Most voters 'want wholly-elected House of Lords'


Most voters want a wholly-elected House of Lords, a new poll of public attitudes to political reform found.

The survey, carried out before last week's controversial appointment of another 45 party-political peers, found 52% thought lawmakers "should always be elected" - with only 28% preferring the "experience and knowledge" of the appointed second chamber.

David Cameron, who faced fire for sending dozens of "cronies" to the upper House, is said by Downing Street to remain "open" to reform despite seeing a 2012 effort roundly rebuffed by a huge rebellion of Tory MPs.

The People and Power study was based on an online survey of 2,147 UK adults - drawn from Opinium's consumer panel of around 30,000 - with results weighted to nationally representative criteria according to age group, gender, region, working status, social grade and 2015 general election vote.

It found 67% feel they have little or no influence over policy decisions that affect their lives, with 59% backing more localised powers, 31% at city or council level, 21% at the level of individual nations of the UK and 7% at village or neighbourhood level.

After a general election that saw Ukip and the Green Party attract more than twice as many votes as the Liberal Democrats but end up with only one seat each to the ex-coalition party's eight, 52% said the electoral system was outdated and 27% considered it democratic.

There was little certainty about whether it could be improved however.

In the foreword to the report, commissioned by policy specialists DHA, Labour former home secretary Alan Johnson wrote: "All politicians preach the virtues of involving the public more in decisions that affect their lives, but until now we've had insufficient information on the public's attitude to whether they believe such sentiments to be genuine and, indeed, whether and how far this distillation of power should continue.

"People and Power gives us greater understanding of public opinion on all these issues and everyone in political life would do well to heed the messages it brings."