Election war of words but no big idea

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 05 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:840

A British general election is little more than six months away—the most likely date is now believed to be 1 May. Time is running out for the ruling Conservatives, who will need all of it if they are to overtake a Labour lead of almost 30 points in the opinion polls.

Although an election is unlikely before next spring, the campaign has effectively begun already, not least with political shroud waving about the state of the National Health Service.

Rhetoric clouds reality, but responsible voices warn of a funding crisis this winter comparable to that of 1987–8, which triggered the NHS reforms. One reason for a wave of ward closures is a switch of resources to accident and emergency services. A repeat …

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