Boris Johnson made the pledge
Millions of voters could desert the Tories if they fail to deliver on a key hospital building pledge, HuffPost UK has learned.
An opinion poll suggests a quarter of those who voted Conservative at the last election won’t do so next time round if Boris Johnson’s promise is broken.
The former PM vowed in 2019 that the government would build 40 “new” hospitals by 2030.
However, only two projects have so far been completed, with work starting on another five.
According to a poll conducted by Savanta ComRes for the Liberal Democrats, 27% of 2019 Tory voters are less likely to support the party again if the pledge is broken.
The Conservatives received 14 million votes at the last election, meaning they stand to lose around 3.8 million voters.
The Lib Dems plan to make the issue a key part of their election campaign in so-called “Blue Wall” seats where they are going toe-to-toe with the Tories.
A Lib Dem source said: “The Conservative manifesto isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
“Blue Wall voters are furious after being promised new hospitals by Boris Johnson.
“They will never forgive the Conservative party if these hospitals aren’t built in time. Some of these hospitals are literally crumbling and the government just doesn’t care.
“If new hospitals aren’t up and running by the next general election then the Conservative party is in big trouble.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We have committed an initial £3.7 billion to deliver the biggest hospital building programme in a generation and have been working with NHS partners to speed up the construction of sites.
“This includes developing designs that can be shared across projects, building hospitals simultaneously and preparing the construction industry for work.”