A recent BMG poll on behalf of the Electoral Reform Society reveals that a majority (62%) of Britons believe that the House of Lords is too large and just over half (51%) oppose new members being appointed.
Conducted between 6th and 9th February, the poll asked a representative sample of 1507 adults for their views on the current composition of the House of Lords. Two in three Brits (62%) think the upper chamber’s composition of 794 members is “too many”, with just 14% saying the number is “about right”. Around one in five (21%) were unsure.
Respondents were also asked for their views on recent reports that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are set to appoint a combined total of 15 peers in the coming weeks. Unsurprisingly, given views on the current size of the chamber, just over half (51%) said they opposed the appointments, with just 7% saying they supported them. 25% stated “neither support nor oppose”, and a further 14% were unsure.
A closer look at the data also reveals very little differences in views irrespective of party affiliation. The poll shows that 66% of those that voted Labour in 2017 believe the chamber is too large, as do 73% of respondents that supported the Conservatives in 2017. There is also cross-party opposition to the newly proposed appointments. Over half (54%) of Labour supporters oppose making extra appointments, of which 3 going to be appointed by Jeremy Corbyn. Likewise, 58% of those that cast a ballot for the Conservatives last year were against the new members, 12 of which are set to be appointed by Theresa May.
What is clear is that the majority of the public feel that the house of lords is currently too large, hence why there is opposition to electing more members to the chamber. This tied in with our polling from November last year, suggests that the majority of the public would support some form of reform in the house of lords.
November Polling on Lords Reform – https://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/ersbmg-poll-almost-two-thirds-public-now-back-elected-house-lords/
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
0121 333 6006
Ciaran McGlone – Research Executive