Sydney, Nov.8 (ANI): Ten years to the day since Australians voted to keep the Queen as head of state, a new opinion poll suggests that 59 percent now want a republic.
Most of the country's political leaders would also like to cut ties with the monarchy, but Her Majesty's personal popularity is likely to stall attempts to dethrone her Down Under.
This week in Sydney members of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy gathered to celebrate what they call the anniversary of Affirmation Day.
Their leader Professor David Flint brushed aside suggestions that it is anachronistic having the Queen of a foreign country as your sovereign.
"We don't regard her as a foreigner. She doesn't come here on a passport. She is the Queen of Australia and therefore she is Australian," Sky News quoted him, as saying.
John Howard was prime minister during the referendum and led the defence of the monarchy, said: "I don't find as I move around Australia people talking about this issue. It's dropped off as a passionate issue. That's not to say it won't come back."
Kevin Rudd, who succeeded Howard as prime minister, is an avowed republican, and did not take an oath of allegiance to the Queen when he was sworn in.
He has said publicly that the issue is well down his list of priorities and both major party leaders share the same view.
Malcolm Turnbull speaks warmly of Australia's links with Britain, insists there was nothing anti-British about being pro-republic, and admits that the issue was off the agenda for now.
"My own judgement is that it would be unsuccessful, to put it mildly, to propose a referendum on the republic until the end of the Queen's reign," he said.
"But the reign will come to an end at some point; that will be the end of an era, and that would be the logical time for Australians to reconsider this issue," he added. (ANI)