Blog > The general election: how parties are wooing older voters

The general election: how parties are wooing older voters

By Clare Yates • 24th June 2024 • 4 min read

The pledges being made to win the ‘grey vote’

Written in line with our editorial policy.

As the UK gears up for its 2024 General Election on 4 July, the major political parties are intensifying their efforts to win over older voters – a demographic that has historically shown high voter turnout. 

We explore the manifestos of the Labour Party, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to see the distinct strategies being employed to address the concerns and aspirations of this crucial group of the electorate.

Labour Party: Prioritising social care

Labour is advocating for the protection of the triple lock on pensions, which guarantees that the State Pension will rise annually by the highest of inflation, average earnings growth, or 2.5%. This commitment is designed to safeguard the financial stability of retirees, ensuring that their pensions keep pace with the cost of living.

According to the Labour Party website, it also promises to review the current state of the pensions and retirement savings landscape and give the Pensions Regulator new powers to intervene where pension schemes fail to offer sufficient value for their members.

In addition, Labour leader Keir Starmer has pledged to increase wages for care workers to ensure that elderly citizens receive the care they need without financial strain. 

According to a new poll by Ipsos, the most popular policy in the Labour manifesto is the party’s pledge to deliver an extra 40,000 NHS appointments every week (83% support). 

Furthermore, Labour have pledged to cut energy bills for good with the creation of a new publicly owned clean energy company, Great British Energy, and insulate millions of cold, draughty homes.

Conservative Party: Focusing on triple lock and healthcare

The Conservative Party, under the leadership of Rishi Sunak, are working to position themselves as the party that protects pensioners’ financial interests. They are not only promising to maintain the pension triple lock, but to introduce the ‘Triple Lock Plus’. 

The new Triple Lock Plus aims to adjust the tax-free pension allowance annually according to the triple lock guarantee. This would ensure that the allowance increases each year in line with the highest of three factors: average wage growth, inflation, or 2.5%.

Currently, the tax-free allowance has been fixed at £12,570 since 2021, with no planned increases until 2028.

Pensioners who rely solely on the State Pension for their income wouldn’t see an immediate advantage from this policy. Having received an 8.5% increase this April, the State Pension currently stands at £11,502 per year, which is still below the taxable threshold.

However, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts that the State Pension will exceed the frozen personal allowance by 2027. The Conservatives argue that without Triple Lock Plus, it would result in millions more pensioners being subject to income tax, at a rate of 20% on any earnings above the allowance.

In their 2024 manifesto, the Conservatives have also introduced the Pensions Tax Guarantee, pledging not to implement any new taxes on pensions. They promise to keep the 25% tax-free lump sum and maintain tax relief on pension contributions at the marginal rate. Additionally, they assure that National Insurance will not be extended to employer pension contributions.

The party also commits to preserving all current benefits for pensioners. This includes free bus passes, Winter Fuel Payments, free prescriptions, and TV Licences.

Policies on health are paramount to older voters, and the Tories talk a lot about healthcare in their manifesto. According to Ipsos their most popular policy with voters is to increase spending on the NHS above the level of inflation every year, with 74% of voters supporting this.

They have also pledged their own Dental Recovery Plan to encourage dentists to take on more NHS patients, and increase funding for healthcare services that particularly benefit and reassure older citizens. Their ‘Major Conditions Strategy’, for example, promises better prevention, treatment and care services for people living with conditions including cancer, heart disease and dementia. 

Their manifesto promises that by the end of the next Parliament, there will be 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors in the NHS than in 2023.

Liberal Democrats: Championing local services and community support

The Liberal Democrats, led by Ed Davey, are targeting older voters with promises to strengthen local services and community support. They also promise to uphold the triple lock to ensure pensions always rise in line with inflation, wages or 2.5% – whichever is highest.

They are advocating for greater investment in community health and social care services, with proposals to increase Carer’s Allowance and expand it to more carers. They also pledge to establish an Independent Living Taskforce to help older people live independently for longer.

According to Ipsos, the most popular pledge made by the Liberal Democrats is to guarantee all patients can start treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent referral. 87% of Britons are said to support this, the highest level of support shown for any policy across the three party manifestos. 

This popular pledge is closely followed by their promise to recruit 8,000 more GPs, so everyone has a right to see a GP within 7 days, or 24 hours if urgent, which has 86% support.

In addition they have pledged to increase spending on health and social care in England by more than £9billion by 2028, and introduce free personal care to people who qualify as needing help with daily tasks, such as upkeeping personal hygiene.

Furthermore, the Liberal Democrats are pledging to roll out active ageing programmes together with trips and falls assessments for everyone over 75s. They hope these steps will prevent falls and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, and promote healthy ageing.

Another pledge which is likely to be well received by older voters is the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto promise to make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme. They want to begin with free insulation and heat pumps for people living on low incomes, such as pensioners who get by on the State Pension alone.

Older voters: a critical demographic

As the election approaches, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats are all making concerted efforts to appeal to older voters. Each party is addressing key issues such as social care, pensions, economic stability and local services, recognising the crucial role of the ‘grey vote’ in the electoral process. 

With their high turnout rates, older voters are likely to be a decisive factor in the 2024 General Election.


Pledges made by Labour: Labour Party 2024 Manifesto. Accessed 20 June 2024

Pledges made by Conservatives: Conservative Party 2024 Manifesto. Accessed 20 June 2024

Pledges made by Liberal Democrats: Liberal Democrat Party 2024 Manifesto. Accessed 20 June 2024

About Clare Yates. With over a decade’s experience writing about later life financial planning, Clare offers a wealth of knowledge about equity release, pension annuities, wills, LPAs and more. When she isn’t writing, Clare likes to spend her time baking and going on walks with her husband, two children and their rescue dog. Follow Clare on LinkedIn

How can we help?

To find out more about equity release or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

Let’s talk

Let us help with your questions or arrange a quote.

Call 0808 178 3055

Request a call back

Book a call at a time that suits you and we’ll call you back.

Request a call back

Are you eligible?

Find out how much tax-free cash you could release.

Check now

Apply for your no-obligation equity release quote

Find out if you qualify for equity release and how much you could borrow. Just click ‘Get started’ or call us on 0808 178 3055 and one of our team will be delighted to help arrange a free consultation and quote*.

Start your quote journey icon

1. Start your quote journey

Simply click ‘Get started’ to begin your search for the best plan for your circumstances.

Tell us what you need icon

2. Tell us what you need

Fill out some simple details about your situation so we can start to prepare your quote.

Compare your best deals icon

3. Compare your best deals

You’ll get personalised quotes tailored to your unique circumstances and goals.

Related blogs

Read more about equity release and other consumer finance matters.

mature woman

27th March 2024 | 5 min read

mature woman on pc

24th May 2024 | 4 min read