The Deputy Prime Minister also admitted in a television interview that very few people care about the need to replace the Lords with an elected senate.
A report from MPs and peers on Monday is likely to recommend a referendum to win public backing for the plans. It will also raise concerns about the role of an elected second chamber, and whether it should have primacy over the views of the House of Commons.
The Joint Committee is expected to call for an 80 per cent elected chamber, where members serve non-renewable 15-year terms. They would get a salary of around £50,000, rather than the existing attendance allowances.
Senior Conservatives are planning to fight the plans, with several ministerial aides likely to risk being sacked by voting against them if they are put to a Commons vote.
Some Tories have suggested that they might back down if Prime Minister David Cameron and Mr Clegg agreed to put the plans to a referendum, as they did last summer on electoral reform.
Backbench Tory MPs and Labour leader Ed Miliband have joined forces to call for the Prime Minister to agree to put the plans to a national vote.
An official report from MPs and peers on Monday is likely to raise the prospect of a referendum to win public backing for the plans for an elected senate.
It will also raise concerns about the role of an elected second chamber, and whether it should have primacy over the views of the House of Commons.
A referendum could help defuse the row and stop several ministerial aides being sacked for voting against the Government over the plans.
However, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is set to inflame emotions further in a television interview on Sunday when he will make the case for Lords’ reform.
The Prime Minister has been warned to expect “off the scale” rebellions if he pushes ahead with controversial plans to replace the House of Lords with an elected senate.
The warnings – made at a private meeting of Tory MPs last night – come ahead of the publication on Monday of an official report from a major Lords committee which has considered the proposals.
The Daily Telegraph has learned that at least three parliamentary private secretaries (PPS) are likely to vote against the plans if they go ahead.
This would force Mr Cameron to sack them and mark the biggest challenge to his authority since the Coalition was formed.
One PPS who confirmed that he would vote against the Government told The Daily Telegraph last night Downing Street “would be very wise to back off” on Lords reform.
Two PPSs resigned and decided to vote in favour of a referendum over Britain’s continued membership of the European Union in a Commons vote in 2010.
The warnings emerged from a stormy meeting of the 1922 committee meeting of backbench Conservative MPs on Thursday.
Forty out of 70 MPs spoke against plans to reform the Lords during the meeting in the House of Commons. At the meeting Jesse Norman MP gave what was described as a “powerful” denunciation of the plans.