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This article analyses the voting and abstention patterns in French departments in the 1992 referendum on the Maastricht treaty, in light of the potential impact of monetary union. We observe that departmental characteristics implying either greater benefits or lower costs from monetary union are significantly correlated with the approval rate. This supports the view that the voting behaviour of individual agents depended on their self-interest. The impact of economic characteristics on the abstention rate is less clear. Indeed, the variable that is most significantly correlated with abstention in the referendum is average abstention in other elections.