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Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia

Home | Referendums and Plebiscites | Plebiscite results 1977

Plebiscite results

21 May 1977

(3) National Song

Question

Against the background that ‘GOD SAVE THE QUEEN’ is the NATIONAL ANTHEM to be played on Regal and Vice Regal occasions, electors may indicate their preferences as to which of the tunes of the songs listed below they would prefer to be played on other occasions.

The National Song Poll was held in 1977 by the Fraser Government to find a national song. Until 1974 God Save the Queen/King was Australia’s national anthem. The Whitlam Government, following the result of a public opinion poll conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in February 1974, changed the anthem to Advance Australia Fair, except on specifically royal occasions. In January 1976, the Fraser Government reinstated the use of God Save the Queen for royal, vice-regal, defence and loyal toast occasions, and decided to find a national song for use on ceremonial occasions when it was necessary to mark a separate Australian identity. Advance Australia Fair won the National Song Poll.

Result
State Number on rolls Ballot papers issued God Save the Queen Advance Australia Fair Song of Australia Waltzing Matilda Informal
Number % Number % Number % Number %
New South Wales 3 007 511 2 537 805 348 885 15.32 1 169 421 51.35 121 456 5.33 637 795 28.00 260 248
Victoria 2 252 831 1 951 160 352 603 20.68 683 451 40.09 110 591 6.49 557 991 32.73 246 524
Queensland 1 241 426 1 056 804 204 453 21.38 438 929 45.90 61 234 6.40 251 609 26.31 100 579
South Australia 799 243 706 392 114 477 18.07 152 507 24.07 215 085 33.95 151 434 23.90 72 889
Western Australia 682 291 235 525 113 054 23.17 183 159 37.54 75 524 15.48 116 142 23.81 68 394
Tasmania 259 081 253 525 47 346 22.38 88 825 41.98 21 091 9.97 54 329 25.68 23 934
Australian Capital Territory 120 875 22 136 1 448 6.65 7 857 36.11 1 863 8.56 10 593 48.68 375
Northern Territory 38 209 2 951 423 14.93 1 143 40.35 413 14.58 854 30.14 118
Total 8 401 467 7 069 046 1 182 689 18.78 2 725 292 43.29 607 257 9.65 1 780 747 28.28 773 061

 

Plebiscite results
1916 | 1917 | 1977

 

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