The Conservatives claim they are now the party of choice for healthcare workers as a new survey shows almost half of GPs in the UK plan to vote Tory at the next election.
Practice managers will see this as a rejection of Labour’s modernisation drive as the poll of 301 GPs found that 48% now intend to vote for David Cameron, up from 35% in 2005.
The survey, in GP newspaper, also found 47% of family doctors believe that Labour’s performance has been poor or very poor, with only 17% saying it has been good or very good.
Many of the GPs questioned said they are unhappy with the government over its stewardship of the NHS, blaming a freeze on pay, “GP-bashing” and a failure to deliver improvements.
Support for Labour dropped from 31% to 23% between 2005 and 2007, while backing for the Liberal Democrats also fell, from 19% to 13% over the same period.
The survey also found 15% of doctors now want the creation of an independent NHS, 10% want no or less change, and 7% desire more autonomy for GPs.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “The people who the public trust most to deliver their healthcare, like doctors and nurses, are the same people who trust the Conservative Party with the NHS.
“Labour are no longer the party of the NHS.”
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