Australian Electoral Commission

Electoral Newsfile 87: Referendum 1999 Results Guide

Updated: 5 December 2007

On November 6 1999, Australian electors voted in a constitutional referendum on whether Australia should become a republic and whether to insert a preamble to the Constitution.

The following two questions were put to the vote on two seperate ballot papers:

A Proposed Law

To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.

A Proposed Law

To alter the Constitution to insert a preamble.

For a referendum to produce constitutional change there must be a double majority. This means that a majority of Australian voters and a majority of voters in a majority of the States must agree to the changes.

The votes of people living in any of Australia's internal or external Territories only count towards the national majority.

Neither a majority of Australian voters or a majority of voters in a majority of States accepted the proposed changes for either question put at the 1999 referendum. Therefore neither referendum question was carried.

Votes Cast
Type %
ordinary votes 83.82
absent votes 7.09
provisional votes 0.55
pre-poll votes 5.38
postal votes 3.16

Key Dates

Official Announcement: 12 August 1999

Joint media release issued by the Attorney General and the Special Minister of State.

Issue of Writ: Friday 1 October 1999

The issue of the Writ triggered the referendum process. A Writ is a document directing that a referendum be held and contains dates for the close of rolls, polling day (which must be a Saturday) and the return of the Writ.

Close of rolls: Friday 8 October 1999

Electors had until 8pm, seven days after the Writ was issued, to enrol or to update their details on the Commonwealth electoral roll.

Polling day: Saturday 6 November 1999

The day on which the majority of electors cast their vote by attending at a polling place. It must be not less than 33 days and not more than 58 days after the issue of the Writ and on a Saturday.

Return of the Writ: Tuesday 30 November

The Writs, with the results of the referendum, were returned to the Governor- General on this date.

State results – Republic question

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
NSW 1817380 46.43 2096562 53.57 3913942 99.12 34772 0.88 3948714 95.25
VIC 1489536 49.84 1499138 50.16 2988674 99.07 28063 0.93 3016737 95.35
QLD 784060 37.44 1309992 62.56 2094052 99.31 14642 0.69 2108694 94.74
WA 458306 41.48 646520 58.52 1104826 99.15 9500 0.85 1114326 94.73
SA 425869 43.57 551575 56.43 977444 99.09 8950 0.91 986394 96.00
TAS 126271 40.37 186513 59.63 3 12784 99.09 2857 0.91 315641 96.31
ACT 127211 63.27 73850 36.73 201061 99.23 1553 0.77 202614 95.31
NT 44391 48.77 46637 51.23 91028 99.07 852 0.93 91880 84.96
AUS 5273024 45.13 6410787 54.87 11683811 99.14 101189 0.86 11785000 95.13

State results – Preamble question

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
NSW 1647378 42.14 2261960 57.86 3909338 99.01 39144 0.99 3948482 95.24
VIC 1268044 42.46 1718331 57.54 2986375 98.99 30341 1.01 3016716 95.35
QLD 686644 32.81 1405841 67.19 2092485 99.23 16174 0.77 2108659 94.74
WA 383477 34.73 720542 65.27 1104019 99.06 10436 0.94 1114455 94.74
SA 371965 38.10 604245 61.90 976210 98.95 10325 1.05 986535 96.01
TAS 111415 35.67 200906 64.33 312321 98.94 3343 1.06 315664 96.32
ACT 87629 43.61 113293 56.39 200922 99.16 1696 0.84 202618 95.31
NT 35011 38.52 55880 61.48 90891 98.90 1015 1.10 91906 84.98
AUS 4591563 39.34 7080998 60.66 11672561 99.05 112474 0.95 11785035 95.13

