Support for a republic low
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 30 January 2014

The questions in the two opinion polls commissioned  by the republican movement ("Cosgrove Promotion',' 29/1) were both vague, without defining what sort of ''republic'' was being proposed, writes David Flint in the Australian Financial Review 30 January, 2014," Support for a republic is not clear cut.''

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This is important because it  produces a false impression of the strength of republican support. As soon as a specific model is revealed - any model-  a significant number of supporters say they prefer the present constitution.  

One poll was also was hypothetical, asking  about what may or may not happen at the end of the present reign. Asking people what will happen years hence has limited utility.

 

 

....best measure...

 

 

Since the referendum, support for both a vague undefined republic and what is assumed to be the most popular model, direct election, has fallen significantly.

The best measure of this is by looking at a number of polls from different over an extended period of time, as we do on our site. (norepublic.com.au).

This indicates that current support, as measured by polls, is probably in the 30-40  percentile range.

 

....conclusions...

 

 

Experience in referendums indicates two important conclusions .

First,  those who say they are undecided tend to move to the No vote. This is either because they are genuinely undecided ,or because they do not really wish to reveal their intentions to a pollster.

Second, after hearing both sides in a referendum debate and reading the Yes/No booklet, a significant number of ''soft'' Yes voters switch sides.

Polling and surveying also contains a timebomb for the republicans. This is the low level of strong support for change to a republic among the young.

That is why republican politicians, who also do their own polling and focus groups,  won't touch the issue in any serious way.