Advanced Search
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
24th March 2015
What is the best way for parties to share power? How can you make minority government work? And how do you negotiate a successful coalition?   These are some of the questions likely to be at the forefront of the party leaders’ minds over the next couple of months. As we near a General Election which is […]
23rd March 2015
What many already knew about the Lords has just been confirmed by academics. A new working paper from the University of Oxford’s Department of Economics puts it simply: the “relationship between donations and nominations [for peerages] has been found to be significant”.   The report has caused shockwaves. Entitled “Is There a Market for Peerages?…A Study in the Link Between Party […]
20th March 2015
The announcement by the two main unionist parties in Northern Ireland that they have entered into an electoral pact for the up-coming general election highlights a major problem with our electoral system.   The idea that parties step down in some seats to maximise their votes in others through an alliance with another party is […]