Net-Zero Transition News

What to expect from this year’s Labour Party Conference

By Clara Taylor, Account Manager, Net-Zero Transition
By Clara Taylor, Account Manager, Net-Zero Transition

As the Conservative Party Conference draws to a close, it’s clear to see the battle lines for the general election have been drawn. And perhaps, the battle lines for control of the Conservative Party also.

While Rishi Sunak will hope his speech can provide a “reset” moment; promises were made. Most notably, this included the scrapping of the northern leg of HS2, which he stated was a "a project whose costs have more than doubled". Pledging to “reinvest every penny” saved, a sum of £36bn, in rail, roads and buses in the North, the Midlands and across the country - much to the disappointment of Jacob Rees Mogg who said he would have liked to see it go towards tax cuts.

But with appearances from previous Prime Ministers, particularly Liz Truss, as well as Nigel Farage’s foray back into the Tory fray, Conservative Conference demonstrated that there is a clear risk the party moves right, losing the electoral middle-ground. And the Government’s rowing back on Net Zero policy has continued to prove hugely contentious. Keen to position themselves as “pro-motorist” and as “green moderates”, the Tories now appear to be even more divided on the topic of Net Zero.

Next week, it’s Labour’s turn, in Liverpool, where the party conference presents a prime opportunity for Sir Keir Starmer to answer his critics’ – and the Prime Minister’s – accusations that Labour is refusing to set out its political and policy stall. Despite a major poll-lead and successfully attracting the greater number of business exhibitors, Labour won’t want to rest on its laurels and will be looking to demonstrate to the public that its poised to take power.

Whilst last year’s conference centred on a “green and digital future”, this year’s will focus on a broader spectrum of topics. With the influx of businesses leaders at the Labour party conference leaders (it's already been likened it to Davos and nicknamed “Livos”), and the current economic climate, we can expect to see Labour demonstrate its fiscal responsibility and commitment to economic stability.

Labour is set to put forward plans to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, measured by increasing living standards, with emphasis on job creation and productivity across the country “making everyone better off”.

Whether that commitment to fiscal responsibility restrains Labour’s ambition on net-zero and industrial strategy policies will be a key question for the party’s Conference to answer. Starmer will not want to play into the hands of the Conservatives, who were keen to play up reports of a divide between Starmer and Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, on the one hand, and Ed Miliband, Energy and Net-Zero Secretary, on the other.

Labour will be highlighting plans, if elected, to break down barriers to opportunities through education, as well as showcasing its commitment to solving the NHS crisis – a critical issue for voters. It will also further discuss its intention to halve serious violent crime through raising confidence in the police and criminal justice system, having previously claimed the Tories are out of touch and complacent.

What is clear is that this conference season, for both parties, will be one for the history books. If you're heading to Labour party conference, make sure to read our annual party conference survival guide: How To Survive The Party Conference Season: Madano's Top Tips.

The Madano team will be on hand at the Labour Party Conference, so if you’d like to connect, please do drop us a line at [email protected].