AN opinion poll in New Caledonia has found that 54 per cent of eligible voters are against independence from France.
The poll was carried out I-Scope on behalf of the Caledonia television station recently but its findings were not released until after the French presidential election.
The poll also found that just under a quarter of respondents are for independence.
21 per cent were undecided.
A referendum is due to be held by November next year, but the plebiscite question is yet to be formulated.
The opinion poll asked for people’s view of how they would vote if the referendum on attaining full sovereignty was held in a week.
Caledonia TV said in the greater Noumea area 63 per cent favoured staying with France and 70 per cent of pensioners opted for the status quo.
In the northern province, 53 per cent favoured independence.
Under the 1998 Noumea Accord, only long-term residents are allowed to vote.