General election 2019: A simple guide to the Conservative Party


The Conservatives were the biggest party in the House of Commons, with 298 MPs out of 650 seats, when Parliament was dissolved on 6 November.

The party is often referred to as the Tories.

Who is the leader?

Boris Johnson. He is a 55-year-old former journalist, who was mayor of London for eight years and is a former foreign secretary. He has been an MP for 13 years in total, split over two stints. He became prime minister without a general election in July this year when the ruling Conservative Party elected him leader. He is one of the UK's most recognisable politicians and was a leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum.

What does it need to do to win the election?

The Conservatives need to elect 28 more MPs than they had when Parliament was dissolved to form a government on their own, without having to seek a coalition deal with other parties.

Five key election pledges

The party published its manifesto, Get Brexit Done, Unleash Britain's Potential, on 24 November. It sets out its detailed programme for government if it wins power.

Here are five policies that feature in it:

  • Leave the EU in January and get Brexit "done" early in 2020
  • Bring in an Australian-style points-based system to control immigration
  • 20,000 more police officers over the next three years in England and Wales
  • Increase the number of NHS nurses by 50,000
  • No raise in the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance

Where does it stand on Brexit?

Boris Johnson wants the UK to leave the European Union (EU) by 31 January 2020 with the revised deal he agreed.

This would see the UK abiding by EU rules until December next year, while the government negotiates a permanent relationship with the remaining 27 nations.

Mr Johnson had wanted the UK to leave on 31 October but could not get enough MPs to vote for his deal to get it into law.

He is against another referendum.

What else does it stand for?

The Conservatives have traditionally campaigned for free markets, low taxation and individual liberty.

Conservative policy in a tweet

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How many members does it have?

According to the most recent figures, in July, the Conservatives had 180,000 members.

What is the Conservative Party's history?

The Conservative Party is the oldest political party in the UK, dating back to the 19th Century.

Since the end of World War Two, the UK has had a Conservative prime minister for a total of 44 years, compared with 30 years for Labour.

What about the other parties?

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