Michael Martin’s peerage – politicos for, public against

Politics home conducted a survey of 100 top politicians and commentators (see list of panel members), 61% of whom believe that “speaking out against Martin’s peerage would look mean-spirited”.

Meanwhile, a survey of ordinary voters finds that two thirds of the electorate are dead against Martin securing a peerage. The ‘ordinary voter’ finds it incomprehensible that the first Speaker to be ousted in centuries for failure to do his job properly, be rewarded with a peerage. Exactly what will he contribute to debate, when he could barely read out scripted statements of his own to the House of Commons? This peerage seems very much like a reward for failure and cronyism – both abhorred by the ordinary voter.

That contrast puts into perspective the massive divide between the electorate and the political elite/chattering classes.

PoliticsHome‘s public opinion survey results:

There is strong public opposition to the decision to award Michael Martin a peerage with more than 70% of voters saying he should not have been given a seat in the Lords, according to a new poll published by PoliticsHome today.

It is a custom that Speakers are elevated to the House of Lords on their retirement, and no exception has been made for Speaker Martin. The appointment was confirmed by the Queen yesterday.

The vetting panel for the House of Lords took the unusual step of writing to Downing Street and warning of the dangers of awarding Michael Martin a peerage. The argument has been that after his much-criticised handling of the expenses scandal and his subsequent resignation, he could damage the reputation of the Upper House.

Seventy two percent of voters, even after being reminded that every outgoing Speaker has been made a Lord, say they do not think Michael Martin should have been awarded his peerage.

This view is held by supporters of every political party, including nonaligned voters. Conservative supporters in particular had a very strong opposition to the appointment.

A mere nineteen percent, consisting mainly of Labour supporters, said he should have been awarded the peerage.

Michael Martin, the former House of Commons Speaker, is set to join the House of Lords after standing down. There is a custom that all former Commons Speakers become Lords, but an independent commission has written to Gordon Brown warning that Michael Martin’s conduct in office – where he was blamed for failing to prevent the expenses crisis –could damage the reputation of the House of Lords. Do you think Michael Martin should or should not have been awarded a peerage?

PoliticsHome interviewed 1219 adults by email between 1-2 July 2009. Results are weighted by party ID to reflect the UK at large.

One Response to “Michael Martin’s peerage – politicos for, public against”

  1. VotR Says:

    So sleazy it has to be done behind closed doors. Voting day can't come soon enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: