Ask Full Fact: does 80% of the public support the monarchy?

Published: 18th Sep 2015

We were asked: "I keep hearing 80% of UK population "support the monarchy". Can someone please point me to good evidence for this? A genuine question."

76% say it is quite or very important for Britain to continue to have a monarchy.

This comes from the British Social Attitudes survey, done by NatCen Social Research, which is perhaps the gold standard public opinion survey. They've been asking about this on and off since 1983, and the latest figures date from 2012, the Queen's diamond jubilee year, but before Prince George was born.

How important is it for Britain to keep the monarchy?

Ipsos MORI's blunter question asks people to choose between a republic and a monarchy. It shows 77% picking the monarchy in July 2013, and 80% in May 2012.

The British Social Attitudes report says that the bounce back in support for the monarchy over the last ten years shows that "the reputational decline of large public institutions is not an inevitable feature of modern Britain."

Meanwhile, there is one other national institution whose reputation did appear to be on the slide for a while, but which now has made a substantial recovery. In 1983, as many as 65 per cent said it was "very important" for Britain to continue to have a monarchy. Little more than 10 years later that figure had slumped to 32 per cent and by 2006 was just 27 per cent. Numerous items of bad news for the royal family, including the break-up of the first marriage of the Prince of Wales and the subsequent death of his first wife, Diana, seemed to take their toll. Now, however, the figure has risen back up to 45 per cent, while only four per cent think keeping the monarch is "not important at all" and five per cent say "the monarchy should be abolished". One of the country's most traditional institutions seems to have recovered much of its lost public affection.

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