Although the results may be unsurprising, they are also revealing — and not just of how vicious the battle between the coalition and the Lords might be. In further questions, there is the suggestion of where compromise could come. 77 per cent, for instance, support the idea of an independent appointments commission. 72 per cent believe that the remaining 92 heriditaries should not have their positions refilled after their deaths.
But the problem for Nick Clegg is that he can't afford much compromise — and he certainly can't afford to wait for a generation of peers to shuffle into their graves, to claim success. His proposals for reform have already made an underwhelming start. If they are whittled down by Tory backbenchers and the Lords, then the story could just become one of further embarrassment for the Lib Dem leader, rather than triumph. He now has to better explain — perhaps even with support from Cameron — what the problem is with the Lords, and how his proposals fix it. If not, then the Ermined Ones may look less like turkeys, and more like people with a point.