In brief

Support for New Caledonia’s independence from France increases in referendum, but not enough to win

53.3% of voters chose to maintain ties with France · The pro-independence bloc can force the call for a third ballot in 2022

Line of voters at the 4 October 2020 referendum.
Line of voters at the 4 October 2020 referendum. Author: FLNKS Officiel
The majority of voters in New Caledonia, as in 2018, opposed independence from France in the second self-determination referendum that was held today in the Pacific Ocean territory. The difference between opponents and supporters was, however, narrower than two years ago. The pro-independence movement believes 2022 could be the key date for victory.

53.3% of voters chose today to keep New Caledonia within France, while 46.7% supported full sovereignty.

In 2018, the “no” option has received 56.7% of the ballots. In other words, in two years, the difference between opponents and supporters of independence has decreased from more than 13 percentage points to less than 7.

If requested by a third of the Congress of New Caledonia, a third referendum will take place in 2022, as provided for in the Nouméa Accords. The pro-independence camp believes that from then on it can finally reverse the numbers and achieve victory.