Lucid Talk have been conducting a curious self selecting exercise in the Belfast Telegraph and finding that, as Lucid Talk’s Bill White explains,
“The poll is currently running at 75% Yes to a border poll, and 70% Yes to a United Ireland, and I don’t need to tell you that common sense, and history, tells us that this is obviously not representative of Northern Ireland.
Polling companies like ours are ‘easy’ with these ‘self-selecting’ polls as they’re known – i.e. just allowing anyone who wants to, to take part, as most people see them for what they are i.e. a bit of fun.
They can, however, give a very rough approximation as to current general feeling – in this case, it shows the EU referendum result has increased interest in the border poll debate, as a response of 50,000 is pretty high.
Maybe – “rough approximation” indeed, if you don’t suspect a write-in even to a paper still with a unionist majority readership and are satisfied with “a bit of fun -.” to stir up the trolls maybe? Or pointless?
Meanwhile, a real poll in the Republic covered by the journal.ie has found that big majority would back a united Ireland if a referendum was held tomorrow.
The Paddy Power/ Red C research has found that 65% would vote in favour, an increase from a similar poll conducted by Red C for the Sunday Times in 2010 that showed support at 57%.
While in Scotland the latest YouGov poll show how wise Nicola Sturgeon is to keep her options open. Stripped out of don’t knows, this poll suggests opinion hasn’t moved since the 55:45 for Vote No in the referendum two years ago.
One month after the UK’s shock decision to leave the EU, the latest YouGov research in Scotland shows no real shift towards independence. Were another Scottish referendum to be held tomorrow, Scots would vote to remain in the UK by 53% to 47%. The results represent a move to the independence option of just 1% since YouGov last asked the question in early May.
Even the guarantee of an independent Scotland being able to remain in the EU doesn’t move public opinion in favour of independence.
Fully 46% of Scots say that they would rather live in a Scotland that was still part of the UK post-Brexit, against 37% who would rather live in an independent Scotland that remained in the EU. (These numbers translate to 55% vs 45% once don’t knows are stripped out).
Support for the union is buttressed by the fact that 43% of those who voted to Remain in the EU last month want Scotland to stay in the UK after Brexit.
Other polls tell a different story and the Scottish press are going with the flow, according to media commentator Roy Greenslade.
Polls reported by two newspapers at the weekend suggest she might conceivably win a majority among the Scots for secession.
The Glasgow-based Daily Record carried a post-Brexit poll on Saturday that found 54% of Scots voters would vote yes to independence.
The following day the Dundee-based Sunday Post highlighted a survey conducted on its behalf had found 59% in favour of independence.
What was most noticeable, however, was the way in which those poll findings were reported. The Record, previously steadfast for maintaining the union, appeared to support a move towards independence with its “EU go girl” front page headline.
And its editorial was enthusiastic about the notion by arguing that Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, was “right to raise the prospect of a second IndyRef”.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London