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NHS Reforms: More Than Half Of Voters Want To See Changes Dropped

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More than half of all voters believe the Government should drop its controversial NHS reforms, according to a new opinion poll.

An ICM poll for The Guardian found 52% believed the Health and Social Care Bill should be dropped as against 33% who said the Government should press ahead with the legislation.

The findings suggest the row over the Bill may be damaging the coalition with the support for the Conservatives dropping from 40% to 36% - four points down on last month - while the Liberal Democrats were down two points on 14%.

Labour, in contrast, has now overtaken the Tories rising to 37% - a two point increase on the previous month.

The government is likely to come under further pressure today when Health Secretary Andrew Lansley faces health questions in the House of Commons.

David Cameron yesterday insisted he was "committed" to pushing through the reforms - designed to hand greater financial powers to doctors - accusing opponents of peddling "myths" about their impact on the NHS.

The prime minister came under fire for excluding critics of the legislation from a No 10 summit on the issue while Lansley was jostled and barracked by protesters as he entered Downing Street.

On Monday Andrew Lansley was confronted with a small but very vocal demonstration outside Downing Street on Monday morning, as he attempted to make his way into No.10 for a summit on his unpopular health reforms.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the meeting - to which a string of high-profile professional bodies were not invited - exposed a "bunker
mentality" by ministers.

He renewed demands for the Bill, currently enduring a stormy passage through Parliament, to be dropped altogether and fresh reforms drawn up with professionals.

:: ICM Research interviewed 1,013 adults aged 18 and over by telephone between February 17 and 19.

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