Voters overwhelmingly support free school meals

4 September 2023
Labour and Conservative voters overwhelmingly back giving free school meals to more children

Expanding access to free school meals is overwhelmingly supported by Labour and Conservative target voters, according to new research from the School Food Review Working Group. Polling found that a staggering 82% of prospective Labour voters and over half of prospective Conservative voters (53%) are in favour of extending free school meals immediately to all children from families ​receiving Universal Credit, followed by a future expansion to all school children.  

  • A significant majority of Labour voters and over half of Conservative voters support extending free school meals to more children
  • Non-Labour voters say a commitment to expanding free school meals by Labour could swing their vote 
  • With all London primary school children now eligible, Feed the Future campaigners warn of greater regional inequalities without wider expansion across the country 

This new research comes as universal primary free school meals are rolled out across London for a year-long pilot. We found that the majority of respondents (71%), including both Conservative and Labour voters, think the current income threshold is inadequate or should not exist at all.

That's why we are calling on both the Conservative and Labour parties to commit to nationally expanding the eligibility to all children, urgently targeting children in households receiving Universal Credit as a priority. The Liberal Democrats and Green Party have already stated their support for this policy.

Read more about the research here.