Will it be the end of Party manifestos?

  spider9 14:30 14 Apr 15

It certainly looks like we are in a period of 'no outright winner' mode at General Elections, which means minority parties will have to join coalitions again (or other 'helpful' ways keep a minority government in power).

That being the case, many of the promises made in manifestos will become defunct, since the 'other' party will always have conditions for their support (viz LibDem and Tories over Trident, Tories and LibDem over tuition fees, and many more).

So will manifestos, as such, have to be done away with? And might that be a good thing (lies could be avoided??).

  john bunyan 15:26 14 Apr 15

I think, having tried to read them, none seem credible, and many (particularly young) voters do not bother anyway.

I do remember other countries having great problems, such as Italy that used, it seemed, to have an election every year. Israel, Holland and a number of others spring to mind. I think there will have to be a new way of dealing with all this, unless the Tories and Labour form a "Grand Alliance" !

  spider9 16:01 14 Apr 15

Indeed a grand alliance might be a possibility, but following it I would suggest the 'vote leakage' to small parties would be immense, and a whole new political set of divides might become apparent at the ensuing election!

Interesting times we are living through!

  Forum Editor 17:47 14 Apr 15

A political manifesto is written (and only be written) with a view to the party concerned winning an election outright. You can't write a manifesto which says 'this is what we'll do when we govern the country, which might be never'.

For that reason, of course some of the pledges/promises will never be honoured in a coalition situation, but I think that voters should be intelligent enough to work that out for themselves.

So, in answer to your question - no, manifestos will not have be done away with. Germany has had coalition governments for a very long time, and manifestos are still an important aspect of elections there. The country doesn't seem to have done too badly on it, either.

  spider9 17:59 14 Apr 15


"... but I think that voters should be intelligent enough to work that out for themselves."

I wonder, would the LibDems, who may get annihilated (according to the polls) at the election, agree with that sentiment? Their 'pledge' was never understood in that way - or do you think LibDem voters were just not intelligent enough to work it out for themselves?

  Forum Editor 08:03 17 Apr 15


I don't share your compulsion to party-politicise every discussion, so I'll not respond to your Lib-Dem question. My opinion on manifestos stands, regardless.

  carver 08:19 17 Apr 15

"* Party manifesto*" a work of fiction destined to last until just after an election at which time all the good parts disappear leaving just the nasty parts behind.

  spider9 08:53 17 Apr 15


A little unfair to accuse me of 'party politicising'!

You gave an opinion, to which I simply illustrated a counter argument, by using the most well-known case of a manifesto promise being broken, because of coalition politics. Whether it was right or wrong would be up to others to decide - but you must agree it has been the highest profile political incident (that has lasted five years!) and is still being talked about.

That was why I used it - nothing to do with 'party-politicising' the discussion.

My opinion still is that the former manifestos which say "We will do this, that or the other" will now have to be modified to say things like "We will try to do ........ provided we can get enough support from other Parties".

  Forum Editor 18:50 18 Apr 15


I think you probably know what I meant - a general discussion about whether manifestos should be 'done away with' can do just as well without reference to specific party promises or a comment on the intelligence of a party's supporters, however tongue-in-cheek it might have been.

  LanceAlot 02:49 20 Apr 15

Watch my lips, no new taxes...

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