Less than half of UK prefer the monarchy to an elected head of state, new poll finds

Support for the monarchy is now at 45%

King Charles

A new poll has found that less than half of the public prefer the monarchy to an elected head of state. Polling firm YouGov found that when asked, just 45% of people said they would prefer the monarchy to an elected head of state. Support for an elected head of state is lower, on 31%.

The poll was commissioned by Republic – a campaign group which advocates for the abolition of the monarchy and for the UK to have an elected head of state.

According to the poll, support for the monarchy is highest among Conservative voters and the over 50s, among whom a majority said they would prefer the monarchy. The monarchy also has its highest support in England out of the four nations that make up the UK.

50% of 18-24s said they would prefer an elected head of state, compared to just 19% who prefer the monarchy. A plurality (47%) of Labour voters also said they support an elected head of state. Support for an elected head of state was found to be higher than support for the monarchy in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Republic’s CEO Graham Smith said: “Clearly the spell is broken, the public are rapidly losing interest in the royals and support for the monarchy is collapsing year on year. While this poll is a one-off snapshot, the pattern across polls suggests support for the monarchy is collapsing.

“This poll supports the Savanta poll we commissioned last week, which put the monarchy on 48% The monarchy no longer commands the support of the British people. It’s time it went, it’s time for that serious public debate about the democratic alternative.”

24% of the public said they didn’t know which they would prefer. Republic says this indicates that there needs to be more public debate on the constitutional issue. Smith said: “To broadcasters and the wider media, we need to have that informed debate, where people can make a clearer choice. To our politicians, the monarchy is no longer a settled issue. Now is the time the institution must face scrutiny and accountability.”

He continued: “That democratic alternative, far from being unknown and untested, is common across Europe. A parliamentary democracy similar to what we have today, but transformed into a political system that is principled, genuinely democratic throughout, transparent and accountable.

“It is a system that in places like Ireland, Iceland, Germany and Finland has provided not only stable and effective government, but also some exceptional and inspiring heads of state.

“Yet this isn’t about importing ideas from abroad, but about learning from Britain’s own political experience and traditions and creating a republic we all have a stake in. The country desperately needs to renew our democratic institutions, this is a good place to start.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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