The DUP and Sinn Fein are neck and neck as Arlene Foster plummets – Bel Tel poll

LucidTalk  party ratings in the Belfast Telegraph  here and ratings for Arlene Foster and other  party leaders compared over time  here.  They show a continuing downward trend for the DUP leader in less than two months , from 49% before December to 21% now . When only unionists are included into the results Jim Allister comes out on top with Arlene Foster just half a percentage point above Michelle O’Neill who was bottom on 28.9%.

LucidTalk concludes that the DUP will still shave it for top party. But will they make the 30 seats needed for a blocking quota? And will Arlene survive a narrow result for long?

Party shares  DUP 25.87%. down 3% .

Sinn Fein 25.1%, up 1.1% on last year’s Assembly election. All the other parties are up e.g.  UUP at 13.9% up 1.3%;

SDLP 12.36% up 0.4%

People before Profit  2.7% up 0.77%

Party leader ratings vary greatly from those of their party.

Naomi Long top on 52%

TUV leader Jim Allister second with 48.8%

Sinn Fein’s new leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill third on 46.1%.

SDLP’s Colum Eastwood, next with 44%.

The polling results however do still show Mrs Foster does still enjoy the support of her party.

She comes out with a 72% rating among DUP voters with Jim Allister second on 49% and Michelle O’Neill third on 30%.

LucidTalk managing director Bill White described the DUP’s 3% decrease as “quite a drop”.

He said: “But may not totally translate into dropping a similar relatively large number of seats in the new Northern Ireland Assembly. This is because it would take an even larger drop to really feed into the party losing the comparative number of seats.

“Though this drop could be the difference in terms of them losing one or two extra seats. That is above the number of seats they are expected to lose.”

He added: “A large number of poll participants who said they voted DUP last May 2016, say they will switch this time to the UUP and other parties.

“This is a noticeable swing to the UUP, but at this stage in the campaign, is not overwhelming. The DUP can cope with this swing, in terms of not being damaged too much overall in terms of seats, but they can’t afford the swing to grow anymore over the course of the campaign.

For now Nigel Dodds DUP director of elections is circling the wagons rather than making a  dash for the fort.

 “These poll results show that, come election day, Sinn Fein could return to Stormont with the most seats and take the first minister’s post.

Quite possibly Nigel, although of the basis of these figures LucidTalk says not

Then there will be nothing to stop them implementing their radical agenda for Northern Ireland.  Just imagine what that would mean for our way of life.

No Nigel – and you know it  Sinn Fein’s ” radical agenda” would still require cross party support.

But it’s early days. There’s  a trend against the DUP. Will it continue or consolidate  in response to these dramatic results?




  • Gaygael

    Fair enough, if this poll is accurate and the Greens are up by 45% (1.2% increase on a 2.68% AE16 score) and we follow your logic, that suggests that Baileys score could be up a similar 1,500 or so.
    That would likely top the poll in South Belfast!

  • lizmcneill

    What do Dodds etc think is going to happen if the FM was SF? What would be so terrible?

  • Ryan A

    Genuinely wouldn’t be surprised. Hearing positive things on the Greens above everyone else from traditional DUP areas in South Belfast.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Typical scaremongering by the DUP.

    What power does a FM have that a DFM doesn’t?

  • Damien C Conway

    Just a query, with the reduction of MLA seats does the 30 needed for a ‘Petition of Concern’ reduce?

  • Gaygael

    We covered the most ground last year and where in all communities. We followed that up with building relationships with community groups.

    I think SB could become the first constituency where others outpoll nationalism and unionism.

  • Annie Breensson

    No, the bar stays at 30, Damien

  • grumpy oul man

    Arlene can only trigger a election (outside of a internal dup leadership one) if she resigns the joint first minister post and it far from certain that we will have a working excutive after the next elrction.
    There will possibly be a prolonged period of negotiation after the poll, and the DUP may well decide that she is more of a liabilty than a leader.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think so, but if it did the PoC quota would be 25 … very simple maths there.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Unionism isn’t eclipsed, and your best case puts Nationalism on 34, which is a bigger gap from Unionism, than Unionism is from a majority.

    And with 27, a DUP/TUV axis on full whip mode would need 3 signatures presumably from the UUP, (maybe PBP on Brexit stuff) to a Petition of Concern.

  • Paddy Reilly

    If Unionism isn’t going to win 50% of the seats, then the whole petition of concern palaver can be jettisoned and majority rule reimposed.

  • AntrimGael

    The local and Southern media are going into massive DUP propoganda and panic overdrive to deflect the reasons for this election. They are terrified that people may actually vote on REAL issues instead of the comfortable usual sectarian ones and they are stirring the pot. The Irish Independent Group including the Belfast Telegraph have nailed their shirt to the mast in their embarrassing Save Arlene and the DUP campaign……JUST to stop the Shinners.

  • grumpy oul man

    So we cant use a poltician elected by unionists as a example of how unionists think.
    OK then perhaps you could tell us who we are allowed to use as a example. After it probably is unfair that just because Gregory has extreme views on all things nationlist and is elected by unionists and regularly put forward as a spokesman for the largest unionist party only someone trying to twist things would think he represents unionist tginking in any way.

  • Msiegnaro

    Hmmm I do seem to remember a recent IRA campaign.

  • file

    I mean right now. What is my community (although I do not have a community) threatening you with?

  • Msiegnaro

    So Sinn Fein wouldn’t resort back to that when they have Unionists cut off in a UI?

  • file

    Sinn Féin is not the IRA. Sinn Féin has committed to exclusively peaceful means. The IRA no longer exists. No one is threatening you, and why would anyone threaten you in a United Ireland? The main social unrest in a Unitied Ireladn will be from disaffected loyalists. Does that threaten you?

  • Msiegnaro

    I will be disaffected too, I can imagine history will then be written by the victors.

  • file

    You can be as disaffected as you like, but do it by peaceful means. You might also find that there will be issues where all the Nordies will be disaffected or displeased with the Mexicans and we will untie to protest about it … if they tried to bring in prescription charges/water charges/GP visit charges. Together there are enough of us as a protest group to be listened to in a future United Ireland.

  • Msiegnaro

    No chance we’d be laughed back to England.

  • file

    You are also welcome to go to England.

  • Msiegnaro

    You would certainly like that, am I being furnished with a repatriation grant?

  • Katyusha

    A definition of “recent” that is almost twenty years ago now and getting less recent by the day.

    (and conflating the nationalist community with the actions of the IRA is ridiculous, but I think you know that)

  • Katyusha

    Of course they wouldn’t. What planet do you live on tho think that is even a remote possibility?

  • file

    I have no preference one way or the other where you choose to live. Yeah, maybe: we could ask the Brits for resettlement grants for anyone who does not want to join a United Ireland. Didn’t really work for de Gaulle with Algeria though.

  • North Down

    Good post

  • Dreary Steeple

    Thank you.

  • Kevin Breslin

    RTÉ are obliged to give the DUP a fair hearing … to be fair they don’t really help themselves down there.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well they can’t use the former gunman/gunwoman being FM excuse to scaremonger this time.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Also the TUV are not as bad on this Project Fear malarkie … coming from a self-professed Irish republican like myself that’s a very unbiased comment, I don’t make lightly.

    Seriously, at least the TUVs are as fed up with the shadiness of SPADs and clandestine backdealings like the rest of the opposition.

    If your selling point is not being something, you offer little improvement on actually voting for nothing.

  • North Down

    Tuv is a one man show, unfortunately for me independents and other small partys is a waste of time( not in local elections ) of a vote , so you either have uup dup sdlp or sf to make a difference in government, for me the dup is the best of a bad bunch

  • Keep it real

    Would Jesus allow gay marriage? I’m genuinely – and respectfully – interested in your take on this. Thanks.

  • Keep it real

    They’d be out of power in a flash.

  • Keep it real

    back to England? But your home is on this island, and you’re as much a part of it as anyone else.

  • North Down

    No, bible is very clear on it