While Australia was obsessing over its yearly disgusting horse race, and the rest of the world was looking at the US midterms, New Caledonia voted on its independence. Stephen Dziedzic filed this report with the ABC:

Early results indicate more than 60 per cent of voters in the territory have cast their ballot in favour of staying with France.

In a televised address from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said a majority of voters chose to remain part of France and he pledged “there is no other path than that of dialogue” on the future of New Caledonia.

France 24 reported pro-independence voters was buoyed by the result:

Leaders of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Movement (FLNKS) hailed the narrow vote as a step closer to breaking free of France. Under a 1998 deal called the Nouméa Accord to devolve powers to the territory, two further referendums can be held by 2022.

New Caledonia is geographically close to Australia, and their economy is larger than New Zealand’s per capita; though its unevenly distributed. I’m surprised we don’t hear about them in Australian news more often.