Editorial: What the election result means for GPs

At the time of writing, the 2015 general election seems too close to call.

So far, perhaps the most interesting development is that Labour leader Ed Miliband has surprised many by performing better than anticipated.

The future of general practice is one of the issues on which the two main political parties differ. While the Tories would have GPs at the helm of CCGs controlling a large chunk of the NHS budget, Labour would pool budgets and link commissioners and providers under health and wellbeing boards to develop integrated care organisations.

Labour has been questioning the future of independent contractor status, but there are no indications yet that it would ring its death knell.

What might be more concerning for GPs is an area where the Conservatives and Labour agree: access. The Tories are pushing for 8am to 8pm access seven days a week for all patients by 2020, with Labour guaranteeing 48-hour access.

The Tories want 5,000 more GPs and Labour, 8,000. The question on many GPs' lips will be, how will all this be possible?

With the possibility of the election of a minority government, there could even be a chance that the policies of minor parties (the SNP, Lib Dems, UKIP or the Greens) could prove crucial.

Our website, GPonline, will have live updates after 7 May on how GPs up for election fared, including Dr Louise Irvine, who is standing against health secretary Jeremy Hunt, and what the results mean for GPs.

The only predictable thing about this election is its unpredictability. Who will be in 10 Downing Street when your 18 May edition of GP is published?

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