Nurses lean towards Labour, our election survey reveals
Nursing Standard's survey revealed Labour is the party nurses trust most with the NHS
Nearly 40% of nurses intend to vote for Labour, which is more than twice the number planning to vote Conservative, Nursing Standard's opinion poll for the 2015 general election shows.
Our joint survey with the Sunday Mirror, published today, asked 4,413 members of the nursing profession about their voting intentions for this week's election and what they want the new government to prioritise.
Of the 3,509 nurses who answered our question about who they plan to vote for in Thursday's ballot, 1,300 nurses said they will vote Labour. This compares with 613 for Conservatives and 175 for Liberal Democrats.
Just over a fifth (21.2%) remain undecided while the Scottish National Party secured 8% of the vote (280 people) and UKIP and the Greens received 5.5% (192) and 4.7% (165) of the share respectively.
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said: ‘This matches how we think many of our nurse members will vote.
‘They feel let down and used by this government. They do not think this government has valued nursing or the NHS.'
Ms Adams added that the Health and Social Care Act reforms, which followed a promise by the Conservatives not to have a ‘top-down reorganisation of the NHS’, had diminished trust in the party among healthcare professionals.
Labour also came out on top when 3,426 nursing staff responded to our question asking them which party they most trust with the NHS. The party received the backing of 40% of voters compared with 14% for the Conservatives.
The Labour advantage was far less pronounced when nurses were asked which leader is the most electable though.
Of 3,446 people to respond, Labour leader Ed Miliband had 27%, prime minister David Cameron 23.7% and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon received a 16.9% share.
Asked what the next government should prioritise for nurses, nearly half of the 3,450 people polled said ensuring safe staffing while 35.3% said giving nurses get a decent pay rise.
A Conservative spokesperson said: ‘This survey shows that nurses’ highest priority is to know that they will have enough staff working with them – since 2010 there are 7,000 more nurses working in the NHS.’
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said the party has a plan to fund the £8 billion extra a year that the NHS needs by 2020.
'That means we can invest in safe staffing on the wards and an end to pay restraint with real terms pay rises for nurses,' she said.