Labour wins an overall majority… at RCN election hustings

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham wins 70% of the vote after RCN members listen to healthcare debate

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham came out on top of a pre-election hustings at the RCN on Monday judging by the votes of the college's members before and after the event.

Conservative health minister Dan Poulter, Liberal Democrat care minister Norman Lamb and Mr Burnham, the shadow health minister, faced questions on the future of nursing and the NHS at the college’s headquarters in London.

The Labour shadow cabinet member pledged 20,000 more nurses if his party wins May’s election. Mr Lamb vowed to plug the £8 billion NHS funding gap by 2020 and Dr Poulter promised investment in workforce training and technology.

The audience voted for their preferred party, including for parties not represented in the debate, or indicated whether they were undecided both before and after the event.  

Of 89 votes cast beforehand, Labour had 48%, but of 76 votes afterwards, they polled 70%. The Conservatives' share fell from 14 votes before the debate (15%) to just seven after (9%).

Mr Lamb made a modest gain from a low starting point of only five votes (6%) to nine (12%) and the number of undecided voters dropped from 18 (20%) to four (5%).

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