Support for an Australian republic slips

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Monday, August 30, 2010

A new Nielsen poll has suggested that Australian support for a republic has dropped, with one third of people surveyed claiming that they never want the country to cut its ties to the Monarchy of Australia, headed by the Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Australia.

Out of 1,400 people polled prior to the 2010 federal election, those who oppose Australia becoming a republic grew by 8 per cent since 2008. Caretaker Prime Minister Julia Gillard claimed during the campaign of the 2010 federal election that she believed Australia should become a republic at the end of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. 34 per cent of those in the poll share this view, wanting Queen Elizabeth II to be Australia's last monarch. At the extremes of the poll, 29 per cent of those surveyed believe Australia should become a republic as soon as possible, while 31 per cent believe Australia should never become a republic.

John Wurst of the Australian Republican Movement claims that "It's a ridiculous statement to say that we should wait until the Queen dies and I'm surprised that the Prime Minister and others would take that position [...]I think we should move as soon as we're ready, and as soon as we're ready should be now."

This new poll highlights that support for a referendum concerning the monarchy's position in Australia is at its lowest since 1994. The last referendum Australia conducted on the subject was in 1999 that resulted in a narrow rejection of a republic.

Spokesperson of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) Malcolm Badgery says "it's actually less likely, after the Queen dies, that people will embrace any change with great enthusiasm [as] there will be an outpouring of sentiment [and] a royal funeral and then the coronation."

Gillard calls for a discussion of what republican model Australia should adopt in the coming years.


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