Divisional results: Republic question

New South Wales

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Banks 34719 45.76 41156 54.24 75875 99.06 717 0.94 76592 95.44
Barton 40691 51.76 37930 48.24 78621 98.88 887 1.12 79508 94.83
Bennelong 43950 54.62 36508 45.38 80458 99.22 629 0.78 81087 95.52
Berowra 42850 51.72 39993 48.28 82843 99.34 551 0.66 83394 95.47
Blaxland 37013 48.99 38545 51.01 75558 98.31 1299 1.69 76857 94.65
Bradfield 43000 55.61 34331 44.39 77331 99.44 439 0.56 77770 95.18
Calare 27938 36.89 47788 63.11 75726 99.21 606 0.79 76332 96.52
Charlton 36720 43.70 47308 56.30 84028 99.13 739 0.87 84767 96.51
Chifley 33230 42.15 45601 57.85 78831 98.83 935 1.17 79766 95.13
Cook 36420 47.13 40862 52.87 77282 99.31 535 0.69 77817 95.60
Cowper 30100 39.39 46319 60.61 76419 99.32 523 0.68 76942 95.35
Cunningham 39450 53.63 34110 46.37 73560 99.11 661 0.89 74221 95.44
Dobell 34680 42.54 46839 57.46 81519 99.23 632 0.77 82151 95.41
Eden-Monaro 34967 46.13 40841 53.87 75808 99.18 626 0.82 76434 95.42
Farrer 24008 33.89 46823 66.11 70831 99.24 539 0.76 71370 95.31
Fowler 44576 51.89 41334 48.11 85910 98.52 1287 1.48 87197 93.91
Gilmore 32970 42.49 44626 57.51 77596 99.37 491 0.63 78087 95.86
Grayndler 51774 64.77 28155 35.23 79929 98.80 974 1.20 80903 93.44
Greenway 37660 45.02 45996 54.98 83656 98.79 1022 1.21 84678 95.56
Gwydir 19274 27.79 50081 72.21 69355 99.40 418 0.60 69773 94.75
Hughes 42049 49.16 43493 50.84 85542 99.23 663 0.77 86205 96.18
Hume 25258 34.90 47122 65.10 72380 99.30 510 0.70 72890 96.07
Hunter 27391 36.81 47014 63.19 74405 99.31 516 0.69 74921 96.50
Kingsford-Smith 41655 55.19 33814 44.81 75469 99.03 741 0.97 76210 94.33
Lindsay 33623 41.10 48180 58.90 81803 99.08 761 0.92 82564 96.03
Lowe 44551 56.59 34176 43.41 78727 99.02 780 0.98 79507 94.59
Lyne 31045 38.41 49785 61.59 80830 99.37 515 0.63 81345 96.32
Macarthur 36694 40.20 54593 59.80 91287 99.13 805 0.87 92092 95.73
Mackellar 38831 49.43 39730 50.57 78561 99.25 592 0.75 79153 94.88
Macquarie 35038 44.07 44474 55.93 79512 99.25 597 0.75 80109 95.67
Mitchell 38573 46.89 43684 53.11 82257 99.31 571 0.69 82828 96.14
New England 23328 32.61 48203 67.39 71531 99.35 469 0.65 72000 95.62
Newcastle 37797 51.02 36292 48.98 74089 99.21 588 0.79 74677 95.27
North Sydney 51482 61.28 32527 38.72 84009 99.33 567 0.67 84576 94.85
Page 29925 38.79 47213 61.21 77138 99.25 586 0.75 77724 95.86
Parkes 22592 30.47 51549 69.53 74141 99.24 567 0.76 74708 95.05
Parramatta 36405 48.35 38893 51.65 75298 99.14 655 0.86 75953 94.91
Paterson 32129 39.67 48859 60.33 80988 99.28 584 0.72 81572 96.89
Prospect 37060 49.81 37348 50.19 74408 98.65 1019 1.35 75427 95.33
Reid 37802 48.99 39364 51.01 77166 98.51 1169 1.49 78335 94.13
Richmond 39208 46.13 45790 53.87 84998 99.15 728 0.85 85726 94.76
Riverina 25701 33.50 51017 66.50 76718 99.23 599 0.77 77317 95.91
Robertson 34533 43.98 43991 56.02 78524 99.24 602 0.76 79126 95.77
Shortland 34975 45.42 42024 54.58 76999 99.27 567 0.73 77566 96.33
Sydney 56921 67.85 26973 32.15 83894 99.11 752 0.89 84646 92.23
Throsby 35830 46.93 40525 53.07 76355 99.01 767 0.99 77122 96.00
Warringah 40956 54.49 34208 45.51 75164 99.31 524 0.69 75688 94.43
Watson 41253 54.39 34599 45.61 75852 98.71 990 1.29 76842 93.93
Wentworth 46013 60.19 30435 39.81 76448 99.19 624 0.81 77072 93.40
Werriwa 32772 41.85 45541 58.15 78313 98.92 854 1.08 79167 94.54
State Total 1817380 46.43 2096562 53.57 3913942 99.12 34772 0.88 3948714 95.25

