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Key talking points from Party Conference season

With the recent Party Conferences taking place across the country, we focus on what we can learn about the Conservative and Labour parties and their political priorities in the run-up to the next General Election.

With the recent Party Conferences taking place across the country, we focus on what we can learn about the Conservative and Labour parties and their political priorities in the run-up to the next General Election.

BSA Priorities

Going into this year’s conferences the BSA’s key messages were focused on housing, mortgages and mutuality. Specifically our asks were (and continue to be) the need to build more homes across all tenures, the need to decarbonise housing, how to support people build their financial resiliency, and communicating the benefits of mutuality for the wider economy. 

Conservative Conference

The Conservative conference was in good spirits with a sense of energy, although the conference was quieter than in previous years, with fewer policy announcements and the rumours and decision about HS2 dominated the conference. Behind the headlines though the focus was on delivering economic growth.

The fringe events around the conference focused on a wide variety of issues, including the need to find solutions to decarbonise housing and tackle fraud in partnership with other sectors, such as telecoms and social media networks.

Labour Conference

Labour conference was also upbeat and focussed on being professional. There was a lot of conversation about their current lead in in the polls, tempered by a concern not to take it for granted, make assumptions or throw it away.

With Keir Starmer’s pledge to build 1.5 million homes over the next Parliament and create more affordable housing, the topic of housing was front and centre at the conference. And we were pleased to see Labour repeat its commitment to doubling the size of the mutual and cooperative economy over the course of the next Parliament, if elected. 

Member events

At the Party Conferences members held a number of events, with Nationwide focusing on fraud and making the case for all businesses to work together to reduce the occurrence and impact of it. The Leeds Building Society concentrated on the housing market and held an event with Centre for Cities focussed on the housing market for first time buyers, while the Yorkshire Building Society highlighted the great work it’s doing to support communities in Yorkshire.

What’s next?

Next up is the King’s Speech (where the King will announce the Government’s legislative programme) on Tuesday 7 November and the Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22 November. Our submission can be found online and we have contributed to Labour’s review of financial services.

There is also continuing speculation about a reshuffle. While we don’t know the date of the next General Election, we do know that there will need to be one by January 2025.