The Conservative Leadership Contest: A Guide to the Policy Landscape

28 July 2022 | Full Fact and UK in a Changing Europe

From cost of living to the Ukraine conflict, the next Prime Minister will face a series of challenges when they enter 10 Downing Street in September.

As the Conservative leadership contest continues, it is important that the debate be substantive and based on evidence. UK in a Changing Europe and Full Fact have partnered to produce a series of evidence led, research-based assessments of the key issues confronting the country.

Download the report (PDF)

The briefings have been written by experts in their field with contributions from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, LSE, Health Foundation and others. We based our choice of issues on the IPSOS Issues Index, topics of most current concern to the UK public, and what has been discussed during the campaign so far.

The report contains briefings on:

  • Macroeconomics by Stephen Millard (National Institute of Social and Economic Research)
  • Tax and Spend by Ben Zaranko (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
  • Economic Inequality by Robert Joyce (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
  • Education by Carole Willis (National Foundation for Educational Research)
  • Climate, the Environment and Net Zero by Gareth Redmond-King (Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit)
  • Health and Social Care by Anita Charlesworth (Health Foundation)
  • Immigration by Madeleine Sumption and Peter William Walsh (Migration Observatory)
  • Brexit by Anand Menon (UK in a Changing Europe)
  • Housing and Planning by Paul Cheshire (LSE)
  • Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs by Malcolm Chalmers (Royal United Services Institute)
  • The Union by Nicola McEwen (UK in a Changing Europe)
  • Faith and Trust in Politics by Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker (University of Southampton)

Our aim in putting together this collection was not to tell people what to think but to provide information that will help them make up their own minds—as well as equip candidates, parliamentarians, and journalists with the best available evidence as the leadership contest continues. 

As the briefings highlight, there are considerable trade-offs both within and between policy areas. With this in mind, we believe that these summaries will provide a useful primer for scrutiny of the candidates' policy positions as the contest continues.

We hope that the report provides some context for this debate and provides voters with a timely and accessible analysis of the key issues in the leadership contest.

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