Choosing who to vote for in the 2024 UK General Election

Update: I just discussed this with my son and I really want to emphasise:

It does make a difference who is in power.

The previous Labour government significantly improved primary education and many other public services. Don’t lose hope!

Here are the criteria I will use to select which party to vote for in the 2024 UK General Election.


I will be voting against the Conservative party because it has comprehensively proven itself to be incompetent at managing both the economy and public services.

Ideological blindness

I will be voting against the Conservative party because its policies have been driven by blind ideology (e.g. the Truss economic disaster) and/or the perceived prejudices of their core voters (e.g. the “ship them off to Rwanda” immigration policy).

Public services

I will be voting for a party that I believe is committed to improving our public services, especially the NHS, education and prisons. This will involve channelling funds when available, but also good-faith work to change working practices and improve working conditions and outcomes for patients, pupils and prisoners.

For bonus points I’d like to see water companies and rail services gradually moved into public control. Transport For London offers an excellent model for public/private partnership in rail. Water is a total mess so I’m looking for a party that is willing to take ownership for fixing the problems with water and sewage management.


I will be voting for a party that I believe is willing to invest optimistically in the energy transition to realise the climate and economic benefits of making significant progress soon. I want regulation and financial incentives that punish polluting and carbon-emitting behaviour and invest in innovation.


I will be voting for a party who I trust to speak truthfully about immigration: we benefit economically from immigration, and we rely on immigration in many areas, not least universities. We should manage economic migration, working to integrate people and working with local councils to provide housing and public services where people are arriving. Pretending we don’t need immigrants makes us unable to tackle the real strains large numbers of arrivals can put on a particular area.

We should establish safe routes for refugees to travel to the UK, and we should urgently act to process the backlog of asylum claims. We must remove the backlog if we want to discourage spurious asylum claims. It may even be necessary to declare an amnesty if that is the only way to clear the backlog.

Foreign policy

I will be voting for a party that has a grown-up attitude to foreign policy: responding to the threat from hostile actors like Russia, and speaking out over matters of human rights. I remember when there was debate about whether South African apartheid was “any of our business”. History has shown that it was our business, and we should have applied maximum non-military pressure to bring apartheid to an end. I believe the situation in Israel/Palestine will be viewed similarly when we have hindsight, and we should act now with public statements, trade sanctions and legal action.

We should use our influence to advocate for those who are oppressed across the world, and (of course) we should lead by example with the highest standards of justice and fairness in our own country.

We should stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel and significantly tighten regulation around arms sales to countries engaged in military action that fails to minimise harm to civilians.


I will be voting for a party who are willing to make the changes needed to provide more houses. This will involve changing rules to make it easier to build homes, and to incentivise building homes, not sitting on land. It will also likely involve the government or councils building and renting quality homes at low rents.

Bonus: universal basic income

I’d love to see someone propose a serious plan for universal basic income. Our benefits system already acknowledges the right of all people to food, housing, water and other services.

Our health system gives freedom to everyone to plan for their future life without dreading a massive bill if something goes wrong. Let’s give a similar freedom to everyone that if their job or business idea falls through, they can still survive. Imagine the explosion of innovation and artistic expression that could spring from this freedom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.