May 5

Support for republic collapses in New Zealand


 The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has had a dramatic impact on approval of the Royal family and whether people expect New Zealand to become a republic, according to a UMR Research poll.

The Australian UMR generally finds higher support for a vague undefined republic than the major Australian pollsters.

The Australian UMR proceeds on the basis of a poll, but does the polling online.

This will dismay not only the small NZ republican movement. It works closely with the Australian and United Kingdom movements, and also a smaller Canadian movement.

As we noted here, the leadership of these four seems to have been assumed –  rather ironically – by the United Kingdom group -see report here, “Colonial Republicanism” 

….massive turn-around…

The pollster says that  “ Approval of the Royal family has leaped to 74% from the 60% it stood at back in July 2002 when the question was last asked.

 “There has also been a massive turn-around in expectations about whether New Zealand will become a republic in the next 20 years. Back in 2005, a clear majority (58%) expected the country to become one in that time with less than one-third (29%) saying it would not. Today, 52% don’t expect New Zealand to become a republic and only 33% expect it will.

 “Not surprisingly, opposition to New Zealand becoming a republic is stronger than it has been for over decade. Today, only 24% support the country becoming a republic and 58% are opposed with 18% unsure.”

The Australian experience is that especially on this issue the unsure or uncommitted tend to vote No in a referendum. A large number prefer not to reveal their voting intentions.

…large number watched wedding closely…

(Continued below)

The survey also showed that about half of adult New Zealanders (53%) watched the wedding closely.

“Women were by far the most interested with 62% watching it closely compared 43% of men. Although interest was strongest among those over 60 with 64% watching it closely, half of those under 30 years of age (53%) also watched it closely
“Interestingly, one-third (32%) of those who disapprove of the Royal family and 42% of Republicans also watched the wedding closely.

…no age variation..

Unlike Australian,there is little variation among age groups . In Australia, support for a republic is at lower levels among the aged and the young.   “Support for New Zealand becoming a republic varies relatively little by age, but 31% of men are Republicans compared to only 19% of women.”

…no republic “on my watch”

 John Key, the Prime Minister, told  the London Daily Telegraph’s reporter in Wellington, Paul Chapman, that  the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton  had "unquestionably" revived monarchist sentiment in New Zealand.

His predecessor, Helen Clark, is an avowed republican and once declared that the switch to a republic was "inevitable".Mr. Key said "My feeling is that many New Zealanders support the retention of the royal family as the head of state."It's not universal and never will be, but there is still an overwhelming support," he added.Mr Key has vowed that there will be no move towards a republic "on my watch".One of the first acts of his National party government was to restore knighthoods, which had been abolished under Labour.Simon O'Connor, chairman of Monarchy New Zealand, said the Royal Wedding had "brought attention back to why the monarchy is something we enjoy being part of".



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