“a 65% to 17% majority for Northern Ireland remaining in the UK suggests little room for doubt.”

492 views

From the conversation on BBC NI Spotlight tonight there are challenges for all the political parties in the results of the polling by Ipsos Mori.  But here are the reported results on the constitutional question.

Not surprisingly, more than 90% of those who identify themselves as Protestants told the pollsters they wanted to stay in the UK.

But on the other side of the religious divide, a substantial 38% of Catholics also favoured remaining within the UK – three percentage points more than the number who backed a united Ireland.

While only 5% of Protestants don’t intend to vote or haven’t decided which option they would pick, more than a quarter of Catholics are either undecided or not planning on voting.

As avowed believers in a united Ireland and the party running a border poll campaign, Sinn Fein might be surprised to learn that nearly a quarter of those who identified themselves as Sinn Fein voters – 23% – told the pollsters they would back the status quo in a border poll.

More than half of SDLP supporters – 56% – also said they would opt to stay in the UK if a poll was held tomorrow.

The results of the 2011 census, released in December last year, revealed that just over a fifth of the population considers itself “Northern Irish”.

That posed a political puzzle – in a border poll would these people tick a British or an Irish box? Well, those who identified themselves as “Northern Irish” for the BBC Spotlight poll back staying in the UK by a significant margin – 72% to just 7%.

For the details of the poll.

The poll was carried out for the BBC Spotlight programme by Ipsos Mori, whose researchers interviewed more than 1000 adults at 64 locations across Northern Ireland between 17 and 26 January.

The full details are available as a pdf, 897kb in size.

But will we now see “political leaders here concentrate on working together on pressing economic and social issues…“?

Because, there’s some governing administrating to be done.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a journey to be undertaken…

Not that a border poll is likely, or even inevitable.

In the meantime, Gerry, “let’s go on a journey…”  Before more people realise start “thinking that you are slightly bonkers“.  [Look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes... - Ed]

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,