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BMG finds 63% now want an elected House of Lords – up 15 points on two years ago

October 31st, 2017

And 27% (+5) want it abolished completely

Maybe its down to the Brexit-induced greater focus on constitutional affairs but support for overhauling the second chamber has soared over the past two years – from 48% backing partly- or fully-elected upper house in 2015, to 63% now, according to polling by BMG Research commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society.

The poll found that 27% thought the second chamber should be abolished – up from 22% in 2015 – while only 10% think it should remain as it is.

This polling comes at a critical time with lots of predictions that their Lordships are going to try to amend the Brexit bill when it gets there in the New Year. It also coincides with a report by the Lord Speaker’s Committee on the Size of the House being released later this afternoon. This is expected to announce changes such as a 15 year term limit on new peers, and a commitment from parties to reduce their representation by a quarter over the next 10 years.

    The ERS have described the recommendations as a ‘cheap compromise’ and ‘mere tinkering’, criticising the committee for ruling out changing how peers get there in the first place.

The 2010 Coalition agreement provided for an elected House of Lords but progress on the bill got derailed by a Tory backbench rebellion which led to it being abandoned.

I agree with ERS boss Darren Hughes when he says:

What we need is a much smaller, fairly-elected upper house that the public can have faith in – and where voters can hold ineffective peers to account.

Peers cannot be allowed to mark their own homework when it comes to fixing this broken upper house. The public call for a real overhaul is loud and clear. Now let’s get on with it and give voters the democratic revising chamber Britain needs.

Mike Smithson