The headline stats from a new poll of Irish and British voters by the former Conservative Party peer-turned-psephologist, Lord Ashcroft, makes for interesting reading, with 44% of all correspondent in the Six Counties favoring a reunited Ireland, 49% opposing and 7% unsure. Unfortunately a different question was asked in the rest of the country, so we don’t have a like-by-like comparison between the regional and national data. On the face of it, what information we do have indicates that only 9% of voters at a national level oppose reunification regardless of the circumstances, though the other percentages are debatable given the awkwardly phrased options.
The survey, as you might expect, is a very Britocentric one but well worth studying, albeit with some caution given a few of the more dubious or leading questions. It certainly gives added weight to Leo Varadkar’s apparent claim that the “tectonic plates of Irish politics are shifting” on the question of the United Kingdom’s continued colonial presence in the north-east of the island. Not to mention, possibly increasing the privately expressed fears of the UK prime minister, Theresa May, that the outcome of any future referendum or “border poll” in the contested region hangs in the balance, with Brexit serving as a primary motivation for how people might vote.
- Download the Full Report: ‘Brexit, the Border and the Union’
- Fill data tables – Britain
- Full data tables – Occupied Six Counties
- Full data tables – Ireland
(With thanks to hoboroad)
I do not like some of his questions which seem unnecessarily complex and the framing of it by him is curious…
“This included nine out of ten Nationalists, but fewer than four in ten Unionists – and only three in ten Leave voters and a quarter of DUP supporters.”
Of course Leave voters in NI (which I presume he’s discussing) were a lot fewer on the ground than in England. So that stat is not hugely useful if one doesn’t know that.
Still and all, even his poll shows some pretty striking attitudes both in the North and in Britain (the attitude of Alliance voters is really fascinating). And the clear pessimism of UL voters in relation to border polls (that stat about a good chunk never wanting a border poll says it all).
LikeLiked by 1 person