The House of Lords should not be reduced to as few as 300 peers under proposed reforms, a committee examining a draft Bill says.
The Bill for reform of the upper house had suggested slashing the number of peers from nearly 800 to 300, mostly on an elected basis.
But discussions in the committee carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny on the proposals are leading to conclusions that the House of Lords should have about 450 members. Elected peers would be filtered in over about 10 years in a series of elections.
Committee member Liberal Democrat Lord Tyler said the higher number would allow some peers to remain experts in the field outside the Lords without working full time in Parliament.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "The first point is this is not a rejection of the Bill - and I think it is interesting that the consensus around the table seems to be supporting the Bill.
"The whole of the committee thinks that simply cutting back to 300, assuming everyone is a full-time parliamentarian, would make us too like the House of Commons.
"Reducing the number from nearly 800, which is the present total number, to around around 450 would mean that some, whether appointed or elected, could have other walks of life where they maintain expertise."
Lord Tyler said the proposed change would not slow down the Bill because Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have committed to work closely with the committee to produce a workable Bill.
He told the programme he thought a draft Bill would be included in the Queen's Speech in the spring to allow parliamentary time to pass the legislation ahead of the first elections in 2015.