Growing up in a 21st century in which the republican debate has hardly raged, young Australians appear happy to bend to the latest breeze. Popular support for an Australian republic has been steadily shrinking since the 1999 referendum.
According to the most recent Fairfax-Nielsen poll, it is the generation who would have no real recollection of the referendum – those aged between 18 and 24 years – who are particularly alienated from the idea. Only 24 per cent of young respondents in the latest survey backed the idea of an Australian head of state. So does this apparent generational shift prove the monarchy is long to reign over us? Hardly. After suffering a tough setback in 1999, republicans reacted by promptly walking off the field. Little wonder then that monarchists have had an easy time chipping away at our lead.