At the Institute for Government we have identified a series of common problems and dilemmas that face, and will face, governments of all parties if they are to achieve their goals. In this paper, we look at the priorities of the main parties for 2015 and beyond. We outline the practical steps they must take to make progress on these priorities, run a more effective government and honour their manifesto commitments.

The main political parties publicly recognise that, if they come to power, they must:

  • reduce the budget deficit and control public spending
  • achieve sustained economic growth over the long term
  • address long-term, complex social and economic challenges whose costs and benefits cover decades
  • improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services
  • govern in a world where power is spread more widely.

Effective government

Parties are examining how to achieve these goals after the 2015 general election. If they are to be successful, their plans must work in practice as well as sound good during a campaign. Parties need to work out how to make the most of a £700-billion-a-year government machine so that by the time of the 2020 general election, they will be able to show that they have made a difference.

Recent polling carried out for the Institute for Government shows that the public have little confidence that politicians will keep their election promises. But two-thirds say they would be more likely to vote for a party that can show how it would implement its policies in government.

Using Institute for Government research on what works and what doesn’t, this document identifies what the parties must do in government to achieve their goals.

Before downloading the paper, view our short video explaining the background to the research.