After only a few months in the job, Australia’s new High Commissioner to the UK Stephen Smith has revealed his thoughts on whether Australia will become a republic, claiming the move is “inevitable”.
Smith believes that although there is “a lot of affection and respect for the monarchy in Australia” the majority of Britain would be “indifferent” to Australia’s move towards a republic.
“That affection and respect hasn’t gone away because of Australia contemplating from time to time what it should do about its constitutional arrangements,” Smith told The Times.
“My personal view is it’s inevitable. But how that’s progressed is entirely a matter for the Australian government of the day.
“Australia does not have referendums on an all too regular basis.
“Whether down the track there is a future referendum associated with Australia and the UK’s constitutional arrangements, only time will tell.”
The debate regarding whether Australia should move away from the Monarchy has raged on for some time with the issue coming to the fore particularly in the last few months following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ongoing drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The release of Harry’s memoir titled Spare, in which he details the ongoing feud between himself and his brother, caused Australians to say they’ve had enough, with a poll suggesting the majority are simply fed up with all drama.
The poll, conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald, found that 40 per cent of poll participants were in favour of leaving the Monarchy, with 22 per cent saying they strongly agree Australia should become a republic and 18 per cent were somewhat in favour.
Of the 1,606 voters, 21 per cent said their opinion was swayed by the controversial Prince’s memoir.
The results stood in stark contrast to a poll taken shortly after the passing of the Queen in September 2022 and the beginning of King Charles III’s reign.
In the poll conducted by Roy Morgan, 60 per cent of Australians were in support of remaining a Monarchy, up 5 per cent since the last poll on the matter in November 2012, while support for a republic dropped 5 per cent to 40 per cent.
The independent researcher sent out 1,012 texts across the country on September 12 and asked: “In your opinion, should Australia remain a MONARCHY – or become a REPUBLIC with an elected President?”
While both genders and all ages support the Commonwealth, the results showed more women than men were in favour of Australia remaining.
“Analysis of the results by gender shows that nearly two-thirds of women (66 per cent) favour the Monarchy compared to only 34 per cent that favour a Republic with an elected President. However, the results for men are far evenly split with 54 per cent in favour of the Monarchy compared to 46 per cent that would prefer a Republic,” a statement by Roy Morgan said.
“A look at the results by age shows young Australians under 35 are the most evenly split – 52 per cent favour the Monarchy compared to 48 per cent that favour a Republic with an elected President.
“Support for the Monarchy is higher among older age groups with 58 per cent of people aged 35-49, 67 per cent of those aged 50-64 and 61 per cent of Australians aged 65+ in favour of remaining with the Monarchy.”