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'Highly unlikely' referendum results will be overturned by special votes, says Andrew Little

Justice Minister Andrew Little says it's "highly unlikely" that today's preliminary referendum results will be overturned by the special votes due to come in next week.

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The Justice Minister says for the euthanasia referendum especially that overturning it is “pretty much unassailable”. Source: 1 NEWS

The preliminary referendum results show 65.2 per cent - or 1,574,645 Kiwis - were in favour of the End of Life Choice Act coming into force.

Those voting 'no' totalled 33.8 per cent of the vote (815,829), with one per cent not casting a clear vote.

New Zealanders vote in favour of introducing assisted dying

New Zealanders voted against legalising cannabis in the other referendum held at this month's election.

The official results are set to come out on November 6, which would include special votes that are estimated to make up 17 per cent of the overall vote. The results could impact the final referendum results.

Read more here
Preliminary referendum results are out - what happens next?

Little told media today that special votes are unlikely to change today's result. 

"In fact, on the euthanasia question, it's pretty much unassailable, on the cannabis question the specials would have to break 70 per cent 'yes' in order to overturn that result today, so I think we can be pretty sure that the electorate does not support the legalisations of cannabis," he said. 

A 'yes' result for the euthanasia question would mean the End of Life Choice Act would come into force 12 months after the official results are released on November 6, 2021.