On the gap between politicians and people

More evidence of politicians lagging behind public opinion? I know it’s a “government poll” but a poll is a poll, a snapshot of what people say they’re thinking.

Significantly, out of those people polled who considered themselves as UUP voters, 73 per cent said they wanted to see the (Justice) powers transferred

And on the sacred issue of abortion in the Republic

The YouGov opinion poll showed 78 per cent of those questioned support access to abortion in Ireland if the pregnancy endangers a woman’s health or is the result of sexual abuse, rape or incest. Where a pregnancy seriously endangers a woman’s life, support for abortion rose to 87 per cent.

  • sdelaneys

    Would somebody post the actual questions as according to the Nolan Show at least some of them were heavily weighted to gain the desired response.

  • Garza

    Yeah that P&J poll was full of loaded questions from what I hear.

  • Fabianus


    I can’t help you on the first poll but found this on Maman Poulet.

    Although they aren’t the actual questions asked, I think it’s fair to extrapolate. For instance: “Would you agree that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the woman’s health is at risk?”


    – More than three quarters of respondents (79%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the woman’s health is at risk;

    – Nearly eight out of 10 respondents (78%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the pregnancy is the result of sexual abuse / rape or incest;

    – Just under two thirds of respondents (62%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if there is evidence of a profound foetal abnormality;

    – Over four out of 10 respondents (41%) agreed that termination of pregnancy should be permitted if the woman believes it is in her and / or her family’s best interest;

    – Three per cent of respondents felt that abortion in Ireland is not acceptable under any circumstances.

  • bohereen

    The question seems to have been asked like this,

    “Do you want to see P&J given into the hands of local politicians so that the Assembly can get on with delivering important issues like education, thus making us all better people, solve world poverty, help us all sing in harmony and everyone can have a Coke.

  • LottaNonsense

    Polls run by the NI office are heavily biased and, Yes, use ‘loaded questions’ that are aimed to get the result that Shaun Woodward & his friends want to get.

    As such, in professional polling terms these NI Office polls are rubbish.

  • Any word on the gap between the 2 parties in project UCUNF on this issue?

  • iluvni

    Surprising that Brian Walker would, even if he qualifies it a little, give this ‘government poll’ the time of day.

  • ding dong

    here’s another way the question could have been asked

    Should MLAs be given more money for the extra responsiblity they will have if we devolve policng and justice?

    quess whatthe answer would have been!

    NIO polling is crap – if it were anywhere near accurate the Alliance Party would be in charge and David Ford would be President of the UK by now

  • Garza

    MU you are obessesed. Why is that?

  • Bob Wilson

    There is a polling industry protocol requiring pollsters and their clients to reveal full details of their polling eg sample size, method of polling, demographic breakdown and actual questions asked.
    Perhaps you can ask the NIO when the will be putting these details on their website?

  • Garza,

    The Tories must be fecked off and seriously embarassed that the Yankee administration is having to tell off their prospective government partners on how to behave in relation to Ulster and I think it worthy of mention on a political website dedicated to Ulster political debate.

    Dont you agree?

  • Turgon

    I think all of you who are questioning the poll are missing the point.

    Clearly we all know that the NIO polls are biased. In addition Brian Walker is extremely partial and supportive of P&J devolution and has an agenda against the CUs including making statements which had Reg Empey had any sense would have led to threats of legal action.

    Now of course many of us who comment here are partial. However, we admit openly our biases. Brian tries to hide behind a pseudo impartiality. On anything related to the UUP / CUs, however, his bias is gross, usually inaccurate and frequently slanderous.

  • Garza


    Last time I checked the UUP and Conservatives are still two seperate parties, at least at the local level. P&J is a local issue, hence the two parties can differ.
    If they differed on a national UK issue, that would be different.

  • Garza,

    you cant seriously pedal that line, that’s like saying, only worse, that because the Poles they had aligned themselves with in Europe were a seperate party they had no case to answer and yet they were continually dragged through the associated mud on that one.

  • Garza

    Ok, MU the SDLP takes the Labour whip, is Labour red-faced by the SDLP’s stand against abortion in NI?

    The fact is that the UUP and the tories are at the present time two different parties with their own set of local views except on issues that are UK wide.

  • Garza,

    that is clutching at straws, we are talking about the UUP being a party to collapsing the entire political edifice that the Tory’s helped put in place.

  • Garza

    How is the UUP collapsing Stormont? The DUP and SF have enough votes to pass Hillsborough last time I counted, put together with Alliance and SDLP. Unless of course the DUP pulls out, but then that would mean the DUP would pull down stormont not the UUP.

    It is not clutching at straws it is logic. I’m sorry but you hatred of UCUNF has blinded you in this instance.

  • iluvni

    Sir Reg must leave this to the DUP. Its their deal. Let them tear themselves apart over it.
    Lets see where Gregory Campbell, wee Jeffrey et al really stand when it comes to the crunch.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    No its just another poll which is not the same as real results, but will be cherished by those who dont like election results.

  • A poll is only a snapshot of how people are thinking if the following is provided:

    The dates the poll were taken;
    The number questioned (so +/- margin of error can be assessed; and the number of those declaring to be UUP members (given the likelihood of that number in even a thousand being very small….)
    The actual questions asked, whether these were predicated with a statement to set context, and the order in which they were asked.

    If that information is not provided then the question must be: ‘do I trust the source’.

  • Turgon

    the dissenter,
    A very accurate summary of polling. I could be glib, however, and suggest that knowing the poll comes from the NIO and was being touted and talked up by Shaun Woodward we did not need your erudite explanation before stating we do not trust the source.

    Anyhow Regards

  • apollo293867

    It’s International Women’s Day and it is very clear why it is necessary from the posts above. The poll has two parts to it and nobody is addressing the concerns regarding abortion both in the Republic and in the North. For all the ranting that Unionists do about being British the treatment of Northern Ireland’s women is a complete disgrace. How many of our sister’s have to go to England/Scotland/Wales to pay for services that are legal and free?

    Solidarity Sisters

  • Fabianus


    I addressed it at comment 3. I am male and hereby voice my shame about my fellow males in NI, who seemingly couldn’t care less about the issues you touch on.

    Except in the case of the fundies and altar-rail munchers, who consistently work to deny abortion to those who need it.

    And this despite a clear majority being in favour of relaxing the laws prohibiting it.

  • apollo293867

    My Apologies Fabianus, I missed that. I am male also and my incredulity over the way women are treated in NI is only matched by by the horror I had at hearing the “N” word used so brazenly in these parts. It was a shock to find that sort of language/attitudes and it frames the debate about equality here for me.

  • Alias

    How many of the 115,000 abortions that are carried out every day of the year around the world involve the exceptional situations described above?

  • Fabianus


    “my incredulity over the way women are treated in NI”

    Why would you be incredulous? NI is the most backward part of the UK, years behind anywhere else, with perhaps the wilder parts of Scotland excepted.

    Reason enough not to devolve P&J here I’d have thought.

  • Not sure whether the research released by OFMDFM today is from the same source as the NIO – similarities, but NIO seemed to have gone into party affiliations and the info released from OFMDFM does not. THE NIO provided no background information to indicate the source of its research. Noted that the OFMDFM research is carried out by Red Circle, founded by Steven Lawther, “a research and communications expert with a strong track record in delivering for clients. Steven is the former Head of Communications for the Scottish Labour Party”