Interesting poll on the Border in the Belfast Telegraph, which to some extent tells us a few things that we already knew. One, the Protestants of (constitutional) Ulster do not what to know about a United Ireland. Only 7% of all voters would go for a united Ireland this year.
“…even when asked if they would vote to remove the Border in 20 years’ time, the figure increases only to 32pc (41% overall). Significantly, the proportion of the Catholic population that favours unity now or in 20 years is also a minority — just 48pc.
If these ‘don’t knows’ are ignored, 63pc of people in Northern Ireland, including 44pc of Catholics, want Northern Ireland to remain a separate entity even after 2032.
So what might we conclude? Well, it seems that many northern Nationalists remain what they were when partition sundered the island in 1922: Redmondite Home Rulers. And they have a home rule settlement within the United Kingdom that no longer can discriminate against their interest.
These neo Redmondites, as we might call them, vote across both major Nationalist parties, and many may even be interested in a united Ireland since it is part of a cultural complex that remains important to them.
But it is not near the top of many people’s lists of priorities. At 7% popularity now in Northern Ireland, not even, I suspect, Sinn Fein’s own (whatever gets said publicly).
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty