France: New Caledonian nationalists 'optimistic' despite independence vote setback New Caledonia voted in favour of remaining part of France on Sunday, in an independence referendum on the remote Pacific island. Speaking from the 'Yes' headquarters in Noumea, campaigners for an independent Kanak state of New Caledonia expressed their dissatisfaction with the result, but appeared optimistic for... Еще the future of the independence movement. «The results today are very positive, because it shows that in 23 communities in favour of independence, the pro-independence vote is consolidated,» a member of the 'Yes' campaign explained. «The question of independence has moved forward,» he continued. Outside the 'yes' campaign's headquarters, one campaigner could not hide his disappointment. He refused to give up hope for the future believing «victory lies with the mobilisation of all Caledonian citizens.» Official results from the Office of the High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia said the 'no' vote achieved 56.4 per cent of the voteshare, to the 'yes' side's 43 percent. Turnout was 80.63 percent. The Pacific archipelago, east of Australia, was first claimed by France in 1853. A political settlement was promised after a violent campaign by separatists belonging to the native Kanak population. Under the terms of the 1998 deal, in the event of a no vote, the islands have the right to two more referendums before 2022.