Danske Poll: Majority of people in Northern Ireland want to stay in EU

A poll conducted by Danske Bank has found that a majority of people here wish to stay within the EU. Conducted in June 2015, surveying 1,009 people sought to gage the attitudes of people in Northern Ireland towards EU membership. (Note there is 3% margin of error on the poll).

The survey found 58% of those surveyed were content to remain within the EU, compared to 16% against, 26% were undecided.

Breaking down the attitudes of those who are in favour the poll found that 44% who were content to stay with the current terms and conditions and a further 14% who would like to stay but want to see the UK renegotiate the terms and conditions of membership.

Speaking about the poll, Danske Bank’s Chief Economist, Angela McGowan said;

Support for EU membership is most likely higher in Northern Ireland because the region has always been a net recipient of EU funding. The Common Agricultural Policy, Structural Funds, Rural Development funds and the Peace and Reconciliation monies have all made a dramatic contribution to life in Northern Ireland over the last 40 years.

There are also some valid criticisms of the European Union around burdensome regulation on small companies and the Greek bailout earlier this year was considered by many to have pushed the democratic boundaries. Nonetheless, it appears that people in Northern Ireland, particularly older people, have an appreciation for the traditional support that flowed from Europe to Northern Ireland and many in the business community and in border areas enjoy being part of a larger market.

Breakdown of the poll

Men v women

More men are content to stay in the European Union with a full 64% of males compared to 53% of females prepared to remain a member. However, women were less certain than males about how they would vote with 32% of females saying they ‘don’t know’ versus only 19% of males.


In of the highest preference for staying in the EU, 50-64-year-olds in Northern Ireland are the most favourable with with 61% opting for remaining an EU member.

Interestingly the number of younger people want to remain an EU member has dropped to 55%. The younger age group were also more cautious with only 9% certain that they would like to see an exit from the EU and a 36% admitting that they ‘don’t know’ whether or not the UK should remain in or leave.





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  • Turgon

    Polls are fun and may be useful but in view of the complete and total debacle which was the polling before the last general election it is maybe time the pollsters took a break.

    Polls may drive news agendas but it looks unlikely that they establish voting intentions with any degree of accuracy.

    Although the enormous caveats above apply and realistically discredit any poll at the moment; it is interesting that the general theory always was that younger people brought up in the EU would develop increasing affection for it and anti EU sentiment would be relegated to the views of nutters and the elderly until eventually it died out.

    That theory seems to be failing and younger people proportionally seem more sceptical of the EU (EU wide) than the middle aged and older. Very interesting especially in view of the degree of pro European-ism pushed to school children in some mainland European countries. I remember being made to have a German pen friend when doing German (for one hopeless year) who simply could not understand that we did not celebrate some sort of EEC day (as it was then).

  • mickfealty

    Useful to hear from the most unheard from electorate in Christendom though.

  • Redstar2014

    My gut feeling is that Britain too would vote about 60/40 to stay in

  • Turgon

    Fair point and I am not complaining.

    I wonder if “beliefs / views / attitudes” typed polling is more or less accurate than which party would you vote for?

    It would also be interesting to compare the parties focus group results to the polls. I wonder if they were any more accurate?

  • Dan

    Pinch of salt.

  • The Devil’s Advocate

    Frankly given the choice I would be happy enough to be ruled by the Germans. I go there a lot on my holidays and it is a great place.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Where have German and UK really have a big disagreement over European affairs in EU years? It’s quite odd that Germany gets so much of the blame for what UK government wants to do anyway. Even the UKIP leader married a German

    In fact the UK is probably the most Germanic European country that doesn’t speak German as a major language.

  • The Devil’s Advocate

    Indeed. With our own glorious monarch being a fine example of German heritage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Windsor

  • chrisjones2

    This suggests to me that the EU link is in trouble.

    There is so much negative about the relationship at the moment that unless Cameron negotiates significant concessions (and despite the spin he wont) I think it will probably be an ‘Out’ Vote overall – and almost certainly an OUT vote in England with an IN in Scotland and Northern Ireland where the dependency culture is so much greater. That’s when the problems start

  • chrisjones2

    We don’t need to…they and the French, Spanish etc tend to choose English! Simples

  • chrisjones2

    Gawd bless her. Shes 90 you know

  • Kevin Breslin

    Completely off the topic. I was speaking about political culture. Only real difference is the British political culture is an ass in one sense by not having PR for national parliaments.