The House of Lords has acted as if it has greater legitimacy since the reforms of 1999 that removed most of the hereditary peers. Until 2010, the governing party-Labour-had only a minority in the House, but since the formation of the coalition after that year's general election the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats combined have had a majority among those peers who take a party whip. Whether they can get their legislation through the House, therefore, depends on whether large numbers of crossbench peers vote against the government. In general, their turnout is low. It increased during the latter stages of debates on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, 2010, but crossbenchers rarely voted in sufficient numbers with Labour to defeat the government-and when they did, they were unwilling to sustain their opposition when the House of Commons declined to accept their amendments. This raises issues regarding the future role of the House during the 2010-2015 Parliament, and, in particular, whether it should become a largely elected chamber as proposed in a recent White Paper and draft legislation.
- House of Lords