The French archipelago of New Caledonia in the South Pacific appears set to remain part of France, according to partial results of an independence referendum.
Local TV network NC La 1ere reported that nearly 57 percent of voters had rejected secession in Sunday’s poll, with nearly two thirds of the ballots counted. Turnout stood at almost 80 percent, it said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said a majority of voters had chosen to remain part of France, according to AFP news agency.
The final result is set to be declared later on Sunday evening.
More than 174,000 voters registered to take part in the ballot.
The referendum, the result of a 30-year long decolonisation process, is the first vote on self-determination to be held in a French territory since Djibouti in the Horn of Africa opted for independence during a poll in 1977.