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A Coalition pledge that won't ever be fulfilled?

Michael Crick | 19:43 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

After Friday's new peers, the Coalition is almost as far as it was in May from achieving its then stated aim.

The Coalition Agreement said that pending reform of the Lords "appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber that is reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election".

With the appointment of 10 new Labour peers, Labour's strength in the upper house will be 244, way ahead of its proportion of the vote at the next election (and still some way ahead of the Tories)

By my calculation, to reflect the vote proportions in May, the Lords would need 304 Conservative peers (compared with 220 after today's appointments), and 193 Lib Dems (compared with 94 from today).

So that would require another 84 Conservatives and another 99 Lib Dems - 183 in all.

Which would bring the strength of the Lords to nearly 1,000.

Somehow, methinks that's a Coalition Agreement pledge that won't ever be fulfilled.


  • Comment number 1.

    "Labour's strength in the upper house will be 244, way ahead of its proportion of the vote at the next election "

    Next election!! What do you know that we don't?

  • Comment number 2.

    But Michael Crick overlooks the fact that, in reality, just about all the so-called 'cross-benchers' and 'lords spiritual' are conservatives, as indeed are a large proportion of the Labour and Liberal Democrat peers. Most newly appointed members of the Lords seem to 'go native' after a relatively short period and turn into Establishment-orientated conservatives.

    The Coalition should stop messing around and completely abolish the House of Lords at the earliest opportunity, which would make Parliament more democratic, efficient and save a considerable sum of taxpayers' money. Moreover, the quality of decision making would be improved if the abolition of the Lords was accompanied by appropriate reforms to the House of Commons (such as changing the voting system to PR and greatly strengthening select committees to scrutinise legislation and temporarily appoint outside expert advisers, etc).

  • Comment number 3.

    2. Spot on, it's a complete waste of taxpayers money. Money that we need more than ever now we have been generous enough to offer a low interest loan of £7 billion to our 'friends' across the Irish Sea. Friends that not so long ago had a claim to sovereignty over UK territory written into their constitution.

    Would that we all had such generous and understanding friends. It's a shame Michael couldn't get an inside story on this loan offer so that we can debate it without going completely off topic. Was the Chinese Rolls Royce jet engine order announced this morning just a coincidence? Who knows what deals and horse trading were going on with the IMF, the UK, the EU, and the main creditor countries such as Japan and China. In the case of the former that would be whale not horse!

  • Comment number 4.

    '1. At 12:17pm on 22 Nov 2010, Keith Tizzard wrote:

    Next election!! What do you know that we don't?

    A lot, though almost all from 'sources' that may or may not be correct... or even exist. But crystal balls are a new one...


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