Falkland Islanders Set To Vote To Remain With Britain, But Polls Show Argentina Won't Give Up Claim

As Falkland Islanders prepare to vote in a referendum on the future sovereignty of the South Atlantic archipelago, a ComRes poll for ITV News found six in 10 adults believed the UK should keep all options - including the possibility of military action - open when deciding how to respond to a threat of invasion while just 16% disagreed and 24% did not know.

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll for Sky News has shown that only 15% of Argentinians believe the residents of the Falklands should decide their own fate, compared with 88% of Britons.

David Cameron has refused to engage with Argentina over the sovereignty of the Islands

The Falklanders are expected to overwhelming ballot in favour of remaining part of the UK but tension over which country holds the more valid claim to the Islands will not be ended by the vote, with the YouGov poll showing that one quarter of Argentinians still believe their country will one day own the islands.

A member of the Falklands' Legislative Assembly, Jan Cheek, told Sky News: "Sadly that says a lot about Argentina and their view of democracy. It's a populist theme. We saw it used by the military junta in '82 and it's being used in the same way by Christina Fernandez de Kirchner today."

President Kirchner has campaigned for the Argentinians to reassert their long-held claim to the 'Malvinas' Islands, however moves towards diplomacy are unlikely with Argentina refusing to recognise the views of the Falklanders; last month foreign minister Hector Timerman claimed Falklands Islanders “do not exist”.

Cristina Kirchner's government believe they hold a strong claim to the islands

Timmermann added: "What exists is British citizens who live in the Islas Malvinas. The United Nations does not recognise a third party in the conflict. It says there are just two parts - the UK and Argentina."

Timerman's comments resulted in the Falklands Islands parliament writing to him, claiming "no amount of harassment and intimidation" would change their minds that they do not want to be ruled from Buenos Aires.

Authorities in Port Stanley hope the upcoming vote will send a very clear message to Argentina that residents wish to remain British.