Preliminary results have been announced for the 2015 Flag Referendum.

Final results will be published on Tuesday the 15th of December and will include votes date-stamped by New Zealand Post before voting closed today.

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Voter turnout across New Zealand’s 71 electorates ranged from nearly 60 per cent to fewer than one in four voters in Mangere.

Across New Zealand, total voter turnout in the first flag referendum was just over 48 per cent in the preliminary results announced tonight.

Justice Minister Amy Adams’ Selwyn electorate, near Christchurch, had the highest number of votes at 59 per cent - with the bordering Waimakariri electorate not far behind on 58 per cent.

Other National seats also had high turnout. Waitaki had 58 per cent, with Bay of Plenty and Coromandel on 57 per cent.

Half of voters in Prime Minister John Key’s Helensville electorate took part.

Higher turnout does not necessarily indicate support for the flag change - the breakdown published by the Electoral Commission does not show the proportion of informal votes, of which many will be cast in protest. There was much lower participation in the Maori electorates (between 23 and 30 per cent voter turnout) and in the South Auckland electorates of Mangere (24 per cent), Manukau East (25 per cent) and Manurewa (29 per cent).

Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes received as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 19 November 2015 (3,170,726).