French Polynesian referendum, 1940

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French Polynesia

An unofficial referendum on whether to support the Free French or the Vichy regime was held in the French Polynesian islands of Moorea and Tahiti on 24 August 1940.[1] The referendum was held following a call from Charles De Gaulle to oppose the Vichy government on 18 June, and was organised by the underground Free France Committee.[1]

Over 99% of voters supported backing the Free French Forces, with just 18 people voting in favour of the Vichy regime. Following the referendum, the pro-Vichy governor Frédéric Marie Jean Baptiste Chastenet de Géry was forced to resign on 2 September.[1] On the same day the Free France Committee formed the Provisional Council of Oceania to rule the island group, which was recognised by De Gaulle by a telegram sent from London.[2] Peter Fraser, the Prime Minister of New Zealand also sent a telegram noting great satisfaction at the result.[3] The new administration on the islands lifted the ban on British shipping, allowing imports of food.[4]


Choice Votes %
Free French Forces 5,564 99.68
Vichy France 18 0.32
Total 5,582 100
Source: Direct Democracy


  1. ^ a b c Tahiti, 24. August 1940 : Unterstützung von Vichy / Freies Frankreich Direct Democracy
  2. ^ French Polynesia The World at War
  3. ^ "Oceania Votes For De Gaulle", The Times, 4 September 1940, p4, issue 48712
  4. ^ "Various" The Times, 14 September 1940, p3, issue 48721