A poll published in the Sun Herald today reported that support for a republic had slipped even though, consistent with previous polls on this issue, at least 63% of Australians support a republic, or around 2/3 of the population.
THE MOST recent extensive polling done on this topic, by UMR Research* in October last year, showed 59% of Australians want an Australian republic
Support for the monarchy was at 31%, which was also consistent with the UMR Research figure of 29% recorded last year.
The newspapers have picked up a number of 44%, which seems to be in response to the question “do you want a republic now”. This question is misleading as it excludes the many republicans who feel we should wait until the Queen’s reign ends.
People who have expressed some support for this proposition include the prime minister, Julia Gillard, the foreign minister, Stephen Smith, and the former opposition leader and chair of the ARM at the time of the 1999 referendum, Malcolm Turnbull.
The current chair of the Australian Republican Movement, Major General Michael Keating, said that he was unsurprised by the results of the research, which confirmed previous polls.
“The proportion of people who want an Australian Republic, along with those against, has not changed from the major polling work done on the republic by UMR last year,” said Major General Keating.
“All this particular poll reveals is that with the prime minister championing the notion that we should wait until the Queen dies, support for that approach has recently increased,” he said.
“Many Australians think we should wait, but are still strong republicans.”
“Malcolm Turnbull has said we should wait until the Queen dies, though I’m sure he would be a little surprised if the media reported that he was now against a republic.”
“As ever with polls, it depends on who you ask, what you ask, when you ask and the way you ask it.”
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independent journalist, michaelwest.com.au