Fear, loathing and NHS conundrums on the campaign trail!
First of all, just how important is the NHS in general elections? Does it swing them? Is it of the most concern to voters? Does it trump the economy, the cost of living, employment, immigration and crime? Can you even win an election on what you say you will do with the health service?
I believe the answer is yes. Classically ‘the economy’ is the number one issue – although that covers a lot of ground in most people’s minds, including the cost of living, jobs, tax, wages and house prices – while the NHS is normally in second or third place.
There’s no doubt that the party most likely to win is the one that voters trust most with the pound in their pockets. But if you look at the influence of the NHS, and the state of it, in recent elections, you’ll see an interesting pattern.
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