William's successful tour of Australia causes support for a republic to drop by 14%

Prince William's hugely successful tour of Australia has caused the support for Australia to become a republic to drop by a whopping 14%.

A minority of Australians - 44% - are in favour of becoming a republic and 27% are opposed to ditching the Queen as Head of State.

And Aussies look like they still wish to retain their links to the Mother Country.

Incredibly, an astonishing 45% of Australians are opposed to ditching the Union Jack from their flag, and just 27% were in favour.

Even in the age group most likely to support a republic - those between 35 and 49 years - only 47 per cent said they wanted to sever ties with the UK.

Republicanism failed in Australia in 1999 when the Aussies voted to retain the Monarchy. In that referendum, the support for a republic was below 50% in every state except Victoria, where 50.1% of people voted for a republic.

Britain and Australia may be deadly rivals in the world of rugby, cricket and the Olympics, but politically the Aussies wish to remain close to the British.

Prince William's successful tour of Australia cuts Republican support for ditching monarchy

By Rebecca English
24th January 2010
Daily Mail

Prince William's well-received trip to Australia appears to have given the monarchist cause a boost.

A poll published in one of the country's leading Sunday newspapers found 44 per cent of respondents were in favour of becoming a republic - a 14 per cent drop in previous figures.

Twenty seven per cent were actively opposed to losing the Queen as head of state, while the remaining 29 per cent were uncommitted.

Prince William gets a kiss as he greets the crowds in Melbourne

Asked whether they would support a decision to remove the Union Jack from their flag, an astonishing 45 per cent of Australian opposed the move.

Just 27 per cent were in favour of the move while 28 per cent were uncommitted.

Monarchists were triumphant at the poll, published in The Sunday Telegraph, which was conducted during Prince William's whirlwind tour last week of Sydney and Melbourne.

It marked a significant shift from the mid 1990s when up to 59 per cent of respondents supported a republic.

Even in the highest pro-republic age bracket - between 35 and 49 years - only 47 per cent said they wanted to sever ties with the UK.

Sentiment on the issue is increasingly uncertain, with 29 per cent undecided, as opposed to 15 per cent previously.

Prince William with Serena Williams at the Australian Open

Dr David Flint from the organisation Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy welcomed the poll, saying: 'To have only 44 per cent of people in favour of a vague idea of some sort of republic tells us what the politicians already know - there will not be a republic during the reign of the present Queen.

'These results look pretty dismal for the republicans, who will always be disadvantaged until they put forward a model for the type of republic they want.'

Although his three-day trip to Australia was actually only conducted on a semi-official basis (and was, therefore, paid for personally by the Queen) William's brief sojourn in the country sparked the kind of scenes not witnessed since the visit of his late mother, Princess Diana, who remains hugely popular with large swathes of the population.

45% of Australians wish to retain the British flag in their flag, and just 27% wish to ditch it

His public engagements attracted crowds several thousand strong and dominated the television news headlines each night.

Crowds gather for Prince William's visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney

Republicans insist, however, that while the prince's charm offensive has prompted a spike in support for the British monarchy, the effect is unlikely to last.

Australian Republican Movement chairman Michael Keating said: 'There is a very large number of people who don't know which way they would vote and that is a concern not only for us but for the country as a whole.'

Last week a spokesman for the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appeared to suggest that the republican issue would still be very much on his agenda if he were to secure a second term in office later this year.

'Her Majesty is well loved in Australia and we'll have a referendum on becoming a republic in due season,' they said.

'The Rudd government is committed in terms of its pre-election platform and the platform of the party in moving Australia towards a republic. That continues to be the party's position.'

Last edited by Blackleaf; Jan 24th, 2010 at 11:43 AM..
You are being somewhat disingenuous. There is a difference between a republic and a parliamentary democracy with a locally-chosen head of state. The real figure is the 27%. Only 27% of Australians want the British monarch as their head of state.

And, the term "mother country" may be applicable to Aussies (Well not to the original peoples!), but in a cosmopolitan country such as Canada, that is not the case.

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