Ahead of the election, we've meticulously read every political party's manifesto so you don't have to
Congrats! So you’ve decided to exercise your democratic right to vote this Thursday, as opposed to doing all the other things you do on Thursdays like watch too much Netflix or get too drunk and not turn up for work on Friday. To help you out, we’ve read the party manifestos to figure out which party will help you out the most in this election, according to eight convenient voter types distilled from our own Dazed list of political demands. Are you a young renter who’s freaking out over the dwindling prospect of ever being able to afford your own place? Considering an arts degree but scared about the fees? A freelancer trying to hustle while on a zero-hours contract? Read on.
I’M A... YOUNG RENTER WORRIED ABOUT THE PRICE OF RENT AND PROPERTY
Labour will cap increases in private rent at the level of inflation and guarantee that your tenancy will last three years (as opposed to your usual one-year contract). It has pledged to start building one million new homes by 2020. The party has also promised a national register of landlords and offered a ban on letting agent fees.
The Conservatives will build and sell 200,000 starter homes for people under 40 at a 20 per cent discount. They’ve also pledged to extend the right to buy for housing association tenants.
The Liberal Democrats will introduce a rent-to-own scheme, in which you make monthly payments equivalent to rent that will buy you a stake in the property. They’ve also promised a ‘help to rent’ plan that allows 18-30-year-olds to borrow up to £1,500 from the government to use as a deposit on a rented property.
The Greens will build 500,000 units of social housing. The party will also cap annual rent increases, and abolish letting agents’ fees and insurance-based deposit schemes. A mandatory licencing scheme for landlords will also be introduced.
Ukip will give council house applicants with “strong local connections” priority on waiting lists. It will also commit councils to bring empty homes and dormant land back into use to be re-leased for affordable development.
Your best bet: The Greens and Labour are neck-and-neck, with the Greens nudging ahead based on their support of social housing. But given that Natalie Bennett was lost for words when asked to explain how the Greens would fund their big building push, you’re probably best voting Labour.
I’M... A FASHION SCHOOL STUDENT DOING AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP AT A MAJOR DESIGN STUDIO
Labour will ban unpaid placements lasting more than four weeks. Companies which hire interns for over a month will be forced to pay them minimum wage. It will also increase the number of apprenticeships in the creative industries.
The Conservatives haven’t said anything on clamping down on internships. But they do plan to encourage internships by planning for Jobcentre Plus advisors to work with schools and colleges on providing more placements.
The Liberal Democrats have promised to review the practice of unpaid internships.
The Greens will ensure that no full-time internship lasts more than four weeks.
Ukip have said nothing about internships, unpaid or otherwise.
Your best bet: Ukip. Just kidding, we don’t think Ukip knows interns even exist – the last time anybody in that party was young and looking for a job was probably back in the early 12th century. Labour seem to have put the most thought into how to tackle the intern dilemma.
I’M... A FREELANCER WHO’S ON A LOW-PAID, ZERO-HOURS CONTRACT
Labour will make sure that zero-hours contracts are more tightly regulated. It has proposed that zero-hours workers should be entitled to transfer into a regular job after three months. They have also pledged to increase the national minimum wage to more than £8 per hour by 2019.
The Conservatives will not outlaw zero-hours contracts, but will stop companies that ban staff on them from taking on work elsewhere. Nobody on minimum wage will have to pay income tax.
The Liberal Democrats will ask a commission to look at ways to increase the minimum wage. They will also create a formal right for zero-hours workers to request a fixed contract and consult on introducing a right to make fixed work contractual after a certain period of time.
The Greens will end zero-hours contracts and increase the minimum wage with the target of £10 per hour by 2020.
Ukip will introduce a fixed contract after a year for zero-hours workers. It will also introduce a code of conduct for the use of zero-hours contracts. Companies must also give 12 hours’ notice before requiring employees to come in.
Your best bet: While the Tories have disputed the idea that zero-hours contracts are all that bad (Iain Duncan Smith wants to rebrand them ‘flexible-hours contracts’), it’s not just a matter of banning a single exploitative form of labour – we need to raise the national minimum wage, too. For that, look to the Greens for the most ambitious increase.
I’M... AN 18-YEAR-OLD WHO WANTS TO GO TO ART SCHOOL BUT FREAKING OUT OVER TUITION FEES
Labour will cut fees from £9,000 to £6,000. The maintenance grant for students will be boosted from £3,400 to £3,800 a year.
The Conservatives will carry on as usual with tuition fees. William Hague has recently indicated that they could raise tuition fees again if they return to government.
