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Opposition to Australian republic movement at highest level this century: poll
Last Updated: 2018-04-10 10:33 | Xinhua
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Opposition to Australia becoming a republic has hit its highest level since 1999, a poll has found.

A special Newspoll, published on Tuesday, revealed that the rate of Australians who would support becoming a republic remained steady at 50 percent while opposition rose to 41 percent with 9 percent uncommitted.

It is the highest percentage of Australians in opposition to a republic recorded by Newspoll since the 1999 republic referendum.

At the referendum, in which current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ran the republican campaign, 54.87 percent of voting Australians opposed deposing the British monarch as Australia's head of state.

However, when asked if they would support a republic if Prince Charles, who has been in Australia for the past week to officially open the Commonwealth Games, ascends to the throne, 55 percent said they would with 35 percent against.

Turnbull's government has vowed to back Prince Charles as the hereditary successor to Queen Elizabeth II whose 66 years on the throne makes her the longest-reigning British monarch in history.

Turnbull will travel to London in mid-April where he will attend the Queen's last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting as she continues to reduce her responsibilities.

Tuesday's Newspoll suggested that republic supporters were becoming less committed with 25 percent of 1639 respondents said they were "strongly in favor" of Australia becoming independent from Britain; the lowest level since Newspoll first asked the question.

Voters aged 50 years or older were more likely to be passionate about the issue than 18-34 year olds with 54 percent of the older group either strongly in favor or strongly against compared to 38 percent of the younger group.

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