Election favourite Bill Shorten, of the Labor Party, announced plans for a vote on the British monarchy and becoming a republic thanks to a colossal funding drive. The vote to oust the monarch could take place as soon as 2021, he said ahead of Australia’s election on May 18. Party spokesman Matt Thistlethwaite told the Sydney Morning Herald the question on the ballot card would be: “Do you support an Australian republic with an Australian head of state?”
He added: “We’re not saying it’s the most important issue but we are saying that if we are elected at the next election, it’s one of the issues that Labor will attempt to deal with during our first term.
“One of the reasons it’s not the focus of people’s attention at the moment is because we haven’t had that national leadership.”
The last time Australia had a vote to become a republic in 1999 saw 55 percent of residents vote in favour of keeping the Queen as their head of state.
That referendum did not have the support of the Prime Minister of that period, as John Howard strongly campaigned against it.
A recent poll suggests a new referendum would see Australia vote in favour of ousting the Queen from the constitution.
An Essential poll taken last November showed 52.4 percent of Australians were keen to get rid of the Queen and replace her with a president.
Australia’s two main parties Labor and the Liberal are keen on holding a second referendum.
News of the drive comes days after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle presented their newborn Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world.
Archie Harrison, who is believed to have been a week overdue, was introduced to the world from St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle two days after his birth.
A radiant Meghan described her son as having the “sweetest temperament”, and movingly said Archie and Harry were “the two best guys in the world”.
Prince Harry has since fulfilled his official commitments by travelling to The Netherlands for the launch of the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games. Whilst in The Hague Harry was showered with gifts for the little tot, including an adorable ‘Invictus Games’ baby grow. The Duke of Sussex, who could not hide his excitement throughout the event said Archie has “given him a new focus and goal”.