In Depth

Labour vs. Tories: the first 100 days

Conservatives promising Brexit and tax cuts while rival party pledges investment and nationalisation

The two main parties have set out their plans for their first 100 days of office if they win this Thursday’s general election.

The focus on this initial period in a newly elected administration’s rule began in the US, where the round number is marked with early assessments of a president’s reign. It was first used widely here in the UK during the early months of Tony Blair’s first government.

With a number of time-specific pledges on the table, here’s how the current two main parties’ first few months might unfold.

Labour

In a speech today setting out Labour’s initial priorities, John McDonnell will promise to deliver a budget to “end austerity” and announce what PoliticsHome describes as “a multibillion-pound programme of investment”.

McDonnell will also set out plans for “democratic control” of newly nationalised water and energy firms. 

“In our first 100 days, we will start the process of bringing water and energy into public ownership,” he will say. “We’ll make sure decisions are taken locally by those who understand the services - those who use them and deliver them.

“Meetings will be public and streamed online with new transparency regulations set higher than ever before.”

The Times says Labour’s continuing focus on renationalisation “seeks to capitalise on what polls suggest is one of the party’s most popular manifesto pledges”.

Turning to environmental matters, McDonnell will outline Labour’s plans to invest in green industries, skills training and regional development, in a bid to stem the growth of “dreary, exploitative, insecure and low-paid jobs”.

The party is also promising that under a Labour government, a new National Transformation Unit would be set up before Christmas in order to get money moving “out of the City and Whitehall” and into neglected areas.

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Conservatives

Boris Johnson’s plans for the first 100 days of his new government focus on leaving the EU and passing a tax-cutting post-Brexit budget.

The prime minister has pledged to unveil a budget in February that would include in a rise in the National Insurance threshold which would save workers around £85 a year.

New laws would also be passed to end the automatic release of serious violent and sexual offenders at the halfway point of their sentence, he says.

As Sky News reports, other measures being touted by the Tories include improving mobile phone signals in the countryside and increasing funding for schools.

However, some of Johnson’s pledges for his first 100 days are less concrete. The PM says he will launch the biggest review of defence, security and foreign policy “since the end of the Cold War”, but has not explained what that might involve.

Similarly, his vow to hold cross-party talks on social care is also lacking in detail.

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