10 May 2014

New Caledonia election campaign ends

6:56 am on 10 May 2014

Campaigning has ended in New Caledonia for tomorrow's provincial elections.

A total of 76 seats will have to be filled in the three provincial assemblies, with 54 of these members also sitting in the new Congress.

17 lists are contesting the poll and according to French law, the parties have alternate men and women on their lists.

The focus is on the southern province, which is dominated by the anti-independence camp but where the rival pro-independence side is standing with a unitary list.

Observers say with the splits among the loyalists, the pro-independence side is likely to make gains.

The next Congress will be tasked with organising a referendum on possible independence during its five-year term as stipulated in he 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, which has been the territory's decolonisation road map.