The most recent Ipsos poll found support for Australia to be a republic was lowest among those in the 18-24 year old group, with only 26 percent support compared to 34 percent across all other age groups.
Green and Labor voters were more likely to support a republic (46 percent and 41 percent, respectively) compared to 27 percent of Coalition voters.
Among those who support the republic, 62 percent think it should happen as soon as possible and 31 percent think change should wait until the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Ipsos director Jessica Elgood said 34 percent of support for the republic was the lowest recorded by Ipsos and Nielsen polls since 1979.
He was surprised that his support was so low, but the country has been preoccupied with other problems, including wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no momentum to move to Australia to become a republic at this time,” said Elgood.
“Obviously at the turn of the century, with the referendum, there was a lot more attention to public debate.”
Ms Elgood also suggested the monarchy is unpopular at the moment, with the furore surrounding Prince Andrew a connection to the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein “Receding to the rearview mirror to some extent”.
He said former US president Donald Trump did not make the presidential system a very attractive prospect for much of Australia.
“So yes it did surprise me that it was low, but I also think there are a lot of contributing factors explaining why it got worse,” said Elgood.
Australia’s Republican Movement chairman Peter FitzSimons said the Ipsos poll was an outlier, referring to a YouGov poll in July last year that found 62 percent are Australian wants Australia’s head of state to be Australian.
“I didn’t accept the poll … we’ve had very strong support,” said FitzSimons.
Mr FitzSimons said the membership of the Australian Republican Movement had increased by 19 percent in the last six months. This is partly as a result of the release palace letters, which shows the former governor-general Sir John Kerr not telling the Queen that he plans to fire Gough Whitlam but conferring with the Queen’s private secretary about her power to do so.
“Another factor is that we are very active in things like social media, we have become much more professional,” said FitzSimons.
He said movement was relatively quiet last year because the only subjects in the city were COVID-19, lockdowns and vaccinations.
“This is not the time to talk about our big plans, but this year it will be more noisy,” said FitzSimons.
The Australian Monarchy League said it was not surprising to see republican support in Australia had declined, particularly over the past 12 months.
“The drive that is considered badly for a republic in Australia has really lost its momentum due to the growing popularity of the royal family, especially among young Australians and new citizens,” said media spokesman Jeremy Mann.
“It is evident that the majority of Australians are more than satisfied with following our current system of constitutional monarchy, which has provided stability and accountability since the founding of our great nation.”
A landmark poll in 2019 found support for Australia to be a republic at 43 percent, down 5 percentage points from his poll in 2018.
The Newspoll in 2018 found 50 percent of Australians support the republic, with 41 percent wanting to maintain a constitutional monarchy and 9 percent not committed.
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Jewel Topsfield is the social affairs editor at The Age. He has worked in Melbourne, Canberra and Jakarta as an Indonesian correspondent. He has won numerous awards including the Walkley and Lowy Institute Media Award.
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