Australian constitutional referendums, 1898–1900

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A series of referendums on the proposed constitution were held in the six states that were to become the Commonwealth of Australia between 2 June 1898 and 31 July 1900.[1] The first four referendums were held in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria in June 1898.[1] Although all four saw a majority vote in favour, the majority in New South Wales was insufficient.[1]

Following a series of amendments made to the proposed constitution at the Secret Premiers meeting on 31 January and 1 February 1899, a second referendum was required in the four states, whilst on 2 September, Queensland held a referendum on the constitution for the first time. All five states saw a majority vote in favour.

Three weeks after the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act became law in 1900, Western Australia held a referendum on the constitution,[1] which was also approved. The constitution came into force on 1 January 1901.[2]

Results[edit]

1898 referendums[edit]

State Date For Against Total Turnout
Votes % Votes %
New South Wales 4 June 1898 71,595 51.95 66,228 48.05 137,823 43.5
South Australia 4 June 1898 35,800 67.39 17,320 20.54 53,120 30.9
Tasmania 3 June 1898 11,797 81.29 2,716 18.71 14,513 25.0
Victoria 4 June 1898 100,520 81.98 22,099 18.02 122,619 50.3
Source: Direct Democracy

1899 and 1900 referendums[edit]

State Date For Against Total Turnout
Votes % Votes %
South Australia 29 April 1899 65,990 79.46 17,053 20.54 83,043 54.4
New South Wales 28 June 1899 107,420 56.49 82,741 43.51 190,161 63.4
Tasmania 27 July 1899 13,437 94.40 797 5.60 14,234 41.8
Victoria 27 July 1899 152,653 93.96 9,805 6.04 162,458 56.3
Queensland 28 September 1899 38,488 55.39 30,996 44.61 69,484 54.4
Western Australia 31 July 1900 44,616 69.42 19,651 30.58 64,267 67.1
Source: Direct Democracy

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) Museum of Australian Democracy
  2. ^ Australia, 31 July 1900: Constitution Direct Democracy (German)