Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As fears over the state of health of the Spanish monarch, King Juan Carlos, continue to hit the headlines the Spanish people have indicated their support for his son and his suitability to inherit the crown.

In a survey 79 per cent said they think the Príncipe de Asturias has the support and social legitimacy to succeed the king and 86 per cent, including 71 per cent of Izquierda Unida voters, say he will be prepared to eventually take on the functions of the head of state. The IU traditionally supports a republic rather than a monarchy.

The survey ‘Pulso de España 2010” was carried out by the Fundación José Ortega y Gassat and Gregorio Marañon. It also showed that 69 per cent of those who voted IU at the last general election back the prince as the legitimate heir to his father.

The report was drawn up between September 24 and November 5 of last year with 5,000 people questioned. It showed that the majority of Spaniards preferred a parliamentary monarch as the best system of government for the country. However support for this is on the decline with over a two year period support dropping from 72 to 57 per cent whilst those supporting a republic have grown from 11 to 35 per cent.

By age group 78 per cent of those below 35 years supports the view Prince Felipe should be king, those over 55 give him 74 per cent support but it is the 35 to 54 age group that boosts his standing with 83 per cent.

On a scale of 10 an average of 6.7 approve of how Prince Felipe performs his role. That rises to 7.3 amongst Partido Popular voters, dips to 6.8 for supporters of PSOE and collapses to 4.9 amongst the far left of Izquierda Unida.

On two key questions the support from PSOE and PP voters is very close. Asked if he has the social support to be king PSOE support is 83 per cent with the PP on 79 and asked if he is adequately prepared for the job of head of state 89 per cent of PSOE voters say yes to 88 in the PP.

Should Spain be a republic rather than a monarchy? Those who voted IU in 2008 back a republic with 81 per cent, but that slips to 40 per cent amongst socialists and just 15 per cent of the centre right PP.

King Juan Carlos has ruled over Spain for 35 years and 7.3 of his fellow country folk say he has done a good job. That number rises to 7.5 amongst PSOE voters, jumps again to 7.8 for the PP but slips to 5.5 for the IU.

Finally 74 per cent of those questioned think the monarchy is firmly consolidated in the country, 56 per cent consider it has brought stability and serenity to public life but 65 per cent say whilst it has been useful in overseeing the transition to democracy its importance is gradually declining.

It would be interesting to know how the people of Britain view Prince Charles’ readiness to inherit the crown or whether his future “subjects” believe it should skip a generation and pass to his son. In this modern age do Britons want a fuddy duddy as monarch or would they prefer William and Kate? Prince Felipe faces no such challenge as he is comparatively young and his daughter has some years to go before she would be of age to become Queen.

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