Agreement on New Caledonia's electoral roll for the independence vote is a step closer after a nearly unanimous vote in the French Senate.
The Senate has voted in favour of a bill which seeks to broaden the terms for automatic inscription on the roll which was previously limited to New Caledonia's indigenous people.
The French overseas minister George Pau-Langevin, says it was an important moment for the future of the territory but there is still plenty of work to do.
The debate now moves to France's National Assembly.
The bill also deals with special commissions vetting a separate electoral roll used for the territory's provincial elections.
Both rolls have been at the heart of a prolonged dispute which in April led to a mass rally in Noumea against independence from France.