Scottish Labour manifesto to target youth with an eye on 2026 election

Scottish Labour’s manifesto is due to be published on Tuesday with a focus on young people – while the party eyes the Holyrood election in just under two years.

The document will make the pitch for a Labour government at Westminster including proposals to increase the living wage for what the party estimates would be 200,000 people – up to 40,000 of whom are aged between 18 and 20, the party believes – in Scotland.

The manifesto will also include the mortgage guarantee scheme for first-time buyers, support for creative industries and banning zero-hours contracts announced by Sir Keir Starmer last week.

The party will pledge to “look after young people from cradle to career”.

But there will also be a section dedicated to Scottish Labour plans if the party wins the 2026 election.

Reform to apprenticeships, improving standards in education and boosting the use of technology in the NHS will all be on the cards if Labour takes the keys to Bute House in just under two years.

“This election is an opportunity to deliver change for everyone in Scotland right now,” Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is expected to say.

“But this election is also about the next generation of Scots and the future we build for them.

“Giving them back hope and opportunity.

“Opportunities for their own future so that every young Scot can fill their true potential; and hope for Scotland’s future.”

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer published the party’s national manifesto last week (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Sarwar will add: “We will do this by improving access to apprenticeships, supporting first-time buyers, creating those jobs in the industries of the future, and delivering a pay rise for 40,000 young Scots.

“Labour will look after young people from cradle to career.

“No matter a child’s background, they should leave education equipped with the skills they need for work and life.

“Labour will spread opportunity at every age, because every child should believe that success belongs to them.

“Under the Tories, thousands are stuck in poverty pay and, under the SNP, youth unemployment has risen, and opportunities have been taken away.

“I promise the young people of Scotland that this is not as good as it gets.”