The shades of Orange

A political attitudes survey of Orange Order members by Professor Tonge has confirmed the broad range of political views held by the brethren. Almost 20% would consider giving a preference to the SDLP. The growth of support for the DUP among members since the agreement has been marked especially among young members (80% likely to be DUP voters). However, Yonge says that the DUP’s strong appeal to younger voters has “”nothing to do with religion” but rather with efficacy, they percieve that “the DUP is the party that best represents their ethnic bloc against a nationalist threat”. This emphasis on political rather than religious solidarity is also reflected in their reasons for joining the Orange Order.