Clear majority want Lords reform
Unlock Democracy have today (23 April) published new research confirming that a majority of the public support government plans to introduce elections to the House of Lords. A poll conducted by YouGov has found that:
- 69% support a half, majority or wholly elected second chamber. The most popular response was for a fully elected second chamber (33%). Just 5% support a wholly appointed second chamber (don’t know: 22%).
- 45% believe members of the House of Lords should not be allowed to block reform; 32% felt they should (don’t know: 17%).
- 48% supported experts being invited to participate in legislation on an ad hoc basis, rather than being given life peerages; only 20% felt they should be given life peerages (don’t know: 22%).
The poll also found overwhelming support for the public, to be able to decide what issues should be put to a referendum. 62% felt the public should have this power (don’t know: 12%). Unlock Democracy believes that the government should include in the Lords reform legislation an option to hold a referendum if 5% of the public demand one.
Commenting on this research, Director of Unlock Democracy Peter Facey said:
“The three major parties all committed themselves to democratic reform of the House of Lords at the last general election; they cannot spin or dissemble themselves out of this commitment. And while it may not be on top of everyone’s agenda, polls have consistently shown that the public support Lords reform themselves.
“The debate over whether to hold a referendum is a red herring. The question should be whether the public demand one. The onus is on the opponents of reform; if they cannot find even 5% of the public to petition for a referendum, they should not insist the the government commits itself to an expensive and needless process.
“Many Lords have been threatening to derail the government’s entire legislative process in a bid to block reform. The government should call their bluff and not allow itself to be blackmailed by a self-serving elite.”
Full polling results can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/lordspoll
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,349 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 20th April 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Unlock Democracy’s submission to the joint committee on the draft House of Lords reform bill can be found here: http://www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk/page/-/publications/111011%20HofLJointCttee%20FINAL.pdf