Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House

On the same day that 70 Tory MPs pledged to rebel against Lords reform, YouGov today released data showing the public are not supportive of the changes either.

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On the same day that 70 Tory MPs pledged to rebel against Lords reform, YouGov today released data showing the public are not supportive of the changes either.

lordsFifty per cent of people surveyed believe that Lords reform is not a priority, with 18% feeling it works well and should be left alone.

Even though the reforms have been described as “Nick Clegg’s baby”, his Party’s supporters have not sided with him this time, as only 28% of Liberal Democrat voters say they support the changes.

Only 42% said they wanted a mostly-elected chamber, with the remainder of people wanting either an appointed chamber (14%) or a mixture of appointed and elected (29%).

YouGov president Peter Kellner said:

Times are tough. Britain has huge economic problems. Some of the key actors in our public life, including politicians, bankers and journalists, are regarded as crooks and cheats.

In these circumstances, MPs should be wary of deciding that their priority is a constitutional form that leaves much of the public cold, and which does nothing to remove the failings that offend so many voters.

The debate about the fundamental purpose of the Lords is the one that should be happening but isn’t. A clear consensus about function should precede any decision about form.

Two weeks ago I argued that Lords reform is probably doomed this time round. Given the lack of public enthusiasm and the failure of the government to tell us what it believes the basic function of a reformed Lords to be, few people will mourn the Bill’s likely death.

These results come as another blow for government hopes for a majority vote, as 70 Tory rebels said they would not vote for the reforms in a letter sent to The Times.

 


See also:

A coalition (still) at war over Lords reform 27 Jun 2012

Tory tantrums: Backbenchers on the warpath over Hunt and Lords reform 18 Jun 2012

Labour must get back to its principles on Lords reform 23 Apr 2012


 

The Guardian reports:

The coalition government is facing the prospect of its first major Commons defeat after a 70-strong group of Tory rebels signed a letter opposing House of Lords reform before a crucial vote on Tuesday.

The letter was released as Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, prepared to appeal for unity over proposals for an 80%-elected upper chamber as he opened a two-day debate on the bill on Monday afternoon.

Amid growing tension in the coalition and the threat of a mass Tory rebellion, Clegg has sought to cast the vote on Tuesday night as a test of David Cameron’s leadership.

Left Foot Forward reported previously how Conservative MPs were planning on voting against Lords reform as an act of revenge for the Lib Dem’s abstention over the parliamentary vote on Jeremy Hunt’s referral to the government advisor on the ministerial code.

The Telegraph reported Eleanor Laing MP as saying:

Why are we supposed to bend over backwards to support Nick Clegg’s over something that only matters to Lib Dems when his party cannot support a fellow minister who has done nothing wrong?

It is a shame that a decision on historic constitutional change has lost its significance behind a cloud of political point scoring.

Although the government surely has bigger things to worry about, considering a defeat in the Commons on Lords reform would signal the Coalition’s first defeat and a very large nail in their coffin.

 


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26 Responses to “Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House”

  1. NewsatLeft

    Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not… http://t.co/fbGlMdGg #CleanPolitics #HouseofLords #Lordsreform #NickClegg

  2. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/Z0PQASXk

  3. Carl Gardner

    RT @leftfootfwd New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/Z0PQASXk

  4. Benjamin Gray

    RT @leftfootfwd New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/Z0PQASXk

  5. Harry Devonport

    New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/8TRb2vlT

  6. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly… http://t.co/pbsRDeQJ

  7. Katie Stanton

    To my surprise, the majority of the general public aren't interested in a mostly-elected House of Lords: http://t.co/HGt1CJkK

  8. Katherine Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/Z0PQASXk

  9. Just Counsel

    RT @leftfootfwd New post: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/Z0PQASXk

  10. Mark Thompson

    This piece from @leftfootfwd on #lordsreform has a terribly misleading headline. Only 14% support a appointed chamber. http://t.co/kWoEUAEK

  11. Selohesra

    HoL may not be ideal but it sort of works OK – surely not a priority given the mess we are in at the moment

  12. Anonymous

    I think the public do not trust politicians so when they say look we have to change the house of Lords they think oh yes why.