Victoria

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Aston 43210 51.55 40612 48.45 83822 99.12 745 0.88 84567 96.26
Ballarat 32784 40.91 47345 59.09 80129 99.21 642 0.79 80771 96.33
Batman 50809 61.25 32142 38.75 82951 98.67 1114 1.33 84065 94.16
Bendigo 31333 38.22 50642 61.78 81975 99.28 595 0.72 82570 96.43
Bruce 44229 54.47 36966 45.53 81195 98.99 828 1.01 82023 95.11
Burke 35800 44.93 43885 55.07 79685 99.05 761 0.95 80446 95.71
Calwell 46643 53.88 39918 46.12 86561 98.80 1048 1.20 87609 94.77
Casey 35778 45.45 42937 54.55 78715 99.11 707 0.89 79422 95.94
Chisholm 46815 57.26 34937 42.74 81752 99.15 704 0.85 82456 95.58
Corangamite 35704 45.20 43280 54.80 78984 99.28 569 0.72 79553 96.47
Corio 35762 44.53 44554 55.47 80316 98.98 828 1.02 81144 96.18
Deakin 42565 52.87 37937 47.13 80502 99.17 675 0.83 81177 95.77
Dunkley 36098 45.33 43533 54.67 79631 99.18 657 0.82 80288 95.54
Flinders 34465 41.91 47779 58.09 82244 99.11 737 0.89 82981 96.06
Gellibrand 44972 56.90 34069 43.10 79041 98.70 1045 1.30 80086 93.60
Gippsland 27335 34.85 51092 65.15 78427 99.29 563 0.71 78990 95.81
Goldstein 48951 58.01 35439 41.99 84390 99.29 600 0.71 84990 94.62
Higgins 51813 63.66 29574 36.34 81387 99.19 666 0.81 82053 93.89
Holt 38884 48.71 40947 51.29 79831 98.78 982 1.22 80813 95.38
Hotham 45489 54.20 38445 45.80 83934 98.93 910 1.07 84844 94.85
Indi 29451 36.87 50433 63.13 79884 99.28 580 0.72 80464 95.58
Isaacs 35959 46.71 41031 53.29 76990 99.05 738 0.95 77728 95.57
Jagajaga 47419 56.79 36083 43.21 83502 99.19 685 0.81 84187 95.72
Kooyong 52335 64.24 29137 35.76 81472 99.24 628 0.76 82100 94.90
La Trobe 38116 48.41 40614 51.59 78730 99.11 703 0.89 79433 95.48
Lalor 39127 48.73 41167 51.27 80294 98.86 929 1.14 81223 96.02
Mallee 22395 28.78 55426 71.22 77821 99.26 577 0.74 78398 96.10
Maribyrnong 44633 56.77 33992 43.23 78625 98.67 1057 1.33 79682 95.14
McEwen 35957 44.52 44811 55.48 80768 99.15 689 0.85 81457 96.00
McMillan 29046 36.37 50807 63.63 79853 99.27 591 0.73 80444 96.35
Melbourne 59994 70.92 24604 29.08 84598 98.93 919 1.07 85517 92.02
MelbournePorts 51520 65.90 26663 34.10 78183 99.04 756 0.96 78939 92.25
Menzies 47410 59.85 31801 40.15 79211 99.18 653 0.82 79864 95.72
Murray 24675 30.48 56271 69.52 80946 99.26 603 0.74 81549 96.46
Scullin 45930 56.32 35619 43.68 81549 98.79 1002 1.21 82551 95.85
Wannon 28041 35.54 50865 64.46 78906 99.31 546 0.69 79452 96.87
Wills 48089 58.74 33781 41.26 81870 98.76 1031 1.24 82901 94.11
State Total 1489536 49.84 1499138 50.16 2988674 99.07 28063 0.93 3016737 95.35

