by Stephen Tall on February 3, 2014
Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’ve been publishing the full results.
(There were a couple of results I ran out of time to publish during the Christmas holiday period – I’m publishing them this week.)
On Saturday, I reported the results of what party members think about school structures. Yesterday, we looked at whether you thought teachers should have formal professional qualifications and if the National Curriculum should be compulsory. Today, we’re asking what you thought of Nick Clegg’s announcement of free school meals for all infant children…
Do you think Nick Clegg was right or wrong to make school meals free for children in the first three years a spending priority this Parliament?
60% – Right
27% – Wrong
9% – Don’t know
4% – Other
It was the party’s big announcement of the last conference season: all pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from this September at an original estimated annual cost of £635 million.
The idea’s not without its critics, including the Lib Dems’ own Sir Nick Harvey (“It’s not that I’m against giving kids a free school meal, it’s just a very odd sense of priorities”).
However, in our survey of party members, the policy gets a pretty resounding thumbs-up, with 60% backing it and 27% saying it’s the wrong priority.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.