3 Lib Dem policies come out top in polling on parties’ pledges

Promises on sewage dumping and free school meals prove popular

water pollution

Three Liberal Democrat promises came out top in a survey comparing public support for a number of campaign pledges made by the different parties so far. 

YouGov polling on general election policies carried out last week found that the top three with the greatest percent of support were for Lib Dem policies. 

Today the Liberal Democrats are launching the first party manifesto of the 2024 general election, kicking off manifesto week. Ahead of the release of the parties detailed policy plans, The Guardian compared YouGov polling on Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens pledges, revealing the winners for voters.

Topping the opinion polling was a Lib Dem pledge to call for ‘Blue Flag’ status to protect some rivers from sewage dumping, which 87% of voters supported. Under the policy, certain rivers would be designated with special status to protect from pollution while water companies that continue to dump sewage in the Blue Flag rivers would face punitive fines. 

The decline of Britain’s waterways has become a key campaign issue for the Lib Dems, especially in rural, former Tory heartlands.

Second most popular was a Lib Dem pledge to cut VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste, in a bid to improve NHS dentistry and address the rise in children suffering from tooth decay. The idea scored 83% approval.

Also proving popular with voters is the Lib Dems promise of free school meals for all primary school children in England, backed by 74%. The party said the policy would first be rolled out to 900,000 children in poverty, followed by rolling out free school meals for all schoolchildren if public finances stabilise. 

Also in the top four most popular of the policies put to the public was Labour’s pledge to create a publicly owned renewable energy provider, backed by 74% of people.

Graphic by The Guardian

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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