The newspoll on the republic in The Australian, 21-22 January, 2006 is comforting, as I told the Southern Cross network station Radio 2UE.
Those “strongly in favour” of a vague republic have fallen to 27% from 32% last year. The total of those partly and strongly in favour remains at 46%, down from 51-52% from 1999 to 2003.
What is encouraging is that when the age and sex of the respondents is taken into account, there is a bell shaped curve. The strongest support for a republic comes from middle aged males. Only 23% of the young are strongly in favour.
Another question relating to Prince Charles becoming King has been added. This is of course while the long campaign against Charles is still being felt. But that is turning, and is sure to change. The republicans have done their worst. Soon Charles considerable qualities will be more and more recognized.
The strongly in favour in answer to this are 36%, and the total in favour is 52%. The same bell curve is there, with women, the aged and the young being less inclined to a republic than middle aged men. The point is that on all these figures, a referendum at any time is doomed. Putting aside any margin of error, it is clear that after a public debate on a specific model, the people will choose the existing constitution.
The other point about the poll is that on these figures a vague plebiscite would also be lost, provided the constitutional monarchists remain strong.
Which we shall.