A referendum on Australia becoming a republic would not pass if a vote were held today.
That’s according to a Resolve poll, which found only 46 per cent of Australians answered “yes” when asked if they would support the nation amending the constitution and ditching its links to the monarchy.
It comes amid calls for discussion about Australia appointing its own head of state following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, although Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has repeatedly said it was not the right time to discuss a republic push.
The Resolve poll – published in Nine newspapers – found Victoria was the only state in which the majority of respondents would back a republic.
A referendum would also barely pass among younger Australians, with 54 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 in support of breaking ties with the British monarchy.
Some 75 per cent of respondents said the Queen had done a good job in her reign, while 45 per cent said King Charles III would do well as Australia’s head of state.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the poll should be seen in the context of the support for Queen Elizabeth and her family following the monarch’s death.
“I don’t think we should read too much into polls about the republic in the immediate aftermath of such a historic moment as the death of Queen Elizabeth II,” he told ABC Radio.
“I really feel that all that’s taken place in the last couple of weeks since the Queen’s passing is about acknowledging an incredible human being. ”
The late monarch will be mourned in a national memorial service at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday during a one-off public holiday for the nation.
The service won’t be open to the public, although Finance Minister Katy Gallagher noted there had been a number of commemorative events in the nation’s capital to date.
“I can imagine this memorial service, there are some constraints on it, including those who attend the service, and those challenges have just had to be weighed up by the people who are organising it,” she told ABC TV.
“But I certainly feel, as a Canberran, there have been a number of opportunities for the general public to come forward and share in this very historic occasion.”
There will be a number of Australian flourishes at the service, including a 1954 painting of the Queen by eight-time Archibald Prize winner Sir William Dargie.
The painting will be surrounded by Australia’s floral emblem, the golden wattle, and some of her favourite flowers, sweet peas and dahlias.
Thursday’s service will be broadcast live across the nation from 11am (AEST) and begin with a minute’s silence.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the service would allow the nation to reflect on the late Queen’s life of dedication and service.
“Her Majesty had a deep affection with Australia and Australians have remembered her fondly since her passing,” he said.
“The Queen lived her life with an air of dignity and grace that will be remembered for centuries to come.”