This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs' voting intentions: the truth behind the numbers

A dozen is twelve. A score is twenty. But how many is a drove? I ask because a survey of GPs has found half of GPs plan to vote Tory in the next general election.

By Steve Nowottny

A dozen is twelve. A score is twenty. But how many is a drove? I ask because a survey of GPs has found half of GPs plan to vote Tory in the next general election.

'GPs desert Labour in droves' runs the original story, later picked up by the Daily Telegraph.

The poll of nearly 1,400 GPs found that 50% would vote Conservative, 19% Liberal Democrat and just 15% Labour.

Interesting figures, but perhaps not altogether surprising. While Labour likes to see itself as the natural party of the NHS, self-employed GPs have always tended to be more Tory than the average man on the street.

And as Janet Daley of the Daily Telegraph points out, given HM opposition have followed the BMA line on pretty much every primary care issue in recent years, it's to be expected that support would be high.

What's more interesting is how those figures have changed. And yes, since Tony Blair entered Downing Street eleven years ago, there has been a huge shift. Then 44% of GPs voted Labour, and just 24% for the Conservatives.

But what about more recently? Say, in August 2007, when GP magazine conducted the same poll, albeit with a smaller sample. Read it for yourself: ‘The poll of 301 GPs found that 48 percent planned to vote for the Conservative party at the next election.'

So… if you're still wondering what constitutes a drove, there's your answer. Seventeen months of polyclinics, pay freezes and private sector posturing - and the net gain for the Tories is a two percent swing.

What is it they say about statistics?

How many GPs say they'll vote Tory? About as many as last time they were asked... How many GPs say they'll vote Tory? About as many as last time they were asked... Recent posts

Reheated NHS Choices plan repeats on ministers
January 8
MPs to give their views on Darzi. What are yours?
January 8
Crystal ball gazing for 2009
January 7
Behind the curtain: our new blog
January 7

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say