Queensland

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Blair 18078 25.36 53221 74.64 71299 99.40 427 0.60 71726 95.86
Bowman 30481 38.97 47735 61.03 78216 99.29 557 0.71 78773 96.04
Brisbane 48178 57.28 35926 42.72 84104 99.27 615 0.73 84719 92.99
Capricornia 24132 31.86 51614 68.14 75746 99.43 433 0.57 76179 94.96
Dawson 25167 31.03 55945 68.97 81112 99.31 562 0.69 81674 95.61
Dickson 32397 41.22 46199 58.78 78596 99.26 582 0.74 79178 96.20
Fadden 27951 36.96 47674 63.04 75625 99.24 582 0.76 76207 94.21
Fairfax 27741 37.72 45801 62.28 73542 99.30 519 0.70 74061 94.81
Fisher 28577 38.50 45652 61.50 74229 99.28 536 0.72 74765 94.77
Forde 23117 31.33 50680 68.67 73797 99.25 558 0.75 74355 94.71
Griffith 39789 47.79 43472 52.21 83261 99.26 622 0.74 83883 94.56
Groom 21406 27.42 56661 72.58 78067 99.44 436 0.56 78503 96.03
Herbert 30938 38.53 49349 61.47 80287 99.37 512 0.63 80799 94.02
Hinkler 22989 30.64 52031 69.36 75020 99.37 478 0.63 75498 95.50
Kennedy 23326 29.79 54977 70.21 78303 99.22 618 0.78 78921 93.35
Leichhardt 30301 41.00 43602 59.00 73903 99.20 593 0.80 74496 92.28
Lilley 35308 43.56 45754 56.44 81062 99.31 565 0.69 81627 94.69
Longman 24750 33.46 49225 66.54 73975 99.26 553 0.74 74528 95.43
Maranoa 17944 22.84 60610 77.16 78554 99.43 448 0.57 79002 94.94
McPherson 32855 40.71 47849 59.29 80704 99.34 533 0.66 81237 94.30
Moncrieff 30274 39.00 47344 61.00 77618 99.26 578 0.74 78196 93.65
Moreton 38878 47.91 42262 52.09 81140 99.32 555 0.68 81695 94.96
Oxley 26218 34.57 49633 65.43 75851 99.19 616 0.81 76467 94.97
Petrie 31711 39.08 49439 60.92 81150 99.36 522 0.64 81672 95.04
Rankin 28107 37.77 46301 62.23 74408 99.04 721 0.96 75129 94.38
Ryan 44395 55.30 35883 44.70 80278 99.43 464 0.57 80742 94.83
Wide Bay 19052 25.67 55153 74.33 74205 99.39 457 0.61 74662 95.20
State Total 784060 37.44 1309992 62.56 2094052 99.31 14642 0.69 2108694 94.74

