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The Contemporary House of LordsWestminster Bicameralism Revived$
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Meg Russell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671564.001.0001

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The Lords as a Barrier to Government: Legislative Defeats

The Lords as a Barrier to Government: Legislative Defeats

Chapter:
(p.130) 6 The Lords as a Barrier to Government: Legislative Defeats
Source:
The Contemporary House of Lords
Author(s):

Meg Russell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671564.003.0006

This chapter looks at the more than 500 government defeats in the House of Lords over the period 1999-2012, under both labour and coalition governments. It describes the legislative process in the Lords, providing examples of key defeats. Based on a complete dataset from this period it investigates the policy importance of Lords defeats, and the extent to which these are overturned by the government and House of Commons. It shows that many defeats are on major matters, and many go on to be accepted. Regression analysis is used to explore why some defeats are overturned and others not. This is largely inconclusive, but shows the importance of rebel government backbenchers in making a defeat ’stick'. The chapter therefore demonstrates that Lords influence cannot be separated from influence by MPs in the Commons, and that the two chambers are most effective when they exert joint pressure on government.

Keywords:   House of Lords, government, legislation, defeats, rebellions, civil liberties

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