LONDON, May 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- More Australians would vote to become a republic than to keep the monarchy, according to new research from Lord Ashcroft Polls. However, more also think the country would choose to stick with the Crown than make the change in a referendum tomorrow, and a clear majority said there were more important issues for the country to deal with.
How countries where King Charles is head of state would vote tomorrow in a referendum on the monarchy - Lord Ashcroft Polls
Findings from the survey include:
- 35% of Australians said they would vote to remain a constitutional monarchy in a referendum tomorrow, while 42% would vote to become a republic. More than 1 in 5 said they didn't know or wouldn't vote - more than the gap between the two sides.
- However, Australians were slightly more likely to think an immediate referendum would produce a victory for the status quo (39%) than that the country would choose to become a republic (38%); nearly a quarter (23%) said they didn't know what the result would be. Most (57%) thought the country would become a republic if a referendum were held in 10 years.
- Among those voting to keep the status quo, only 43% said the monarchy was "a good thing and we should keep it". Most thought either that "the alternative we end up with would probably be worse" (35%) or that "the process of changing from the monarchy would probably be too disruptive" (18%).
- Only just over half (51%) of pro-republic voters said the change would bring "real, practical benefits" to Australia; 38% said the monarchy was wrong in principle and should be replaced whether there are practical benefits or not. 73% of pro-republic voters said "I was happy to continue with the monarchy under Queen Elizabeth, but now I think it's time for change."
- 77% of Australians, including 82% of pro-republic voters, agreed that "in an ideal world we wouldn't have the monarchy, but there are more important things for the country to deal with."
- Australians were slightly more likely to disagree (58%) than agree (42%) that the King can unite everyone in the country whoever they voted for. However, more believed that the monarchy is "a valuable force for stability and continuity" (52%) than "part of a colonialist past that has no place in Australia today" (48%).
- Australians were more likely to think becoming a republic would make no difference to their relationship with the UK (41%) than that it would weaken ties (38%). More than two thirds (68%) said they would want Australia to remain in the Commonwealth if the country became a republic.
- Asked where their sympathies lay between Prince Harry and other royals, 16% of Australians said they had more sympathy for Prince Harry and Meghan, and 27% for the King and Prince William; 15% had sympathy for both and 39% for neither.
- Apart from Australia, the polling found five other countries in which more said they would vote to become a republic than to keep the monarchy if a referendum were held tomorrow: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Canada, Jamaica and the Solomon Islands.
2,012 adults in Australia were interviewed online in February and March 2023, and four focus groups were held in Sydney and Brisbane. A total of 22,701 people were interviewed in the 15 countries in which King Charles is head of state. The full report, Uncharted Realms: The Future of the Monarchy in the UK and Around the World, together with full data for each country, is available for free at LordAshcroftPolls.com
LORD ASHCROFT KCMG PC is an international businessman, philanthropist, pollster and author. He is a former Deputy Chairman of the UK Conservative Party and honorary Chairman of the International Democrat Union. His recent political books include Going For Broke: The Rise of Rishi Sunak, First Lady: Intrigue at the Court of Carrie and Boris Johnson, and Red Knight: The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer.