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Support for House of Lords Reform 1977-1998

Published:November 1998
Fieldwork:1977-1998
Keywords:House of Lords, Parliament
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

Q I am going to read out a list of statements which some people have made about a variety of things concerning people in Britain today. Please would you tell me, in each case, whether on balance you agree or disagree with each one.
The House of Lords should be abolished


25-26 October
1977
 

%
Agree 27
Disagree 54
No opinion/neither of these 19

Base: 899 GB adults aged 18+

Q I am going to read out to you a number of policies that some people would like the next government to adopt. For each one I would like you to tell me whether you support or oppose this policy.
Remove the power of the House of Lords to delay or veto decisions of the House of Commons


16-17 April
1979
23 May
1983
 

%
%
Support 31 24
Oppose 40 47
Net support 28 29

Base: c. 1,000 GB adults aged 18+

Q Now I am going to read out a number of policies, and I would like you to tell me, from this card, whether you support or oppose each*.
Replacing the House of Lords with an elected second chamber

  7-25 March
1991
21 April- 8 May
1995
23-24 April
1997
  %
%
%
Strongly support 17 19 n/a
Tend to support 23 24 n/a
Neither agree nor disagree 23 23 n/a
Tend to support 19 15 n/a
Strongly support 10 9 n/a
Don't know 8 11 27
 
Support 40 43 44
Oppose 29 24 29
Net support
+11 +19 +15

*Q wording in 1997: "On balance, do you support or oppose each of the following?..."
Base: c. 1,000-2,000 GB adults aged 18+

Q I am going to read out a series of changes that a government might propose in the future, and I would like you to tell me to what extent you support or oppose each.
Remove the right of hereditary peers to vote in the House of Lords, so that only life peers had a vote

  20-23 January
1995
25-28 April
1997
  % %
Strongly agree 20 21
Tend to agree 27 26
Neither agree nor disagree 19 22
Tend to disagree 14 12
Strongly disagree 7 8
Don't know 13 10
 
Agree 47 47
Disagree 21 20
Net agree +26 +27

Base: c. 1,000-2,000 GB adults aged 18+

Q The Government is currently considering the future of the House of Lords. At present the House of Lords consists partly of hereditary peers, who have inherited the right to sit from their ancestors, and partly of life peers appointed by the Prime Minister of the day. In your opinion, which one of these would be the best option for the future of the House of Lords?


 17-21 July
1998
23-26 October
1998
 

 % %
Keep things as they are 21 20
Remove the hereditary peers, with all new peers nominated by the government 11 13
Replace the House of Lords with a new second chamber partly elected by the public and partly nominated by the government 23 23
Replace the House of Lords with a new second chamber entirely elected by the public 25 24
Abolish the House of Lords altogether 12 12
Other 1 n/a
None of these 1 n/a
Don't know 6 n/a
No opinion/none of these n/a 8

Base: c. 900 GB adults aged 18+

Q As you may know, the Government has decided to introduce major reforms to the House of Lords. It has already decided in principle to remove hereditary peers, but it has not yet settled the other details. If you had to choose between these two options, which one do you think would be better?


23-26 October
1998
 

%
Abolish hereditary peers now before deciding on the other details of the reforms 28
Leave things as they are for the moment until all the details of the reforms have been decided 61
No opinion/neither of these 11

Base: 899 GB adults aged 18+

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