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C+D election tracker: How will pharmacy vote at the July 4 general election?

Find out how community pharmacists plan to vote at the upcoming general election according to C+D’s first exclusive election tracker poll…

A snapshot sentiment poll has revealed a significant preference for the Labour Party among C+D’s readers ahead of the upcoming July 4 general election.

Labour was preferred by 43% of the 373 respondents to the poll, which was posted on LinkedIn last week (May 23).

A Conservative government was the least popular choice of the four available, gaining the support of just 14% of respondents.

Read more: 2015: Almost half of pharmacists will vote Conservative

The incumbents were beaten by the option of “Other”, which was preferred by 16% of C+D’s audience.

But many in the sector still have their votes up for grabs, with undecided voters accounting for 27% of respondents in C+D’s first sentiment tracker poll. 

With all major parties yet to unveil their manifestos and plans for community pharmacy, C+D’s weekly polls will track how the pharmacy sector shifts its support in the weeks leading up to the July 4 ballot. 



Conservative collapse


The low rate of support for the Conservative Party among C+D readers is a stunning reversal from 2015 - and cause for concern for a party led by a pharmacist’s son.

That year, 45% of C+D readers said they would vote for the Conservative Party in the general election.

The same poll showed that 29% said they would vote for Labour, followed by 13% for UKIP, 6% for the Liberal Democrats, 3% each for the SNP and Greens, and 1% for Plaid Cymru.

Read more: 7 in 10 readers won't let pharmacy affect vote

Another C+D poll in 2015 found that seven out of ten pharmacists would not have their vote swayed by a political party’s plans for the sector or their profession.

And the response from community pharmacy to the May 2015 Conservative victory was roundly positive, with sector representatives predicting it would result in stability as a Tory majority victory had “taken away the uncertainty of the coalition”.

But stability was not forthcoming in the decade that followed. 

Read more: Sector predicts stability following Conservative win

In December 2015, the government announced that it would slash pharmacy funding by 6%.

The sector has never recovered. Estimates of the current funding shortfall by pharmacy organisations are £1.2 billion a year from the Independent Pharmacies Association (IPA) or £108 million a month, according to the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

This week, the health and social care committee (HSCC) - led by a former Tory pharmacy minister Steve Brine - said that the government must “close the gap” in the funding arrangement that has seen “an annual shortfall of at least £67,000 per pharmacy”.

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