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Part 5 - Referendums and Plebiscites - Plebiscite results

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Plebiscite results

28 October 1916

(1) Military Service

Question

Are you in favour of the Government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service, for the term of this war, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth?

This plebiscite, conducted under the Military Service Referendum Act 1916, was held due to the Commonwealth Government's desire to increase its available forces for overseas service.

Result

State

Enrolled

Votes

For

Against

Informal

%

%

New South Wales

1 055 986

858 399

356 805

42.92

474 544

57.08

27 050

Victoria

824 972

696 684

353 930

51.88

328 216

48.12

14 538

Queensland

366 042

309 921

144 200

47.71

158 051

52.29

7 670

South Australia

262 781

211 252

87 924

42.44

119 236

57.56

4 092

Western Australia

167 602

140 648

94 069

69.71

40 884

30.29

5 695

Tasmania

107 875

88 231

48 493

56.17

37 833

43.83

1 905

Federal Territories

4 572

3 468

2 136

62.73

1 269

37.27

63

Total for Commonwealth

2 789 830

2 308 603*

1 087 557

48.39

1 160 033

51.61

61 013

* Including 133 813 votes by members of the Australian Imperial Force, of which 72 399 were for, 58 894 against, and 2520 informal.

Obtained majority in three States and an overall minority of 72 476 votes.

Not carried

20 December 1917

(2) Military Service

Question

Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Australian Imperial Force overseas?

This plebiscite, conducted under the War Precautions (Military Service Referendum) Regulations 1917, was held due to the Commonwealth Government's desire to conscript men for overseas service in sufficient numbers to make the total reinforcements (including volunteers) up to 7000 a month.

Result

State

Enrolled

Votes

For

Against

Informal

%

%

New South Wales

1 055 883

853 894

341 256

41.16

487 774

58.84

24 864

Victoria

807 331

678 806

329 772

49.79

332 490

50.21

16 544

Queensland

378 378

310 164

132 771

44.02

168 875

55.98

8 518

South Australia

261 661

197 970

86 663

44.90

106 364

55.10

4 943

Western Australia

162 347

135 593

84 116

64.39

46 522

35.61

4 955

Tasmania

106 803

78 792

38 881

50.24

38 502

49.76

1 409

Federal Territories

2 855

3 468

2 136

62.73

1 269

37.27

82

Total for Commonwealth

2 775 258

2 258 687*

1 015 595

46.22

1 181 796

53.78

61 315

* Including 199 677 votes by members of the Australian Imperial Force, of which 103 789 were for, 93 910 against, and 1978 informal.

Obtained majority in two States and an overall minority of 166 588 votes.

Not carried

21 May 1977

(3) National Song

Question

Against the background that 'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN' is the NATIONAL ANTHEM to be played on Regal and Vice Regal occasions, electors may indicate their preferences as to which of the tunes of the songs listed below they would prefer to be played on other occasions.

The National Song Poll was held in 1977 by the Fraser Government to find a national song. Until 1974 God Save the Queen/King was Australia's national anthem. The Whitlam Government, following the result of a public opinion poll conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in February 1974, changed the anthem to Advance Australia Fair, except on specifically royal occasions. In January 1976, the Fraser Government reinstated the use of God Save the Queen for royal, vice-regal, defence and loyal toast occasions, and decided to find a national song for use on ceremonial occasions when it was necessary to mark a separate Australian identity. Advance Australia Fair won the National Song Poll.

Result

State

Enrolled

Votes

God Save the Queen

Advance Australia Fair

Number

%

Number

%

New South Wales

3 007 511

2 537 805

348 885

15.32

1 169 421

51.35

Victoria

2 252 831

1 951 160

352 603

20.68

683 451

40.09

Queensland

1 241 426

1 056 804

204 453

21.38

438 929

45.90

South Australia

799 243

706 392

114 477

18.07

152 507

24.07

Western Australia

682 291

235 525

113 054

23.17

183 159

37.54

Tasmania

259 081

253 525

47 346

22.38

88 825

41.98

Australian Capital Territory

120 875

22 136

1 448

6.65

7 857

36.11

Northern Territory

38 209

2 951

423

14.93

1 143

40.35

Total

8 401 467

7 069 046

1 182 689

18.78

2 725 292

43.29

State

Song of Australia

Waltzing Matilda

Informal

Number

%

Number

%

New South Wales

121 456

5.33

637 795

28.00

260 248

Victoria

110 591

6.49

557 991

32.73

246 524

Queensland

61 234

6.40

251 609

26.31

100 579

South Australia

215 085

33.95

151 434

23.90

72 889

Western Australia

75 524

15.48

116 142

23.81

68 394

Tasmania

21 091

9.97

54 329

25.68

23 934

Australian Capital Territory

1 863

8.56

10 593

48.68

375

Northern Territory

413

14.58

854

30.14

118

Total

607 257

9.65

1 780 747

28.28

773 061