MPs voted this evening by a majority of 113 for a completely elected House of Lords. There was also a majority in favour of an 80% elected House. Other options were rejected, including a completely appointed chamber (179 voted against).
This surprise result should be celebrated as a vote in favour of democracy - even if it seems some MPs voted tactically to try to scupper change once the vote on a fully appointed chamber had been lost.
As I noted in a previous post on this issue, the powers of the House of Lords need to be carefully defined (http://stephenbeeronline.blogspot.com/2007/02/reforming-house-of-lords.html).
Some progress has been made on this. The challenge however is how to ensure that the Commons remains the primary chamber and that, in effect, the second chamber is enabled to do its job as a revising chamber while being 'kept in its democratic place'.
That probably means that the House of Lords needs to be elected in a different way to the House of Commons.
The vote this evening was only indicative. Much debate remains to be had before we are near real reform of our second chamber.