Huge majority of peers opposed to plans for elected second chamber

Nick Clegg's plans to reform the House of Lords could be killed off by peers even if they survive their troubled passage through the Commons.

A ComRes survey of 100 peers found huge opposition to the Coalition Government's plans to replace the 800-strong Lords with a smaller chamber in which 80 per cent of its members would be elected by voters for 15-year terms at general elections.

Asked whether major Lords reform is likely to be passed in the current five-year parliament, only 20 per cent of peers say this is likely and 80 per cent judge it unlikely.

Among the representative cross-party sample, only 14 per cent of peers believe the Coalition's blueprint would improve the second chamber, while 86 per cent think it would not.

While 80 per cent of Liberal Democrat peers believe the Government's proposals would improve the Lords, some 96 per cent of Conservative, 95 per cent of Labour and 94 per cent of independent crossbench peers say it would not.

Asked whether they would vote for the election of about 300 senators by proportional representation, 78 per cent of peers say they would not and only 18 per cent that they would.

Some 93 per cent of Tory, 81 per cent of Labour and 84 per cent of crossbench peers say they would oppose such a plan. In contrast, 78 per cent of Lib Dem peers would vote for it.

According to ComRes, there is little appetite among current peers to stand in the elections proposed by Mr Clegg, which would see the new House elected in three stages at the 2015, 2020 and 2025 general elections. Only 9 per cent of peers say they would stand for election to the reformed House, while 87 per cent say they would not.

Although Labour will vote with Tory rebels tonight to oppose the Government's plans to cut short debate on the House of Lords Reform Bill, Ed Miliband's party has promised to ensure the measure eventually passes the Commons and is sent to the Lords.

If that happens, the survey suggests that peers would strongly oppose the shake-up, raising the prospect of a constitutional clash between the two Houses.

The Liberal Democrats might call for the second chamber to be tamed by the Parliament Act, which allows the Commons to override the Lords. But some Tories would be reluctant because this means it could take up to two years to secure the Bill's passage.

Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd, the crossbench peer and former Commons Speaker, urged MPs to oppose the Bill and tonight's timetable motion, saying the motion is an "outrage".

She said she was worried that elected peers would have too much power and authority to challenge MPs on key laws such as the Budget's proposals.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower