Economics is known as the dismal science because its forecasts frequently prove woefully off the mark.

In recent years, political predictions haven't fared much better. Not only have the pollsters failed to anticipate a string of general election results, they were spectacularly wrong on Brexit too.

But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. 

If we believe the current polls, Labour is set for a 'supermajority' on July 4.

Given their understandable disenchantment with the Government, millions of traditional Tories intend to vote for Reform UK in protest or simply stay at home.

Yet in about 130 seats, Labour's vote share is lower than the Tories and Reform combined – sufficient for the Conservatives to retain the constituency. 

This could halve Sir Keir Starmer's landslide.

Tory voters must weigh the desire to punish their own party against the consequences of propelling a socialist into power with virtually no checks and balances.

Under a Labour government, we will get higher taxes, higher public spending, higher immigration. 

Sir Keir's team has let slip they want to make it easier for men to self-identify as female, undermining the safety and privacy of women and girls.

They want to rip up rules barring schools from teaching children gender ideology. And they will begin to dismantle Brexit.

Even the most optimistic polls give Nigel Farage's party no more than a tiny handful of seats. 

Tories who switch to Reform will merely enable a government who will give them the opposite of what they want in every imaginable respect.


Prioritise patients

When ministers unveiled plans to expand the use of 'physician associates' to tackle a shortage of doctors, the Mail expressed concern it could endanger patients.

Ten years on, there is growing evidence we were right to worry. The original idea was that medics with just two years' healthcare training would assist doctors in their daily duties – freeing up time for extra appointments.

Yet with the NHS increasingly stretched, they have taken on more clinical responsibilities. Patients don't always know they are not seeing a doctor or GP.

Now the British Medical Association is taking legal action. The union claims that doctors are being stealthily sidelined.

But with waiting lists colossally high, and doctors retiring or doing lucrative private and locum work instead, it's hardly surprising PAs are used to plug workforce gaps.

And if the BMA truly cared about patient safety, wouldn't it spend less time on strike?

Of course, while there is a place for PAs, they are no substitute for more doctors.

Yes, the NHS must reform to survive. But the aim must always be better outcomes for patients – and nothing else.


Get well soon, Ma'am

If not quite an annus horribilis, this has so far been a most challenging year for the Royal Family.

The King and Princess of Wales are both being treated for cancer, and now Princess Anne is in hospital after an incident involving a horse at her home. 

Thankfully, she's expected to make a full and swift recovery.

With her relatives recuperating, the indomitably hard-working Anne has stepped into the breach, uncomplainingly carrying out as many engagements as possible.

Dedicated to duty, stoic and likeable, she is one of the monarchy's most popular members. 

The Mail joins every decent Briton in urging: 'Get well soon, Ma'am.'

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2024-06-24T23:45:51Z dg43tfdfdgfd