Key issues in UK election campaign

2015-05-07 09:24
Ed Miliband, Leader of Britain's Labour Party, and his wife Justine Thornton, arrive to cast their votes in the village of Sutton, near Doncaster, in northern England. (Oli Scarff, AFP)

Ed Miliband, Leader of Britain's Labour Party, and his wife Justine Thornton, arrive to cast their votes in the village of Sutton, near Doncaster, in northern England. (Oli Scarff, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Three issues, the economy, the National Health Service and immigration have dominated the British election. Here's where the candidates stand on the things that matter to voters:

The economy above all

The election boils down to a simple question: Did the Conservative-led government chart the right course through the aftermath of the economic crisis, the worst recession since the 1930s?

-Are you voting today? Share you election experience with us.

Prime Minister David Cameron has focused on headline numbers after five years of budget cuts designed to shrink the deficit and bolster growth. Inflation is down, employment is up and the economy is growing at one of the fastest rates among large industrialised nations.

The Conservatives argue they need time to cement the gains and ensure the benefits trickle down to everyone. They promise no new income or value-added taxes.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband is urging voters to look deeper, arguing the topline figures don't tell the whole story. Real wages are below pre-crisis levels, employment figures have been inflated by low-skill jobs, and rising numbers of people are turning to food banks to make ends meet.

Miliband has focused the debate on inequality, saying the recovery hasn't reached working families. He's promising to increase taxes on the wealthiest members of society.

National health service

The state-funded NHS is a source of pride in this nation of 64 million, and a source of agony for political leaders struggling to pay the ever-increasing bill.

The most sacrosanct issue in British politics, leaders spent much of the campaign making promises to save the service. Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, has promised to recruit 8 000 more doctors and 20000 more nurses, paying the bill with a tax on properties worth more than £2m.

The Conservatives promise to increase spending by at least £8bn by 2020 and cut down on so-called health tourism, in which migrants travel to the UK for medical care paid for by British taxpayers.


Britain's growing economy has attracted thousands of migrants from the European Union, particularly from the former eastern bloc countries that have recently joined the 28-nation free-trade zone.

The influx is changing Britain and straining schools, hospitals and other public services. The UK Independence Party has capitalised on the outrage of unhappy Britons. The once-fringe party stands third in opinion polls after promising to leave the European Union, "take back control of our borders" and restrict immigration to skilled workers needed by the British economy.

Labour plans to ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from overseas and crack down on employers that abuse workers. The Conservatives say they will reduce migration from other EU states by making it harder for recent immigrants to claim benefits.

The party says it has an "ambition" to reduce annual net migration to less than 100 000 from almost 300 000 in the 12 months through September.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  ed miliband  |  uk  |  uk 2015 elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.