Ha ! The republicans have been poll-axed by Kiwis charmed by the royals

Gotta say it has been mighty cheering to read that the royal visit “appears to have rekindled interest in the British monarchy”, with almost three quarters of respondents in a Waikato Times poll in favour of retaining the Queen as head of state.

The results have been rubbished by some tosser described as a leading republican, who says Will and Kate’s celebrity status should not be confused with genuine interest in constitutional change.

But a bloody republican would say that, wouldn’t he? Or she?

Alf never doubted it for a moment, but for the record:

Opinion among Times subscribers showed a strong majority – 70 per cent of the 362 respondents – favoured retaining a British monarch over a homegrown head of state.

The vast majority of surveyed subscribers also thought the Duke and Duchess’s tour to Waikato was a success, and the tour’s $1.2 million cost to taxpayers was worthwhile.

The Times poll showed 17 per cent of respondents were in favour of New Zealand becoming a republic, while 14 per cent were undecided.

About 61 per cent of those surveyed strongly agreed that the tour would help promote New Zealand tourism.

The story quotes somebody called “New Zealand Republic campaign chairman Savage”.

Savage who?

Savage without much savvy.

He said the poll sample was unrepresentative.

“Given the indication of the demographics, the results are not a surprise for us.”

More than 82 per cent of those surveyed between April 10-16 were over the age of 50, and 63.8 per cent were women.

He said the poll was not scientific, and women and people older than 60 tended to favour the monarchy.

Because the majority of those surveyed were older than 60 (59 per cent), the Times also asked readers of waikatotimes.co.nz – who tended to be younger – what they thought.

Alf prefers to regard this as thoroughly unscientific (as is acknowledged).

When voting closed at 3.30pm on Thursday, 64 per cent of respondents were in favour of New Zealand becoming a republic with their own head of state.

The unscientific poll had a sample size of 843.

Alf salutes the wonderful people who have declared themselves in favour of the royals And he will be looking out for Thames resident Angela Thompson, next times he is visiting that splendid little town.

She owns the Corogate Cafe which contains a 3500-piece royal memorabilia collection and she said she thought the tour had awakened people’s interest in the monarchy.

Thompson, 68, also said she believed young people needed to be taught more about its history. “The older people have been loyal forever, but they are going to pass on soon and you’re going to be left with a question mark.”

Oh, and Alf is happy to put it on the record that he remonstrated with The Boss, who said recently he believed it was inevitable New Zealand would become a republic. Climate warming will have wiped us all out before that happens.

Moreover, comments left by survey respondents showed Waikato residents still feel strongly about retaining the monarchy.

“Visits like this give us all a lift, make us have pride in our country and let the rest of the world get a glimpse of us,” one reader said.

Another comment read: “Kate has set the Republican cause back by years!”

The Stuff site refers to comprehensive surveys conducted by the New Zealand Election Study after each general election between 1999 and 2008 which – it claims – showed voter support for the monarchy was declining.

In 1999, 62.2 per cent of respondents – randomly selected from registered electors – were in favour of retaining the Queen as head of state; but by 2008, only 49.6 per cent of respondents were.

Let’s have one of these comprehensive surveys now, while memories are fresh of what will be missed should we ever be so silly as to dump the monarchy.

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