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Reforming the House of Lords
It's time for an elected second chamber
Reforming the House of Lords

If you hold the power to help decide how Britain is run you should be elected by us, the British public. That’s democracy.

British governments have been trying to reform the House of Lords for over a century. In 2012 the House of Lords Reform bill failed, but the issue is not going away.

We simply cannot have thousands of unelected politicians passing laws which the British people have to live by. The public are ready, with 79% supporting reform. Now it’s our job to hold the politicians to account.


What's needed?

  • A 100% elected House of Lords. If you hold the power to pass laws you should be chosen by the people who have to live by those laws.
  • Elections using the Single Transferable Vote to ensure voters have a real choice between candidates, small parties and independents, to improve representation and to avoid wasted votes.
  • No reserved seats for Bishops of the Church of England, or indeed for any faith community leaders.
  • Thresholds or other positive measures should be introduced to ensure diversity of candidates and to make sure the Lords looks and feels more like Britain today.

Our work to reform the House of Lords

August 2014 Our analysis of 22 new appointments to the Lords showed that they had donated nearly £7m to political parties between them. Read about our widely reported figures.

August 2013 We came out strongly against new appointments to the Lords, showing how at this rate the super-sized second chamber could have 2,000 unelected peers after the next general election. Read our Guardian article on the subject.

June 2013
Our briefing on the Super-Sized Second Chamber got a double-page spread in The Observer, giving us a platform to make the case that reform of the Lords is not only necessary but inevitable.

July 2012 The Society provided a breifing for all MPs for the second reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill on 9 July 2012. Second reading breifing on Lords Reform.

April 2012 The Society responded to the report from the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill published on 23 April. Download a copy of our Lords Reform Briefing.

October 2011 The Electoral Reform Society provided a Submission of evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Bill for House of Lords Reform. Download submission on the Draft Bill for House of Lords Reform.

 

Recent News
30th January 2015
This is a guest post by Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas, discussing his recent speech on young people and democracy for ERS Cymru. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society.   I was 15 when the first referendum on […]
26th January 2015
Much excitement in the European press today as Greece’s left-wing, Eurosceptic and anti-austerity Syriza has come two seats short of an absolute majority in the Greek parliamentary election, allowing them to form a coalition with the right-wing, Eurosceptic Independent Greeks. Yet Syriza won only 36.3% of the vote, giving them 49.7% of the seats. And […]
22nd January 2015
Today’s publication of draft legislation to devolve powers to Scotland makes the case for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention ever more pressing.   All the parties vowed to devolve more powers to Scotland, and no one is suggesting this should be delayed. But ultimately, today’s announcement raises more questions than it answers. These new powers […]