Labour’s hospital grab is somewhat overstated

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There appears to be a small nugget of truth to this story, but it has been exaggerated.

One does not build a hospital overnight (at least I hope one doesn’t), so the 2005 General Election figures are irrelevant to the number of hospitals built over the last decade. Compared to the 1997 results, the picture is somewhat different:

Labour: 418 MPs (63%) and 33 hospitals (70%)
Conservatives: 165 MPs (25%) and 10 hospitals (21%)
Lib Dems: 46 MPs (7%) and 2 hospitals (4%)

In other words, Labour is indeed over represented, and the trend increases if you take into account the 2001 election results, but not by terribly much. Once you factor out the fact that Labour has the lion’s share of seats, it doesn’t add up to much. If the whole system of where to build hospitals were conducted entirely at random, you might very well end up with a similar result.

The article also does not make it clear what areas those 5 remaining ‘cross-party’ hospitals cover. If they are predominantly Lib Dem/Tory areas (Cornwall for example), then the trend is even less significant. While Labour would remain slightly over-represented, the Lib Dem and Tory areas might not be under-represented at all.

Nice try Andrew Lansley, but I’m not convinced.

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