This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here.


  • AQA Component 1, Section 3.1.2: Political Parties

  • Edexcel Component 1, Section 2.2:  Established Political Parties

Background: what you need to know

This article argues that, despite some superficial similarities, the Conservatives and Labour offer very different ideologically-based policies. The author highlights the two parties’ different approaches to several key areas, notably taxation, environmental policy, employment rights and wealth inequality.

The Conservative government has reluctantly embraced a higher tax, ‘big state’ agenda in response to circumstances. By contrast Labour under Starmer is not truly ‘Blairite’ but is instinctively much more comfortable with increased state intervention.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

A hefty shock awaits those who see little difference between Starmer and Sunak

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The policies of the main UK political parties are very different.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the ideas and policies of the main UK political parties are very different from each other.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: Edexcel requires candidates to know about the policies of the main UK parties on four specific areas: the economy, welfare, law and order, foreign policy. AQA is less prescriptive but clearly these would all be good areas to look at. The article highlights the areas of difference but you should balance this with some discussion of areas of overlap.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article