In recent news in Australia, the Government is planning a postal survey of the electorate's attitudes to Same-Sex Marriage. Attempts to make it a formal plebiscite failed.
There are people with objections to the process, claiming it is unconstitutional, unfair, unnecessarily expensive and/or divisive. Some of those people are calling for a boycott.
I am dubious that a boycott, even if well-followed, would successfully subvert the poll. I am wondering if such a boycott has ever been successful in undermining such a result.
So my question is about political history:
Has there ever been a successful boycott of a major election/vote?
- By major, I mean, say, 50,000 voters or more. Happy to hear about anything close.
- By successful, I mean undermined the public trust of the results sufficiently so the winner could not successfully claim a mandate, take leadership, pass the law - whatever the vote was about.
- Given this isn't a formal election, but a postal survey, I'll accept anything close to an election.
I want to understand if elector boycotts are a powerful tool of protest, or just wishful thinking.