Preparing for government

Think tank: Institute for Government

Author(s): Various authors

January 4, 2024

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government sets out how the official opposition should ready itself for power.

This report sets out key lessons for how any opposition party should use the final 12 months (or fewer) to prepare for government. In the final months before an election access talks are overdue. These normally begin some 16 months prior to the latest possible election date, but are yet to start. If the polls are correct and the vote does return a Labour government, Starmer’s party stands to inherit a system that has been under considerable strain in recent years, and a fiscal outlook that presents a very serious challenge.

Labour has talked openly about the fact that its preparation is well under way and it is
clear it is making progress on key issues like policy review. There is more to do, and it should stay focused on preparation even as pressures mount to look elsewhere.

Access talks should be authorised and begin as soon as possible, missions and the policies beneath them must be marshalled into a coherent set of core priorities. There is still time for this work – but it must be done now.