A NEW poll has found just 45% of people across the UK prefer the monarchy over an elected head of state.

YouGov asked the question for the first time this week after a Savanta poll also put the monarchy on 48% last week.

In Scotland, just 33% of people prefer the royal family – the lowest figure out of all the UK nations - according to the pollster's data.

This backs up a poll from Lord Ashcroft conducted last summer which showed the majority of Scots see the monarchy as “mostly an English thing” and would vote to become a republic in the event of independence.

READ MORE: King Charles popularity is monarchy's 'worst in decades'

Similarly to the Savanta poll, the YouGov survey showed a growing number of “don’t knows” with almost a quarter of people (24%) selecting this option.

Republic, the anti-monarchy group that commissioned both poll recent polls, said this underlines the need for greater public debate and better-informed coverage of the monarchy from broadcasters such as the BBC.

In previous polls commissioned by Republic, the “don’t know” figure has sat well below 20%.

A total of 31% of people said they would like to have an elected head of state in the YouGov survey.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said: "The public are rapidly losing interest in the royals and support for the monarchy is collapsing year on year.

“While this poll is a one-off snapshot, the pattern across polls suggests support for the monarchy is collapsing.

"The monarchy no longer commands the support of the British people. It's time it went, it's time for that serious public debate about the democratic alternative.

READ MORE: It's time for a grown-up debate on future of British royal family

"To broadcasters and the wider media, we need to have that informed debate, where people can make a clearer choice. To our politicians, the monarchy is no longer a settled issue. Now is the time the institution must face scrutiny and accountability.”

Smith highlighted how the “democratic alternative” of an elected head of state is common across Europe and, in a country that needs to renew its democratic institutions, getting rid of the monarchy is a “good place to start”.

He went on: "It is a system that in places like Ireland, Iceland, Germany and Finland has provided not only stable and effective government, but also some exceptional and inspiring heads of state.

"Yet this isn't about importing ideas from abroad, but about learning from Britain's own political experience and traditions and creating a republic we all have a stake in.

"The country desperately needs to renew our democratic institutions, this is a good place to start."

Last week’s Savanta poll was the first which showed less than half the UK supported the monarchy, with fewer than half in all age groups under the age of 55 preferring the royals to an elected head of state.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard suggested a “grown up debate” was needed on the monarchy in the UK Parliament, calling the Savanta poll a “gamechanger”.

Meanwhile, Tristan Gray, convener of Scottish anti-monarchy group Our Republic, said the number of don’t knows was “depressing” and must be “fixed” with wider discussions on the issue.

He also argued that because the nepotism and entitlement of the monarchy is "baked into" many aspects of British society, lots of people feel “powerless” in the debate and would rather not give an opinion.