Two referendums were held as the result of the first vote in which three options were considered, Confederation, Responsible government or a continuation of the Commission of Government. The first referendum, held on June 3 1948 saw the Confederation option receive 41.1% support compared with 44.6% support for responsible government and 14.3% support for Commission of Government. The anti-Confederate forces were hampered by the split of the opposition into Crosbie and Cashin's parties with relations between the two being tense and the overall opposition lacking unity or organization. The Confederate Association, in contrast, was better funded and better organized. A second vote was held on July 22 with only Confederation and Responsible Government on the ballot in which the Conferates won with 52.3% of the vote.
Following the referendums, the Confederate Association reorganized itself as the Newfoundland Liberal Party.