Western Australia

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Brand 25801 33.69 50791 66.31 76592 99.18 637 0.82 77229 95.72
Canning 25283 32.73 51967 67.27 77250 99.14 668 0.86 77918 95.13
Cowan 32464 42.95 43117 57.05 75581 99.14 655 0.86 76236 96.02
Curtin 45217 55.49 36269 44.51 81486 99.21 653 0.79 82139 94.85
Forrest 28274 34.86 52826 65.14 81100 99.21 643 0.79 81743 95.81
Fremantle 39363 48.28 42173 51.72 81536 98.97 847 1.03 82383 95.37
Kalgoorlie 26898 37.87 44134 62.13 71032 99.22 558 0.78 71590 86.65
Moore 32781 42.58 44207 57.42 76988 99.29 550 0.71 77538 95.33
O'Connor 22410 28.08 57387 71.92 79797 99.24 608 0.76 80405 95.09
Pearce 29606 37.17 50053 62.83 79659 99.17 665 0.83 80324 95.59
Perth 38330 47.38 42569 52.62 80899 98.92 883 1.08 81782 95.02
Stirling 39448 48.42 42021 51.58 81469 98.99 835 1.01 82304 95.02
Swan 34434 43.16 45346 56.84 79780 99.09 734 0.91 80514 94.73
Tangney 37997 46.53 43660 53.47 81657 99.31 564 0.69 82221 95.83
State Total 458306 41.48 646520 58.52 1104826 99.15 9500 0.85 1114326 94.73

South Australia

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Adelaide 45580 56.39 35252 43.61 80832 99.11 723 0.89 81555 94.53
Barker 26709 32.43 55655 67.57 82364 99.13 727 0.87 83091 96.57
Bonython 26405 33.28 52929 66.72 79334 98.82 946 1.18 80280 96.07
Boothby 44354 51.87 41152 48.13 85506 99.23 662 0.77 86168 96.46
Grey 26319 32.33 55090 67.67 81409 99.14 704 0.86 82113 94.49
Hindmarsh 39732 49.51 40515 50.49 80247 98.96 845 1.04 81092 96.23
Kingston 33014 41.43 46666 58.57 79680 99.20 646 0.80 80326 96.72
Makin 34923 41.70 48830 58.30 83753 99.20 676 0.80 84429 96.76
Mayo 39391 49.24 40599 50.76 79990 99.20 649 0.80 80639 96.48
Port Adelaide 38785 47.54 42798 52.46 81583 98.87 935 1.13 82518 95.59
Sturt 43544 53.73 37497 46.27 81041 99.14 703 0.86 81744 95.38
Wakefield 27113 33.18 54592 66.82 81705 99.11 734 0.89 82439 96.72
State Total 425869 43.57 551575 56.43 977444 99.09 8950 0.91 986394 96.00

Tasmania

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Bass 23030 37.16 38949 62.84 61979 99.04 602 0.96 62581 96.02
Braddon 19061 32.24 40065 67.76 59126 99.02 585 0.98 59711 96.63
Denison 33130 52.38 30118 47.62 63248 99.14 551 0.86 63799 95.83
Franklin 29046 46.23 33779 53.77 62825 99.15 537 0.85 63362 96.45
Lyons 22004 33.54 43602 66.46 65606 99.12 582 0.88 66188 96.65
State Total 126271 40.37 186513 59.63 312784 99.09 2857 0.91 315641 96.31

Australian Capital Territory

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
Canberra 62575 62.08 38220 37.92 100795 99.26 748 0.74 101543 95.62
Fraser 64636 64.46 35630 35.54 100266 99.20 805 0.80 101071 95.00
State Total 127211 63.27 73850 36.73 201061 99.23 1553 0.77 202614 95.31

Northern Territory

State Yes Votes % No Votes % Formal Votes % Informal Votes % Total Votes %
NT 44391 48.77 46637 51.23 91028 99.07 852 0.93 91880 84.96
State Total 44391 48.77 46637 51.23 91028 99.07 852 0.93 91880 84.96

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