1946 Faroese independence referendum

An independence referendum was held in the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory of Denmark, on 14 September 1946. Although a narrow majority of valid votes were cast in favour of the proposal (50.7%), the number of invalid votes exceeded the winning margin. Although independence was declared by the Speaker of the Løgting on 18 September 1946, the declaration was not recognised by Denmark. Danish King Christian X dissolved the Løgting and called fresh elections, which were won by anti-independence parties. The islands were subsequently given a greater level of self-rule.

Results by island:
  For Union
  For Secession

ResultsEdit

Choice Votes %
Independence 5,660 50.73
Continued union with Denmark 5,499 49.27
Invalid/blank votes 481
Total 11,640 100
Registered voters/turnout 17,216 67.61
Source: Direct Democracy

By islandEdit

Island Independence Continued Union Invalid/
blank
Total Registered
voters
Turnout
Votes % Votes %
Norðoyar 956 70.6 398 29.4 64 1,418 2,220 63.9
Eysturoy 1,052 43.3 1,376 56.7 99 2,527 3,854 65.6
Norðurstreymoy 622 53.4 543 46.6 42 1,207 1,679 71.9
Vágar 614 58.6 434 41.4 38 1,086 1,485 73.1
Suðurstreymoy 1,308 66.0 674 34.0 145 2,127 3,323 64.0
Sandoy 465 61.9 286 38.1 32 783 1,053 74.4
Suðuroy 643 26.5 1,788 73.5 61 2,492 3,602 69.2
Total 5,660 50.7 5,499 49.3 481 11,640 17,216 67.6

AftermathEdit

The result – without taking the invalid votes into regard – was 50.73% in favour of full independence to 49.27% in favour of home rule within Denmark.[1]

However, there were 4.1% invalid votes, mostly voters who rejected both proposals. Some politicians from the People's Party had suggested that a third option of a sovereign Faroe Islands within a union with Denmark should be on the ballot (similar to the status the Kingdom of Iceland had 1918–44), but since this proposal was not put on the ballot, they suggested that voters write 'no' to the first proposal the ballot instead of choosing either alternative, while some Social Democrats in favour of keeping the status quo recommended writing 'no' to the second proposal.[citation needed]

Subsequently, there was disunion about the interpretation of the result, as there was no full majority for either proposal; only a slight plurality for option 2, the full independence.[citation needed]

The chairman of the Løgting subsequently declared independence on 18 September 1946, but this was not recognised either by a majority of the Løgting or the Danish parliament and government. King Christian X of Denmark dissolved the Løgting on 24 September and called for new elections.[2][3] The dissolution of the Løgting was on 8 November followed by the Faroese parliamentary election of 1946 in which the parties in favour of full independence received a total of 5,396 votes while the parties against received a total of 7,488 votes.[4] New negotiations followed, and Denmark granted the Faroe Islands home-rule on 30 March 1948.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Faroe Islands, 14 September 1946: Status Direct Democracy (in English and German)
  2. ^ a b Faeroe Islands World Statesman
  3. ^ Steining, Jørgen (1953). "Rigsdagen og Færøerne". In Bomholt, Jul.; Fabricius, Knud; Hjelholt, Holger; Mackeprang, M.; Møller Andr. (eds.). Den danske rigsdag 1849-1949 bind VI (in Danish). Copenhagen: J. H. Schultz Forlag. p. 187.
  4. ^ Steining, p. 188.