By Tim Montgomerie
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Earlier today I introduced this week's focus on Lords reform. The ConHome editorial position is very much in line with the views of Tory members. Last Thursday and Friday 1,426 Tory members took part in our online survey and again shifted against an elected Lords. The results are published below and speak for themselves…
- THE LORDS AIN'T BROKE: 72% agreed that "the Lords often does a better job at scrutinising legislation than MPs and it should be left as it is". Only 22% disagreed. Perhaps because of this, only 24% agreed that "an unelected House of Lords is indefensible in the 21st century". 74% disagreed.
- EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION: 75% agreed with the statement that "rather than being changed completely the Lords should be improved. For example, the number of peers should be reduced and peers who go to jail should be ejected from the House." Just 21% disagreed. Perhaps Tory members have been reading David Steel?
- FOCUS ON REAL ISSUES: 76% agree that "an elected House of Lords may be a good idea but the public would rather the Coalition focused on bread and butter issues, like tax, crime and the NHS". Just 17% disagree. This is one of Penny Mordaunt MP's arguments.
- DON'T GIFT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: 67% agreed with the statement that "if the Lords is elected by proportional representation the Liberal Democrats will enjoy an almost permanent balance of power in British politics". 18% disagreed.
- NO PR BY THE BACKDOOR: Only 19% agreed that "if the Lords has to be elected it should be via proportional representation or AV". 68% disagreed.
- A THREAT TO THE COMMONS: 52% agreed that "if the Lords becomes elected it will be more legitimate and the stature of the House of Commons will decline". 38% disagreed.