The 2019 Conservative manifesto half-time analysis

Think tank: Institute for Government

Author(s): Jordan Urban

December 20, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government looks at what the Johnson government achieved – and what is left to do.

Over half (55%) of the Conservative government’s 2019 manifesto pledges are completed or on track – but 41 pledges are at risk of failure or have been delayed, suspended or abandoned. This report updates the IfG’s manifesto analysis from April 2021. Since then 19 more commitments have been completed, and work has now started on 23 promises which had yet to start in April. However, the number of pledges at risk has nearly doubled from 17 to 30, while work is yet to begin on a further 24. The report also illustrates that more thought needs to be given to how manifesto pledges interact with each other. In 2019, the Conservatives promised to fix big problems facing the country – like reforming social care, improving digital and physical infrastructure, and delivering ‘world class’ public services – while also pledging not to raise the three main taxes or borrow to fund day-to-day spending. Their manifesto is baked in contradictions which would have emerged regardless of the impact of coronavirus. Looking ahead to the remainder of the parliament, the report highlights three areas of substance where the government has the most work to do: health, ‘global Britain’ and net zero.