Canadians Conflicted on Future Role of Monarchy as Half (54%) Say Canada Should End Ties to Monarchy

Most (82%) Say Queen Elizabeth II did a Good Job in her Role as Monarch, but Fewer (56%) are Confident King Charles III will Do the Same

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, September 16, 2022 – Canadians are conflicted on the future role of the monarchy with roughly half believing we should sever ties to the monarchy, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. Canadians see both positives and negatives to having the monarchy as our head of state and these mixed opinions would likely not be conclusive enough to achieve the relative consensus that is required for constitutional change.

Canadians are clear on one thing: eight in ten (82%) believe Queen Elizabeth II did a good job in her role as monarch, with this final approval rating coming in 3 points higher than it did in 2021. However, underscoring the uncertainty of the future of the monarchy in Canada, only a slim majority (56%) agree (10% strongly/46% somewhat) that they are confident that King Charles III will do a good job in his role as monarch.

Canadians are very much split on their opinions when it comes to the monarchy in Canada. Roughly half (54%) agree (20% strongly/33% somewhat) that now that Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has ended, Canada should end its formal ties to the British monarchy. This sentiment is down 5 points from 2021, but up from 44% in 2011. Conversely, 46% disagree (19% strongly/27% somewhat) that Canada should sever ties, up 5 points. Those under the age of 55 are more likely to agree (57%) that links should be severed compared to those 55 and older (49%). Regionally, Quebecers are most inclined to agree (79%), feeling much more strongly about it than those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (54%), British Columbia (46%), Atlantic Canada (45%), Ontario (45%) and Alberta (42%). In total, 46% of those in English Canada support ending formal ties, compared to 79% of Quebecers.

Despite the mixed feelings, Canadians want their voices heard. A majority (58%) of Canadians agree (20%/38% somewhat) that Justin Trudeau should hold a referendum on the future of the monarchy in Canada, while four in ten (42%) disagree (16% strongly/26% somewhat) with this idea. Support for a referendum is up 5 points now that the late Queen has passed.

Arguments for Keeping the Monarchy in Canada

Canadians see some valid arguments for keeping the monarchy in Canada:

  • A majority (55%) agrees (17% strongly/38% somewhat) that the constitutional monarchy helps to define Canadian identity and should continue to be our form of government, unchanged from 2021. However, when this question was first asked in 2002, 62% were in agreement.
  • Six in ten (60%) agree (16%/44% somewhat) that the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Catherine, will help keep the monarchy relevant to Canadians, but this is down 7 points since 2016.
  • Only 43% agree (13% strongly/30% somewhat) that the monarchy has too much of a role in Canadian affairs, leaving 57% who disagree.
  • Six in ten (60%) agree (14% strongly/46% somewhat) that Canada’s relationship with the monarchy is useful because it helps to keep us different from the United States.
  • Six in ten (61%) agree (19% strongly/42% somewhat) that traditions like Canada’s relationship with the monarchy are important to our heritage and help to make Canada and Canadians who we are.

Arguments for Abolishing the Monarchy in Canada

Conversely, many agree with arguments in support of severing ties with the British Crown:

  • Six in ten (63%) agree (27% strongly/36% somewhat) that the King and Royal family should not have any formal role in Canadian society as the royals are simply celebrities and nothing more, down 3 points since 2021.
  • Only 47% agree (9% strongly/38% somewhat) that King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will help keep the monarchy relevant to Canadians, leaving 53% who disagree.
  • A majority (57%) agrees (21% strongly/36% somewhat) that the monarchy is too linked to the history of colonialism and slavery to have a place in today’s Canadian society.
  • A similar proportion (57%) agrees (17% strongly/39% somewhat) that Canada is not truly an independent nation if it continues to support the monarchy.

Canadians are split down the middle on a few arguments. First, on whether they agree (49% -- 12% strongly/37% somewhat) or disagree (51% -- 17% strongly/34% somewhat) that the monarchy provides Canadians with stability during precarious times; second, on whether they agree (48% -- 18% strongly/29% somewhat) or disagree (52% -- 19% strongly/33% somewhat) that Canada should no longer have a relationship with the former British Empire and should quit the Commonwealth of Nations.

Canadians Mixed on their Feelings about King Charles III, Unfavourable towards Queen Consort

With King Charles III new to his role, Canadians appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach to how he handles himself as monarch and are nearly evenly split on whether they see him favourably or unfavourably. His children and their wives are more liked than he is. However, the real challenge may be for Camilla, Queen Consort, who is coming into her role with twice as many Canadians viewing her unfavourably as favourably.

Person

% Favourable (very/somewhat)

% Unfavourable (very/somewhat)

Don’t know enough about them either way

King Charles III

44%

(11%/33%)

40%

(17%/21%)

16%

Camilla, Queen Consort

27%

(6%/21%)

51%

(22%/28%)

22%

William, Prince of Wales

66%

(23%/42%)

18%

(7%/11%)

16%

Catherine, Princess of Wales

61%

(23%/37%)

19%

(8%/12%)

20%

Harry, Duke of Sussex

56%

 (19%/37%)

25%

(12%/13%)

19%

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

50%

(18%, 32%)

32%

(18%/15%)

18%

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 13 and 14, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell J. Bricker, PhD
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
[email protected]

Sean Simpson
Senior Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2002
[email protected]

 

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs

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