The British journalist Jonathon Pearlman reports on Australia for the London Daily Telegraph and the Singapore Straits Times.
In a column for Australian pages of The Spectator, he mentions the unmentionable.
"I wonder if anyone aside from me, David Flint, Malcolm Turnbull and the other British media correspondents noticed that one issue that made almost no appearance in the campaign was the republic," he asks.
"Abbott was once executive director of the constitutional monarchists (and I admit that I sometimes also referred to him as a staunch monarchist’ or a ‘staunch Catholic’, or both), yet the issue did not arise.
"This might have been the new baby prince’s small contribution to the campaign, or maybe the issue was drowned out by the debate over same-sex marriage; either way, the apathy probably favoured Abbott."
In the same issue John O Sullivan, a former editor makes party loyalties are changing, and that this is "a chance in a generation to realign the parties. Abbott knows it, and he directs his appeal to the forgotten families and the Howard battlers, emphasising the moral value of work as well as its economic necessity. Mining constituencies obviously respond to such appeals. So do voters in strong Labor areas who support the monarchy.''
That was something the Labor politicians didn't understand in 1999, and nor did many of the Liberals.
Inner city elite republicanism is completely alien to rank and file Australians, so much so the politicans dare not mention it when they go to the people.
Even with the almost total support of the commentariat and vast wealth, the preferred model designed by the republicans best brains was defeated in 1999 nationally, in every state and 72% of electorates.