The purpose of the paper is not to establish which manifesto - or political party - we think is best for the North of England. Rather, it is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each and the possible implications for the three northern regions.

This election campaign has been blown wide open. At the beginning of the campaign the orthodox approach applied: target resources at a small number of key marginal seats - primarily found in the South of England and the Midlands - that are most likely to swing the result. But now things feel far more unpredictable and northern votes would appear to count more than had been assumed.

This short ippr north briefing offers reflections on the manifestos of the main political parties. Given our vantage point some hundreds of miles from the Whitehall and Westminster bubble, we focus here on three issues that seem to us crucial to the future of the North of England:

  • Employment and economic development
  • Reinvigorating the local state
  • Building capable communities.

For each theme we provide a snapshot of some of the key policies being promoted and offer some analysis.