GPs will be persuaded to vote yes to the government's offer on extended hours, according to a poll of GPs.

A total of 38 per cent of 400 GPs attending a Devon local medical committee meeting, held immediately after the British Medical Association's GPs committee released full details of the offer and its alternative last week, said they had been intending to reject it. But this figure dropped to 14 per cent when the potential impact of rejection was explained.

Local medical committee chair Peter Jolliffe said those who moved to being prepared to accept the offer did so "under protest, because it is bad for general practice but not as bad as the alternative". He added: "It didn't stop anyone being angry or upset by the government's behaviour and it didn't make anyone think [the offer] was a good thing."

Polling on acceptance of the offer, which would mean the average practice would have to open for an extra three hours per week outside of core hours, began on Monday. It will conclude at the end of next week.

The committee is not recommending GPs vote for the offer, but says a yes vote would "be less damaging to general practice" than the alternative.