Policy Tracker tracks the promises made by the government in their election manifesto.
Once a general election has been held in the UK, Policy Tracker tracks the progress of each promise made in the winning party’s manifesto, and throughout their time in government.
The site currently shows the status of the manifesto promises from the previous government (the Conservative Party, elected on June 8th 2017 to December 12th). We are in the process of preparing the policies from the new government, and will upload them to the site shortly.
Why do this?
Our goal is for everyone to vote in elections – and to want to vote. One of the reasons we know some don’t vote is because they feel politicians don’t keep their promises. In other words, they aren’t accountable. So creating a policy tracker seems like an obvious way to start solving the problem.
We also think it’s pretty hard to engage with politics and stay up to date with what’s going on. We’re hoping that through the information we provide here, as well as providing links to other great resources, you’ll find more ways to get involved – and feel like politics can work for you.
We’re proud to be following in the footsteps of other policy trackers like ‘Morsi Meter’ in Egypt and Trudeau Meter in Canada. Knowing how crucial these resources are, we want to make it easier for this kind of service to be available in every country. That’s why we’re making the website code open source, so it’s available to anyone who wants to use it.
We’ll also be making the policy data available via a feed. This will enable other websites or services to be built using the policy data, without the burden of having to create and maintain it. Please get in touch if you’re interested in using this.
How does it work?
We extract every single policy from the winning party’s manifesto. We research the progress of each promise, using a combination of online resources and talking to subject matter experts, in order to establish how far each promise has progressed. We write up our reasoning and give a status of either :
- Not started
- In progress
Thanks to a growing community of volunteers, the policy verdicts are kept up to date and revised when something significant happens. You can find out more about our approach in this blog post, and we have a Writing Style Guide that describes the consistent structure and tone we aim to achieve. We’ve also answered some common questions in our FAQ page.
Who’s behind Policy Tracker?
Policy Tracker is a Vote for Policies project. Vote for Policies is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. It is non-partisan and independent of any political party or organisation.
It’s a lot of work keeping the site going and the policies up to date, but it’s also a great way to learn about different issues, and how government works. Please join us if you’d like to help.
This is a volunteer-run service, but we have been lucky enough to recieve small grants from the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust to help us get the Policy Tracker website to where it is now.
But it is no longer sustainable as a purely volunteers-run service – especially with such demand to develop this in the UK, and from organisations abroad wanting to provide the same resource in their country. We need paid staff to manage the editorial process, develop the volunteer community, and develop the outreach programs so the site works better for specific voter groups. For this reason we are now looking for core funding to pay for a small full-time staff and a budget for website development.
If you’d like to get involved in any way, we’d love to hear from you.