3 Sep 2018

Polls show New Caledonia majority against independence

4:30 pm on 3 September 2018

A new survey in New Caledonia has found that an overwhelming majority won't vote for independence from France in the referendum on November 4.

The poll was carried out by the TNS franchise in Noumea, Quid Novi, and published by the La Depeche de Nouvelle Caledonie blog.

Questioning more than 2,600 people three times over three months, the poll found that between 69 and 75 percent are against independence.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.

Kanak and French flags Photo: AFP

The pollsters say they expect 86 percent of eligible voters to cast their ballots.

The poll suggests that among Kanak voters 52 percent are for independence, whereby 59 percent of men are for it but only 45 percent of women.

It also found that 36 percent of eligible voters say New Caledonia could become independent one day but was not ready yet.

It also found that another 36 percent believe independence is not viable.

The November referendum concludes the 20-year Noumea Accord which has seen a gradual transfer of powers from France.

The vote will determine if New Caledonia assumes control over police, defence, the judiciary, international relations and its currency.