Judging by his margin of victory, health secretary Andrew Lansley couldn’t have been a bigger pantomime villain if his presence among GPs had been highlighted with cries of ‘he’s behind you’.
Mr Lansley retained the crown he first won in 2010 with 41% of almost 500 votes cast, after a year in which his health bill was subject to a now legendary pause and plans to privatise NHS management finally prodded the BMA into all-out opposition.
Many GPs remain deeply concerned about Mr Lansley’s reforms, despite his attempts to dismiss privatisation fears as scaremongering, and his insistence that the number of commissioning pathfinders signed up was evidence of the profession’s support irked many.
Still, Mr Lansley is a survivor – he’s ridden out the political storm and shrugged off rumours he was to be replaced by the man behind him, health committee chair Stephen Dorrell.
Mr Lansley looks set to see his reforms through – what are the odds on a pantomime villain hat-trick in 2012?
An honourable mention too for Professor Steve Field, chair of the Future Forum, who came a strong second in a year when he dismissed opposition to boundary reform as ‘bollocks’, warned the NHS had ‘lost the plot’ over primary care and called for CCGs to be delegated responsibility to commission GP practices.
And in third place comes old friend and past winner Lord Ara Darzi, despite having had nothing to do with general practice since leaving his post as health minister in 2009. His network of eponymous GP-led health centres lives on, just.