Fever pitch

6th May 2024


By the time you read this, local election results will all be counted, Mayoral contests decided, Police and Crime Commissioners will be in place and a new MP for Blackpool elected.

I suspect general election speculation will be at fever pitch. Who knows, the date may already have been called; a panicked Cabinet reshuffle held or the Prime Minister may have been visited by the mysterious “men in grey suits”. Our media headlines will be dominated by such stories. Preparation for the general election, whatever the date, will move up a gear.

So, what do trade bodies like ours get up to in this period of intense speculation about political direction?

Our team has spent the past few months drawing up policy ideas, testing them against known facts and existing plans, to see what we should put forward to the politicians when that election is called. We’ve also had opinion polling conducted to test out our ideas with the public, and guess what, we are in tune with the British public on our policy offer. When we launch our manifesto, rest assured it will be a serious piece of work.

But as a teaser, I thought with election speculation in the air I would share the themes. At its core is the simple message “no one left behind” in the transition to net zero. So, we have looked at future energy policy through the lens of the consumer, what is in their best interest. This has helped shape the policy prescription we are pulling together. We have also tried to avoid falling into the politicians’ trap of setting a number and calling it a plan. We have addressed some big issues, some controversial areas of policy that demand policy makers tread carefully. And it does address some of the failings of this parliamentary session. Our manifesto will be aspirational, it will set out some really big challenges for whoever wins the general election, whenever it comes.

Who knows, we may even need to publish it in the weeks ahead.