis further with one of our team please contact

Download the manifesto analysis

Manifestos: top-line messages:

Conservatives'Get Brexit done' is the dominant message in this Conservative manifesto, and behind the Johnson campaign. Other significant commitments include infrastructure spending plans with £100 billion of investment lined up, and prioritising spending on health, education and policing. The Conservative manifesto commits to the lowest spending pledges on public services. The government had already planned to increase day-to-day spending on public services by £11.7 billion, and their manifesto adds £2.9 billion to current plans in 2023–24.

Green Party
The Climate Emergency is front and centre of the Green Party's manifesto. It proposes a ‘Green New Deal’ which is characterised by funding improvements in six key areas, those being: energy, housing, transport, industry, food farming & industry and incomes. The Green New Deal promises combined investment of over £100 billion a year in order to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

LabourLabour’s manifesto seeks to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the UK economy. There are plans to renationalise sectors such as rail, mail, water and energy, as well as a promise to invest in a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, and reform the tax system. Labour’s manifesto also promises the highest public spending commitments of all of the parties, with an £80 billion increase in day-to-day spending by 2023–24, along with an additional £55 billion of investment spending each year.

Liberal Democrats

 ‘Leaving the European Union is not the answer,’ is the key message readers will take away from the Lib Dems manifesto. The ‘stop Brexit bonus’ (which they estimate at £50 billion) is a core plank of their budget to reinvest in public services. Brexit aside, the manifesto also contains strong commitments to tackle climate change and spending on the NHS, social care and lifelong learning.


The SNP are hopeful for not one but two referendums in their latest manifesto calling for a second Brexit vote and Scottish Independence. Also contained within its pages are calls to reform and protect the NHS and welfare system, alongside a demands for more devolved power in areas such as transport and infrastructure. 

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Drawing from his most recent book “The New Long Life” and his longevity research Andrew J Scott will outline how longer lives and new technologies will fundamentally reshape how we structure our lives and transform the economy. As well as looking at the agenda this will set governments and corporates he will focus on the implications for you and how you prepare your future career.

  • India Town Hall

    28 January 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual India Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Member Mahidhara Davangere and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

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    What are the options for the world economy looking ahead?

    In this Thought Leadership Lecture, Economist, Vicky Pryce, will be discussing world economic trends, including the differences in geographical performance and how output is recovering and where.

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    Trust and Leadership for Actuaries

    Led by Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Leeds, this webinar introduces some key ideas in the ethics of trust, with a particular focus on those in, or on the path to, leadership roles. Dr Baxter is joined by a panel of experienced leaders who will give their personal perspectives on how they understand the value of trust and how they seek to promote and inspire trust, drawing on their experiences of leadership. The panel includes:

  • Health and Care Hot Topics webinar

    Online webinar
    10 February 2021

    Spaces available

    In this webinar, we have two presentations showing the latest research on the implications for life and health insurers of two key issues: genomics and pandemic risk.

    Dr Peter Joshi and Paul Timmers will share their research on how well-established underwriting processes can allow for genomics in predicting expected mortality and morbidity. They will then discuss the potential for stratified screening and personalised medicine to improve health and reduce claim costs.

  • Spaces available

    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.