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Keywords:

  • House of Lords;
  • Parliament;
  • reform;
  • bicameralism

Twelve years after coming to office, Labour has still not achieved the second stage of House of Lords reform that was promised in 1997. In July 2008 a White Paper—the government's fifth on the subject—was published, setting out plans for an 80 or 100 per cent elected upper house. This article reviews its prospects. It concludes that although the government is now apparently more in line with the views of its supporters, there are many other obstacles. Fundamental differences remain both within and between the political parties, and several key principles remain unresolved. Progress is therefore unlikely.