Election manifestos: the scores are in

6th May 2015

With the election round the corner, today we publish our final scores of how the seven parties who appeared in the leaders debates measure up on the environment.

For consistency, we’ve judged against our top ten criteria, and these criteria only.

So (drum roll please) the final scores are…

Election manifesto scores





1    The Green Party – 10/10
2    Labour – 5/10
3    Plaid Cymru – 4.75/10
4    Liberal Democrats – 3.75/10
5    The SNP – 3/10
6    The Conservatives – 1/10
7    UKIP – 0/10

We’ve published a full breakdown of how each party scored against each ask, so you can see how the total scores were reached.

What have we learned?

The Green Party is way out ahead with the sort of score only usually seen in the final weeks of Strictly. Their commitment to end fossil fuel use, protect the bee, tackle air pollution and stop TTIP among many others means their perfect score is fully deserved.

The Conservatives fare less well, with a measly 1 out of 10 reflecting poor positions on carbon free electricity and fracking, as well as a host of other blank pages where you’d hope to see solid green policies.

Labour finish ahead of the Lib Dems by just over a point. As noted previously, until Labour stop trying to balance good green commitments with continued commitment to fossil fuels, their green credibility can only go so far.

The Lib Dems’ manifesto commitments don’t quite equal Labour’s on a number of issues. Their very welcome opposition to any net increase in airports in the UK doesn’t garner any points in our scoring system because aviation didn’t make our top 10 list of asks (important as it is).

The nationalist parties fail to give any consideration to some of our top ten policies, a fact reflected in their relatively low scores. But this could reflect the complexities of devolved government and geographically distinct contexts. A commitment to have a network of Low Emission Zones in cities across the UK is unlikely to feature in the Plaid Cymru manifesto for instance, not least because there aren’t many cities in Wales and the biggest is only a third of the size of Bristol.

Why bother scoring at all?

It’s worth pointing out why we’ve set out our top ten criteria, and then awarded points accordingly. There are two main reasons:

  1. We wanted the parties to step up and make commitments on the issues we think are most important, and the prospect of a good score can incentivise pledges.
  2. We think our supporters, many of whom have been campaigning hard on these issues, will want to know what political parties think about the things they care about.

Who does Friends of the Earth want to win?

Friends of the Earth is party politically impartial – we do not support any party or candidate. This scoring does not represent an endorsement of any party.

We don’t tell people how we think they should vote. We think you are a better judge of that!

So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. And if you haven’t yet, please ask your local candidates to oppose Fracking where you live.

Blog post written by Oliver Hayes, Political Campaigner
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