Win the Argument

We need to convince a majority of the public to support an elected head of state – and to do that we need your help. By making the case for a republic to your friends, family and colleagues you can bring our goal closer.

The monarchy's not as popular as you might think

We're often told that the monarchy enjoys “overwhelming” public support. But the reality is that while the majority may favour keeping the monarchy, most don’t hold a strong opinion on the issue.

Polling shows that many people have a critical view of the royals and do not support the way they operate – for example their secrecy or tax-avoidance – or the public money that's spent on them. Most people weren't particularly interested in the jubilee in 2012 or the royal wedding in 2011; royal events are very much a minority interest.

But given the low quality of debate about the future of the monarchy, both in parliament and the media, it's hardly surprising that many people prefer the apparent certainty of the status quo. Ultimately it's up to us – not politicians or journalists - to win them over.

People do change their minds

It can seem that people have very fixed views in favour of the monarchy, but we know from experience that people do change their minds about it.

In 1984 77% of the public thought we'd be worse off without a royal family (Ipsos MORI) - in 2012 it was 51% (ICM). In that time support for the monarchy has gone up and down depending on the actions of the royals and the strength of the republican movement. If and when Prince Charles becomes king it's likely to take a very significant dip.

But we're not going to change all those minds in one fell swoop. Think about the last time you altered your view on an important political issue – the chances are it wasn't the result of a single conversation, leaflet or newspaper article.

What's important is that we offer people an alternative, show them that republicanism is growing and provide them with the information they need to make their own minds up.

The three Ps: principle, practice and politics

When arguing for a republic, it's a case of the simpler the better - there's no point overwhelming people with reams of facts and figures.

One of the best ways to put the case for a republic is to make three key points corresponding to "three Ps”: principle, practice and politics:

  • Principle matters. Most of us claim to believe in democracy, we value our freedoms and believe we have the right to hold people to account. If we really believe in democratic values then there’s no place for the monarchy.
  • In practice the monarchy is a broken institution - it is secretive, wasteful of millions of pounds of public money and interferes in our democratic process.
  • The monarchy adversely affects the way we do politics too. The institution of the monarchy and the Crown (not the royals themselves) give vast almost unlimited powers to our politicians. This is a politicians' monarchy -it makes our government far too powerful and allows parliament to ignore the wishes of the people.

Myths about the monarchy

Of course, there are many persistent myths about the monarchy that help maintain support for it.

You can't blame people for believing these myths when they're so often repeated as fact by apparently authoritative sources such as the BBC. That's why it's so important that we challenge them head on.

To help you do that, we've put together our responses to the most common misconceptions about the monarchy:

It has no power – it's just for decoration

The Queen certainly does have power, including the power to sign international treaties and deploy British troops abroad.

It unites the country

You only have to look around to realise that Britain is no more unified than many republics – in fact,