The Liberal Democrats have promised to review higher education finance to consider any necessary reforms.
The Greens will end undergraduate tuition fees and cancel all student debt issued by the Student Loans Company. They will also reintroduce £2.2 billion in student grants.
Ukip will waive tuition fees – but only for students taking a degree in science, technology, engineering, maths or medicine.
Your best bet: The Greens have committed to the most wide-scale reforms for would-be uni students – they’ve even promised to consider scrapping fees for postgrad courses, too. How are they going to fund it? By increasing corporation tax and cracking down on tax avoidance. Sounds good to us.
I’M... A FEMALE CREATIVE WHO’S PISSED OFF THAT MY MALE COLLEAGUES GET PAID MORE THAN I DO
Labour will ask large companies to publish their gender pay gap. Where there is evidence that more progress is needed, the party will enforce change via the Equality Act.
The Conservatives will also require big businesses to publish the difference between the average pay of male and female employees.
The Liberal Democrats will introduce new rules on gender pay transparency. It also wants to achieve at least 30 per cent of board members being women.
The Greens say they will “make equal pay for men and women a reality”. They will also require 40 per cent of all members of public company and public sector boards to be women.
Ukip have no policy on addressing the wage gap.
Your best bet: Most of the parties have promised greater wage transparency, but the Greens are committing to the most ambitious plan of gender diversity – on public company and public sector boards, at least. Your best hope is that that kind of leadership trickles down.
I’M... AN ARTIST WORRIED ABOUT LOSING MY PUBLICLY FUNDED STUDIO OR GRANT
Labour will create a prime minister’s committee on the arts, culture and creative industries with membership from all sectors and regions. It will bring issues of concern direct to the PM. It has also promised to work with public bodies to rebalance arts funding across the country.
The Conservatives have nothing specific about arts funding in their manifesto, although they have pledged to make sure that arts funding “benefits the whole of the UK”.
The Liberal Democrats say they will support growth in the creative industries by backing the Creative Industries Council, which promotes creative skills.
The Greens will increase government arts funding by £500 million a year and reinstate proper levels of funding for local authorities to keep local museums, art galleries, theatres and libraries open. It will also work to support fair pay production in the arts.
Ukip have no policies on the arts. (Seriously, we looked.)
Your best bet: Labour have landed in the shit when it was discovered that they were bragging about not reversing Tory cuts to the arts, so they’re out of the running. The Greens are the only party that have promised to increase arts funding by any amount.
I’M... AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT WORRIED ABOUT WORKING IN THE UK AFTER I GRADUATE
Labour have pledged to tighten immigration to prevent abuse of student visas. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that she wants net migration to be lower than the current figure of 300,000.
The Conservatives plan to reform the student visa system and reduce the number of students overstaying when their visas expire.
The Liberal Democrats will reintroduce post-study work visas – but only for Stem graduates who can find employment within six months of completing their degree.
The Greens will allow foreign students to work in the UK for two years after graduation, and widen the Youth Mobility Scheme to allow those from poorer countries to come to the UK. The party will also reject any cap on net migration.
Ukip want to introduce new border control technology to identify over-stayers, including those on student visas. Students will be categorised separately in immigration figures, but will be required to maintain private health insurance. The party also plans to limit highly skilled work visas to 50,000 people per year.
Your best bet: Basically, everybody hates you except the Greens.
I’M... A QUEER GUY/GIRL WONDERING WHY I STILL GET HARASSED ON A NIGHT OUT
Labour will strengthen the law on LGBT hate crime. The party has also promised to introduce age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education in state schools and equip teachers to tackle LGBT-phobic bullying. It will also appoint an international LGBT rights envoy to work toward the global decriminalisation of homosexuality.
The Conservatives do not have any policy on LGBT hate crime, harassment or LGBT-inclusive sex education.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to support schools in tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying and harassment. It will also outlaw homophobic chanting on the football pitch and change sentencing guidelines to increase the sentence available for hate crimes.
The Greens will require every school to have LGBT-inclusive sex education and implement an anti-bullying programme to combat LGBT-related bullying. They will also introduce uniform legislation against all hate crime. It will also work with campaigners abroad to challenge the criminalisation and discrimination of LGBT people in other countries.
Ukip do not have any policies on gay rights. What were you expecting?
Your best bet: It’s a tie between Labour and the Greens, although we’re tempted to go with Labour as it has a stronger track record on gay rights – when David Cameron’s equal marriage bill was on the rocks, it was Labour that actually ended up saving the day.