Massive public support for elections to the House of Lords

A new public opinion polls shows that nearly three-quarters of the public (71%) wants elections introduced for the House of Lords.

Unlock Democracy reports:

On the question of whether the Lords should be elected or appointed, 71% said they supported a fully or at least partially elected second chamber, with the most popular response being for a fully elected chamber (39% – if you exclude “don’t knows” it comes to 48%). The poll did not ask people to distinguish between a mainly elected second chamber (the government’s “default” position is for an 80% elected second chamber) and a minority elected second chamber. However, support for a fully appointed chamber was tiny – just 10%.

The poll found that a clear majority – 60% – supported removing the bishops from the second chamber, with just 26% supporting them continuing to be able to sit and vote in Parliament.

3 responses to “Massive public support for elections to the House of Lords”

  1. I am not at all in favour of having Lords popularly elected, since we already have the Commons elected, but I do think the selection process needs reform away from its present biased political and religious lines.

    The European economic crisis, especially in Italy and Greece who have had to install economists in place of elected Prime Ministers to steward their exchequers out of bankruptcy, has shown us that having electable charisma doesn't make you a brilliant manager of money, and Hitler's democratically achieved election also proved that he who is most popular doesn't always embrace the long term best interests of the proletariat.

    What I would like to see is apolitical consensus appointments to the Lords, based upon acknowledged brilliance in key areas of concern relevant to government, ranging through fiscal, legal, business, military, education, health, police, religion, social, arts et al, who review legislation much as they do now, but from a background of proven rather than presumed or self-proclaimed expertise.

    Our present system in the Commons requires the ruling party to populate its front bench from the best available out of those who managed to persuade a majority in their electorate to vote for them, but who may not always be the best available either in the country or for the country. I would therefore be dead against replicating this anomaly in the Lords.

  2. Yes.. "From the best available" – and they are pretty mediocre. I have had (very minor) dealings with 3 people who were members of the House of Lords. They all said that no matter what subject came up for discussion you could always, from the members of the House, assemble a group who were knowledgable about it. I should not want to lose this capability.

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