57% of New Zealand voters prefer the current design (r) to the proposed replacement (l), reports the BBC. One can’t help but think of it more as a judgment on the new design than an explicit preference for the colonial original (which is almost identical to Australia’s flag.)
More than two million ballots were sent in and from fairly early on it appeared the status quo was leading the way.
One telephone survey in late March, however, found 59% of people condemned the whole NZ$23m ($17.4m; £12.3m) process as “a distraction and a waste of money”.
The result on 24 March was close: 1,200,003 for no change, 915,008 for change.
(Prime Minister) Mr Key took it on the chin, calling on New Zealanders to “embrace” their flag.