    Cleggie has failed now with Pr and to change the house of Lords he really must look at whether he should pack up and leave.

  13. Albert Spangler

    Of course, representing people properly isn’t important. Getting angry about political issues and the fact that politicians don’t listen is the priority. If only there were some way to make these things more representative, so that things like the economy and the NHS and unemployment were taken seriously. Some kind of political reform, perhaps.

    Watching people complain that political reform isn’t high on their priorities while having no confidence in the current political system, is like watching a man spend so long complaining about how crap TV is that he hasn’t noticed the batteries have died in his remote control.

    Jesus wept…

  14. Anonymous

    This proposal is a shambles. I do want to see a democratic lords but I do not want to see the house of lords which is entirely made up of failed/washed-up politicians.

    1) Ban former members of the commons from standing for lords election

    2) Put this to the people in a referendum

    3) Ban the whipping of the new senators

    4) Get rid of the party list system

  15. Mr. Sensible

    Not surprised. This bill should be killed off at second reading.

  16. JC

    A brave set of ideas. However, I don’t understand why the answer to failing public respect for politicians is always more politicians. We’d still get the failed local politicians standing. What’s wrong with the jury service idea? At least it’s representative.

  17. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/0VbJC6sw

  18. Jose Aguiar

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lords reform looks doomed as poll shows most people do not favour mostly elected House http://t.co/blIIGDc2

  19. Michael Simpson

    Are our politicians really so incapable that they’re unable to consider the volatility of the economic situation alongside other matters? You run the risk of falling into the trap of thinking that the economy rules all and while it may significant, so is ensuring that our democracy is in good shape.

  20. Michael Simpson

    What power can the whips hold over someone sitting a one off term of 15 years anyway?

  21. Selohesra

    Limiting the debate time like is being proposed and denying referendum on such major constitutional change is hardly democratic

  22. Selohesra

    But with party list and PR you will inevitably get a load of conformist placeman who owe their position to their tradition of not rocking the boat – the current HoL has its fair share of those but it also has a few independent minded individuals who have shown in the past they are prepared to stand up and question whichever party is in power

  23. Richard

    A Jury-based legislature would not be representative. Juries are randomly selected, with people with obvious biases (such as whether they know witnesses or accused, etc.) then filtered out. They are then led through the judicial process by the judge and respective legal teams and are sometimes even instructed how to vote.

    Having a a legislature consisted of randomly politically-conscripted citizens, who would probably have as little interest there as the 20% of current Lords who only vote upto 2 times a year, would be a disaster. Of course, you could apply various filters to sex, race, age and political persuasion… which inevitably leads back to a party based system except where the members have been chosen at random not elected.

  24. Richard

    Research by Unlock Democracy has shown that the Lords are less likely to defy their party line than MPs are.

    Appointed Lords can be as effectively whipped as MPs as they can have their privileges reduced or even expelled from their party. True, they can continue sitting as an independent but at least under these proposals they’re not in there for life, as is the case at present.

  25. Richard

    1/4 of the current House of Lords are former MPs, with 1 in 2 new appointees since 2010 being an MP and the rest being former advisers, party donors, etc. I don’t see how anyone *elected* to the Lords would be a “failed/washed-up politician” – that doesn’t make sense. Are MPs the pinnacle of politician-hood and all other people who are councillors, assembly members, MEPs, etc. second rate? What about those councillors, MEPs, etc. who go on to be MPs – are they suddenly more capable than before?

    It’s the current system that has “failed/washed-up politicians” in the Lords.

  26. JC

    And how would “as the 20% of current Lords who only vote upto 2 times a year” be different from having people like Gordon Brown in the Commons? What do you propose?

    Why is the answer to failing public respect for politicians always more politicians?

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