Canadians' desire to drop monarchy reaches 'historic level': poll
TORONTO -- A new poll has found that the desire among Canadians to drop the monarchy is at the highest level recorded in the past 12 years.
The poll, conducted by Research Co., found that 45 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they would prefer to have an elected head of state instead of the Queen, when considering Canada's constitution.
Research Co. reported that one in four Canadians (24 per cent) said they would like to see Canada remain a monarchy, while 19 per cent said they "do not care either way" and 13 per cent were undecided.
"In four previous national surveys conducted from 2009 to 2020 using this same question, support for an elected head of state had never surpassed the 40 per cent mark across Canada," Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said in the release.
"Men (51 per cent), Canadians aged 35 to 54 (46 per cent), Quebecers (57 per cent) and Liberal Party voters in 2019 (50 per cent) are more likely to be in favour of having an elected head of state in the country," he added.
The poll also noted that only 22 per cent of participants want to see Prince Charles, the first in line for the throne, become King after the Queen dies or abdicates, while 35 per cent said they would rather see Prince William ascend to the throne.
Among those Canadians who said they would like the monarchy to continue, 47 per cent reported that they would prefer Prince William as the future King to Prince Charles (39 per cent).
The Queen is currently the head of state in 16 countries, including the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several other nations in the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean.
Barbados' government announced plans in September for the island nation to drop the Queen as head of state and become a republic later this year. Since then, there has been speculation that other Commonwealth countries will cut ties to the monarchy too, including Canada.
If Barbados removes the Queen as its head of state, it would be the first country to do so in nearly three decades. Mauritius was the last country to drop the Queen as its head of state, in 1992.
Research Co. found that just under half of Canadians surveyed (49 per cent) think Canada will "definitely" or "probably" be a monarchy two decades from now. However, 31 per cent of respondents said they believe the country will have an elected head of state by 2041.
The poll reported that residents of Ontario (53 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (51 per cent) were most likely to predict that Canadians will be able to elect a head of state in the next 20 years.
This prediction was lowest for respondents living in Quebec, with only 44 per cent forecasting that Canadians would get a say in its head of state.
Compared to its last survey in February 2020, Research Co. reported that there is "little fluctuation" in how Canadians view members of the Royal Family.
According to the poll results, 70 per cent of those surveyed hold a "favourable view" of the Queen with "similarly high proportions" reporting they feel the same about Prince William (67 per cent) and Prince Harry (66 per cent).
The poll noted that the majority of Canadians also have a "favourable opinion" of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge (64 per cent), Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex (54 per cent), and Prince Philip (51 per cent).
The survey found that the "lowest favourability ratings" among members of the Royal Family continue to be Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who logged 41 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.
Research Co. says its poll results are based on an online study of 1,000 adults in Canada conducted from Feb. 21-23, 2021. The firm says the data has been “statistically weighted” according to Canadian census figures for age, gender, and region. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, according to Research Co.