GPs ‘will vote Tory’

By Ian Dunt

An extensive poll of GPs shows 50 per cent of them plan to vote Conservative at the next election.

A poll by GP magazine found only 15 per cent of GPs would vote Labour, compared to 44 per cent in 1997.

Only 19 per cent would vote Liberal Democrat, up two per cent from 1997.

But the largest swing by far is to the Conservatives, with a rise of 26 per cent since 1997.

“This is a real vote of confidence in the Conservative party’s policies for the NHS, from the people who have the greatest day to day responsibility for caring for patients,” said shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Labour has clearly lost the support of GPs, not least due to the drive towards polyclinics, which began with Lord Darzi’s report into the NHS in summer 2007.

The programme is designed to make sure GPs are available during evenings and weekends, so patients do not have to take time off work to visit them.

But GPs union the British Medical Association (BMA) has launched a concerted campaign to stop the reform, making government efforts to convince doctors into the polyclinics considerably more problematic.