Support for an Australian republic has again slipped, with just 36% of voters supporting a republic, according to today’s Essential Report poll, although there’s greater support for waiting until the death of the current monarch, Elizabeth Windsor.
Support for a republic has waxed and waned in recent years — it was as high as 41% in 2011 but plunged into the low 30s in 2014, with opposition to a republic at one stage overtaking support, 42% to 33%. Support crept back to 39% in September, but has fallen back three points since then, while opposition is up two points to 31%. Coalition voters remain wedded to monarchism, with 43% opposed to a republic and just 30% supporting it. Men are significantly more likely to support a republic than women.
Coalition voters are happier with the idea of a republic at the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, supporting it 41% to 38%, while overall voters support it 45% to 29%. Older voters have the strongest views: 47% of voters over 55 support a republic at the end of the current reign, 35% oppose it and just 18% have no opinion, a much lower figure than younger voters.
Asked if Australia will “ever” become a republic, 56% of voters say it will and 24% of voters say no, with little difference between party affiliation.
There’s much greater opposition among voters to changing the flag, changing the national anthem or changing the date of Australia Day from the divisive January 26th, which commemorates the date of British invasion. Just 23% of voters support changing the day of Australia Day, while 59% oppose it, with 35% saying they are “strongly” opposed. Support is much stronger among Greens voters and under-35s. There’s 28% support for changing the national anthem from innocuous dirge Advance Australia Fair and 54% opposition, and 33% support for changing the flag, but 55% opposition.
On voting intention, the Coalition vote remains at 44% and Labor’s vote on 35%, with the Greens up a point to 11%, for a two-party preferred outcome of 51%-49% in the government’s favour, down a point from last week.