Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Health Policy

What a Johnson or Corbyn government might mean for the NHS

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 20 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6557
  1. Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight, London, UK
  1. andycowper{at}

Andy Cowper looks at the personalities and politics of the two men who could be the next prime minister

The 2019 general election will be the UK’s third in four years, making rather a mockery of the notion that our “first past the post” Westminster voting system is a prerequisite to creating the conditions for strong and stable government. One key aspect of this system is that (with all due respect to the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson) the two people who can conceivably become the next prime Minister are the Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The economic context of the 2019 general election is that austerity, a central influence on the political weather in the UK since the global financial crisis in 2008, is spectacularly and suddenly over. The political climate in the UK now features lavish public spending promises, with the actual funding sources strikingly ill defined and uncertain. …

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