What should worry David Cameron about tonight’s meeting of the
1922 Committee on Lords reform was that it was not just the usual suspects who spoke out against it. The two MPs presenting the case against were members who have never defied the whip: Jesse
Norman and Nadhim Zahawi.
Those present were particularly struck by some polling data that Zahawi, who used to run YouGov, presented. It showed that when asked what issues were a priority for them zero per cent of the
electorate mentioned reform of the Lords. Even when prompted, this number only rose to six per cent. But Zahawi’s polling shows that if reform does go ahead, almost two thirds of the public
want a referendum on it. The significance of this is that Nick Clegg adamantly denies that there is any need for a referendum.
I understand that one of the most frequent themes from the floor was concern that a Lords with an elected element in it would challenge the primacy of the Commons. I’m also told that more
than one PPS indicated to the meeting that they were prepared to resign over the matter.