Slim Majority (54%) of Canadians Agree that, Given the Queen’s Age, She Should Abdicate to the Next in Line

Most (84%) Believe The Queen Has Done a Good Job; Majority (55%) Supports Continued Ties Between Canada and the Monarchy after Elizabeth’s Reign

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Toronto, ON – As Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday, a slim majority (54%) of Canadians ‘agree’ (21% strongly/32% somewhat) that ‘given the Queen is turning 90 years old, she should abdicate and let the next in line assume the Throne’, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. Conversely, nearly half (46%) ‘disagree’ (18% strongly/29% somewhat) with this position, believing that the Queen should continue to reign, despite her age.

There has been a recent trend towards abdication among elderly rulers: for example, in 2013 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated and handed the throne to her son in 2013; Albert II of Belgium also abdicated in favour of his son in 2013. That year also saw Pope Benedict XVI resign, which led to the subsequent election of Pope Francis. Thinking of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, men (57%) are more likely than women (51%) to believe she should abdicate, while those aged 55+ (50%) are less supportive of the idea of her abdication than those aged 35-54 (55%) or 18-34 (56%).

Regionally, residents of Quebec (69%) are by far the most likely to believe she should step down, followed by those in Atlantic Canada (56%), British Columbia (54%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (50%), Alberta (46%) and Ontario (46%).

Queen Receives High Marks from Canadians; Majority Believes Canada’s Ties to the Monarchy Should Continue

Most (84%) Canadians ‘agree’ (39% strongly/45% somewhat) that Queen Elizabeth ‘has done a good job in her role as monarch’ – including 92% of those aged 55+. In contrast, just 16% ‘disagree’ (6% strongly/10% somewhat) that she’s fulfilled her role well. Approval of the Queen’s performance is up 3 points from 5 years ago.

The strong endorsement of her job performance has likely convinced Canadians that this country’s ties to the monarchy should be preserved – at least for the time being – and that the British Monarch should continue to act as sovereign of Canada: a majority (55%) ‘disagrees’ (26% strongly/28% somewhat) that ‘when Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends, Canada should end its formal ties to the British monarchy’, up 3 points in 5 years, while a minority (45%) ‘agrees’ (22% strongly/23% somewhat) that Canada should sever ties, down 3 points.

Moreover, six in ten (61%) Canadians ‘agree’ (22% strongly/39% somewhat) that ‘the constitutional monarchy helps to define Canadian identity and should continue to be our form of government’, while four in ten (39%) ‘disagree’ (16% strongly/23% somewhat), presumably favouring a republic-style government. This sentiment is unchanged since 2012.

Wills and Kate to Keep Monarchy Relevant to Canadians…

While Prince Charles – the Queen’s eldest son and heir apparent to the Throne – has typically been less popular than his mother, his son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, continue to be popular both at home and abroad.

Given their popularity, two in three (67%) Canadians ‘agree’ (24% strongly/43% somewhat) that ‘Prince William and Catherine will help keep the Monarchy relevant to Canadians’, while one in three (33%) ‘disagree’ (13% strongly/20% somewhat). The proportion who agrees with this statement was as high as 81% in 2011 following the Royal Wedding, but has come back down to 67%.

Canadians are mixed on whether the royals ‘are simply celebrities and nothing more, and that they shouldn’t have any formal role in Canadians society’. On this point, a little more than half (53%) ‘agree’ (24% strongly/29% somewhat), unchanged, while nearly half (47%) ‘disagree’ (19% strongly/27% somewhat).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 15 to 18, 2016, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,006 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. 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 Canadian adults 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:

Sean Simpson
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos in Canada

Ipsos is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos’ marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos in Canada is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

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Slim Majority (54%) of Canadians Agree that, Given the Queen’s Age, She Should Abdicate to the Next in Line


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs