Lucid Talk poll shows support for special status & strong support for the DUP & Sinn Fein

Lucid Talk released a poll today (commissioned by the GUE/NGL group in the EU Parliament). They have some really interesting findings.

Broken down into those who identify as Unionist or Nationalists;

Another interesting statistic from the poll is the current levels of party support in Northern Ireland (Good news for the DUP & Sinn Fein);

Some Thoughts

Obviously it’s one poll and the usual caveats apply about a simple snap shot in time.

The level of support for Irish reunification is noteworthy, I cannot remember a poll in any recent years that in a certain context had support levels so high for unity.  Whether this can be sustained is another thing, but those of us who would like to see this happen now have some narrative to build upon to make a different case to those who might not have looked at this issue before.

Whilst, Nationalists have to adjust to some new realities, it’s clear that Unionism has to aswell. In her conference speech, Arlene Foster referenced the fact that the positive case for the Union has not always been put out there. Evidence from the past week shows there is still a lot of work to do and that simply shouting “stop supporting Dublin” is not a forward strategy.

Meanwhile back on the ranch, the support for the DUP/Sinn Fein is holding firm. From those number neither have much to fear from another election whilst the other parties continue to decline in support within the polarised environment. It is worth noting that Sinn Fein and the DUP’s support alone is more than the SDLP/UUP/Alliance Parties combined.

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  • MainlandUlsterman

    But Gerry, look at the scenario that was put to people: no GFA, no citizens’ rights, no deal at all on the border of any kind … Parallel universe stuff. How people respond to the reality of post-Brexit N Ireland, in which the sky has not fallen on anyone’s heads, would I suggest be quite different.

    Also, it was Lucid Talk, which always has a higher pro-UI figure than any other pollsters.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    One of my own hobbyhorses to.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    40 per cent of unionists voted Remain – so it didn’t fall completely on deaf ears

  • MainlandUlsterman

    he was right. The DUP lack strategic vision.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    spot on, Brian – with the usual big caveats about poll results based on such an unrealistic scenario (no GFA or citizens’ rights, really?)

  • MainlandUlsterman

    it does fall short of special status – in fact special status can’t now happen without unionist consent.

  • Get The Grade Get The Grade

    Repartition is not an option – and it would be disastrous for everyone if it were.

  • Get The Grade Get The Grade

    Yes but, as always, the same applies to previous polls. The context is always important.

    Previous polls often went along the lines of “Would you vote for a UI if a referendum was held tomorrow?” What sane Republican/Nationalist would vote “Yes” to that without knowing the status of their pensions, mortgages etc., etc. Clarity and assurances on such issues would have hugely swung previous polls (from a Nationalist perspective) in the direction of a UI.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Myself also. My first wife was a Polish post war exile, Catholic unlike her family’s hero Marshal Pilsudski, who was a Lutheran.

  • Tochais Siorai

    No, two wrongs don;t make a right and I never said it did. We can’t change the wrong and disrespectful stance of people in the past and we can recognise the negative stranglehold the catholic church had on its members. But that was nearly 70 years ago ffs.

    DUP members who are Free Ps and similar won’t enter a Catholic church for their neighbours’ funerals . Today. Now.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    This is true – there is no such thing as completely neutral wording. But the ‘poll tomorrow’ one is standard for all election polls.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’d love to get the inside track, hard to get hold of inside info on how things like question wording were agreed with their client though. These things are usually protected by client confidentiality. And I’m not expecting SF to enlighten us.

  • Tochais Siorai

    The only time she got a bit of grief was the heckling in Moore St and that was very definitely to do with the Government’s reluctance to buy the buildings there where the final surrender in 1916 was made. Maybe that was the piece you recall.

    She quite openly discussed on RTE the irony of her ancestors signing the Ulster Covenant and she being in charge of the 1916 commemorations. Nobody seemed to give a hoot.

    If you can find an actual link which can actually back up what you’re saying bring it on.

  • Barneyt

    I’d love to talk to that small percentage of nationalists that would want to exit the eu by remaining in the uk. Nationalist?

  • Barneyt

    That’s a fair assessment. They need to reach out and just push the barrel of that gun about a foot to the left, step out of the way, take a deep breath and say, phew. Voting brexit was always going to present as a wee gift to those who want to remove the border which was becoming less significant by the minute. Will the electorate look at the danger the DUP placed the union in and act? Can’t see it myself.

  • DonArd

    BarneyT sorry for not responding to a different post. Been busy.

    Regarding you repartition question. I would accept it.

    The reality is that 50.1% won’t work, ever! The PUL community has consolidated itself into east Derry, Antrim, north Armagh and north Down with a flight from the West/South, which is going to continue. It is estimated that the IRA had 10,000 volunteers during the 30 years of the troubles – and they brought the British Army to a standstill. I reckon the PULs could have 50,000 out in the morning to fight to defend their link to the UK.

    I am not a pacificist and believe people have the right to stand up for themselves. We did. But I do recogniose that actions have consequences, you reap what you sow as the saying goes.

    So the alternatives are repartition now (soon), or wait until about 2040, when there will be a CNR voting majority and they face the prospect of civil unrest leading to a possible Bosnia or Syria outcome. No thanks. Simply not worth it.

    I want the next generation of Irish people to be free of the historical shackles, myth around unit/the fouth green field etc.

    A new border along the line of the Brexit vote. Offer the CNR in Belfast or Ballycastle the oppoirtunity to relocate and likewise the PULs in Fermanagh/Tyrone.

    Then build a big wall with a few gates and lock them. 🙂 (that’s a wee joke, but I would have a Hard Border)

  • Aodh Morrison

    Again you have me at a disadvantage. I’m not sure what “Free Ps and similar” might be. Religious belief is a closed book to me, but I am aware that ‘believers’ have all manner of shibboleths to navigate on the path to their place in ‘heaven’.

    You appear to equate the actions of DUP members in their private lives in the particular circumstances of their neighbours’ funeral rites with that of government ministers at a State occasion. Perhaps it is of the same magnitude, but I personally doubt it. I acknowledge (again) that things are different now, ‘ffs’. However in my defence I have to say (again) that I was not the one that made the original reference to historical personages.

    But back to the here and now. I did provide you with examples of DUPers going into Catholic Churches. Perhaps they broke DUP rules by doing so; perhaps it is a rule of their particular brand of Sky Fairy and nothing to do with their politics? You have not been clear on this point.

    Finally I would say that it strikes me as rather strange to go to a funeral, neighbour or otherwise, and yet not go to a funeral at the same time. I’ve been at some myself and found that even if you could avoid the church bit (whatever brand of church it might happen to be) the ‘reverend’ gentleman or lady insists in having another go at the God thing at the graveside.

  • DonArd

    ‘nationalist’ – that did make me smile

  • 1729torus

    Brexit means there will be plenty of low paid work that wasn’t there before – read the Resolution Foundation’s response to the recent OBR forecasts

  • Ruairi Murphy

    The phrase “a new constitution” was inadvertent loose language on my part. What I really meant was amendments to the current constiution.

  • Reader

    Damien Mullan: That’s just off the top of my head, but there are more, and have been more, protestants as members of the The Oireachtas
    The equivalent to that claim is that there have been Catholics at Stormont, and indeed there were many.
    Probably it’s better for you to let George and Georgie keep the goalposts narrow and mobile.

  • Reader

    Rapparee: It was more or less a attempt to say that you haven`t really left us and we still think you are part of the UK. Just a lack of maturity on Britain`s part and an inability to accept reality.
    Strange that the Irish Government hasn’t objected to the rights granted to Irish citizens in the UK, then. And that they allowed the Common Travel Area to extend those rights. It’s as though your perspective isn’t widely shared.
    But there are people just like you on the other side – those who object to the Irish state offering citizenship to people living in a part of the UK. The words those people would use would be an awful lot like your words that I have quoted.

  • Reader

    Korhomme: They weren’t permitted to go inside St Patrick’s Cathedral by Archbishop McQuaid; they waited outside.
    So the members of the Dáil, en masse, were just like the sort of Orangemen who would behave in exactly the same way at the funeral of a Catholic friend or colleague.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    With quite a few polls published here they sometimes give a lot of detail regarding methodology. As both of us appear to have had experience of evaluating not only the figures but how such figures have they been put together you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • sam mccomb

    You are welcome, Claire.
    Another important part of Indyref was, I think, the lengths to which Better Together, the media and members of the Establishment went to try to prevent a Yes win. The full malignity of the State towards its citizens who opposed it shone through. Of course, it was so easy to deal with the insignificant stuff.

    I think the utter negativity of the Better Together helped to ensure the Yes vote would hold up in the years after the event

  • Reader

    Granni Trixie: Knowledge of this resides in the memories of those involved with little recognition by politicians or academia (notable exception of Rick Wilford et al) .
    Plus the Nobel Peace Prize, of course. And later on, Mo Mowlam, though she was a Brit.

  • Reader

    SeaanUINeill: Pointedly Joe Devlin refused Craigs invitation to form an official opposition in the Northern Ireland parliament in late 1920s because while his voting base was primarily catholic, he was unwilling to form an opposition in which northern nationalism would entirely loose its non confessional character and simply mirror Unionism
    But isn’t that precisely the result his refusal achieved? Then the Unionist party at Stormont spent the next 40 years using the threat of the nationalist bogeyman to keep down Labour.

  • Reader

    sam mccomb: An attempt is being made to take over the strongly unionist The Scotsman and install Alec Salmond as chairman.
    Maybe Putin will stump up a bit of cash for the project.

  • Get The Grade Get The Grade

    Well, in the context of a reunification poll, the question is clearly absurd and distorts people’s ideal, long-term peference.

  • Reader

    Brendan Heading: For that reason I suspect they’ll pull down Theresa May’s government rather than be seen to do a deal that involves a compromise.
    I wish I could see the timestamps on your upvotes…

  • Reader

    Jess McAnerney: Any border poll will be based on the GFA and after recent events, I would like to see the EU play some roll ensuring it is managed sensibly and fairly. I have no confidence in the UK to do either
    What sort of things are you particularly concerned about?

  • Reader

    Neil: It’s likely with our highly educated workforce and reasonable rates of pay, in addition to our new rock bottom corporation tax rate, and high levels of unemployment and underemployment we’d have plenty of new jobs.
    So you predict pay would remain lower in the 6 counties than in the 26. How tempting for Nordies…
    And that would move jobs from the 26 to the 6? How tempting for Southerners…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    This is complex needs a lot of historical detail to explain, but during 1920s James Craig altered the subtleties of the proportional voting system here to a first past the post system specifically in order to create ghettos for our politics confessionally. It was his perception of nationalism as a non sectarian politics which drove Devlin’s decision. Unionism as you say have been trying to stop the Labour Party developing here. During the programs of the 1920s Protestant socialists as well as Catholics were targeted by loyalist gun men

  • Korhomme

    The Orange Order prohibits its members from attending a Catholic ceremony; here it was that Archbishop who did the preventing. But yes, it amounts to the same thing. And a very miserable, mean-spirited thing it is too.

  • Korhomme

    As would be expected and appropriate.

  • Reader

    George: Part of Brexit is to remove the UK once again from the restraints of the European Convention on Human Rights.
    Not so. Very naughty!

  • Reader

    Korhomme: The Orange Order prohibits its members from attending a Catholic ceremony; here it was that Archbishop who did the preventing.
    Just to be clear, the Archbishop didn’t make up the rule. He just firmly reminded everyone of the rule that already existed.

  • Korhomme

    True; but the Archbishop, in relation to a state funeral of the first president, could have turned a blind eye, and should have: the cabinet were prepared to enter the cathedral.

  • Reader

    SeaanUINeill: Sales of books of all kinds of being always been much higher in Ireland that in England, say!
    Not so bad at writing them, though:
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/22/uk-publishes-more-books-per-capita-million-report
    Of course, it might be Nordie authurs pumping up the numbers for the UK as a whole.

  • Reader

    Korhomme: True; but the Archbishop, in relation to a state funeral of the first president, could have turned a blind eye, and should have: the cabinet were prepared to enter the cathedral.
    But failed to do so for fear of a belt with a crozier?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    When I was the London book fair last year I noticed that we are down to even fewer major publishers in the UK. Anything published in England is produced for an international English language audience of buyers. It does not reflect UK sales in any way.

    When I was at London University in the early 1970s I filled in with a part-time job at Frank Cass and company, working mailshots across the commonwealth. So even then book production was not for a discrete local audience.

  • Dramadrama

    You’re welcome, and I have to say that your posts in particular, with your deep understanding of history, particularly unionism, have been some of the best and most revelatory of all. I love reading your many posts. You’ve given me a much greater insight and understanding of unionism.

  • Dramadrama

    Like I alluded to in another post Sean, you have a fascinating take on things based on your predecessors and knowledge of history. Really fascinating .

  • Korhomme

    The Taoiseach, the Cabinet and the President knew full well that the not-cardinal Archbishop was the real ruler of Ireland.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    But this is the tricky thing about Irish nationalist opinion on that – there is heart and head. Ask about a long term yearning and you get heart. Ask about an actual decision about it happening any time soon and the realism, head, kicks in. I think a referendum would produce something in between the heart figure – maybe 45 per cent – and the head figure most surveys show – maybe 25-35 per cent. So high 30s per cent, maybe low 40s, best guess. It’s higher than a pure ‘head’ figure because I think group bonding behaviour and a sense of a historic opportunity would be factors. But the reality factor would still be there and would take quite a few percentage points off the top. But it is an educated guess only.

  • Mac an Aistrigh

    I think the ‘Black Man’ is Henry Cooke, of a slightly earlier generation.

    There was a statue of ‘Roaring Hugh’ at Carlisle Circus.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You are absolutely correct and my only excuse is that I’m on very strong painkillers at present. I’ve written about the mendacious influence of Cooke so should have remembered, especially as I’m working on Hannah for something I’m writing at present and only last week was checking the date the Carlisle Circus statue of Hannah was blown up. Thank you for the timely correction!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you DD! Mac an Aistrigh has given me a timely reminder of the Black Man being Henry Cooke rather than Hannah. Of course Kane loathed both!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you again DD! We are living in so many sterile and mendacious myths that it feels almost like a public duty to try and “ clean mans dirty slate” in this matter. Historical hygiene is how I see it.

  • Jess McAnerney

    I believe that the UK has clearly demonstrated that it is not sufficiently concerned about what is best for any part of Ireland

  • William Kinmont

    reminds me of baldricks war poem boom boom boom

  • eamoncorbett

    I watched Martin Shultz on Euro News last night but I don’t think his ideas will gain much traction even with the disappearance of the UK.

  • Georgie Best

    At least some London ministers were talking about a “no deal being better than a bad deal” and so this scenario is not totally outlandish.

  • Colin Lamont

    Exactly 6 months ago we had an election where unionists got over 49% of the vote and nationalists/republicans 41%…in that context I think I’ll disregard Lucidtalk’s ‘poll’ results.

  • Georgie Best

    That would suggest you hadn’t read them. The proportion of the nationalist/unionist voters is almost exactly as the Assembly election, nationalists about 42% and unionists about 44%. This leaves others, 14%, of whom 8% would vote for a UI in the event of a stupid Brexit, and 2% would like to stay in the UK.
    The Assembly election is a better guide than the Westminster election, as the latter is mainly of interest to unionists who are interested in the place.

    But sure if ignoring inconvenient information makes you feel better than fire ahead.

  • Philip Murphy

    Almost as embarrassing as the Tories.

  • Brendan Heading

    If you mean that the outcome on Friday suggests that my theory is false, you may be right. Time will tell.

    It does indeed look as if Theresa May faced down the Tory right and the DUP. We’ll see what the weekend brings.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    On another thread, someone asked about these results, so I went to the Lucid Talk website, where they are now posted. VERY, VERY interesting statement by Lucid Talk in relation to this poll, which I will quote here.

    Key bit “all poll questions were proposed, promoted, and designed, by the GUE/NGL” – that’s SF’s group in the European Parliament. I thought as much. They have used a Brussels proxy but this seems to be SF wording in the poll.

    Lucid Talk is making it clear below these are not Lucid Talk questions and not how Lucid Talk would have worded them.

    Here is the Lucid Talk statement:

    “LT were recently commissioned by the European Parliamentary Political Group the GUE/NGL – EUROPEAN UNION LEFT/NORDIC GREEN LEFT [SF’s group in the European Parliament – MU] to carry out representative poll research in Northern Ireland (NI) regarding Brexit (Hard or Soft), and its possible impact on NI and the Republic of Ireland. As such, and for this specific project, all poll questions were proposed, promoted, and designed, by the GUE/NGL. In addition, all discussions, project design, and commercial agreements, etc. have been conducted by LT directly with the GUE/NGL in Brussels – and no other parties (political or otherwise) were, and/or have been, involved with this poll-project.

    LucidTalk advised on the structure and format of the poll-project. NB LucidTalk, with the GUE/NGL, endeavoured to provide neutrality and balance to the poll questions and the poll project structure. The GUE/NGL objectives for this project were to research NI opinions and views based on certain specific scenarios relating to Brexit, and the poll questions were framed with this in mind. Brexit, and how it relates to NI, is a very complex subject, and as such, the reader, and any reviewer analysis of this report, should be carried out in that context, and the reviewer/reader should make their own individual judgements and interpretations of the results.”

    This is a fairly new tactic by Sinn Fein to try and manipulate the news agenda and opinion polling in this way – and worth noting here. Let’s keep an eye on this for future polling. If anyone from Sinn Fein is reading: haha, got you 🙂 You’re going to have to try harder.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    post script – and this is a query because I know sampling is a complex business, I don’t claim to know the answer, but this seems odd in the sampling of the recent poll set by SF’s Euro group. There seem to be way more people in the sample polled of Irish identity than in the Census – 44 per cent, versus 27 per cent in the Census. It seems to have undersampled on people of Northern Irish only identity, which was 20ish per cent in the Census and only about 6 per cent here:

    First, the Lucid Talk poll:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a39dd9c118b9802d08ad731dfeaa612fea894cc74340d90a22f2aa223e75113b.png

    Then the 2011 Census on this:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0f90bfa9430b3261677130ecee970940b69a9ff70b3a0748a6131875dd98330.png

    ????

    In the Census, the biggest single identity by some distance is “British only” with almost 40 per cent; but in the Lucid Talk sample it’s “Irish only”; and “British only” respondents were only 13.3 per cent of the sample. So were the unionist respondents in this poll actually representative of unionists overall? With SF’s proxy organisation involved, I do wonder about some of this …

    Also the age sampling looks out of kilter with the general population – under-sampling on older age groups.

    There might be an explanation – but certainly some questions to answer here.

  • Georgie Best

    It isn’t clear that people’s responses to these questions are entirely congruent with the census. I presume Lucidtalk were more interested in getting people by their party affiliation rather than the rather ill defined measures above.

  • Georgie Best

    The question is of one interest to the EU parliament and it is hardly out of the question as several British ministers have suggested they might leave the EU with no deal and the Daily Telegraph runs articles most days on this basis.
    The message is not much different from the previous poll run by Lucidtalk itself, i.e. that there is a substantial segment of the NI population whose opinion on the constitutional issue is dependent on the conduct of the British government.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    no doubt, but the form of wording – and actually the narrative flow of the questionnaire – is HIGHLY leading. The questions before this one do some work too by asking respondents to imagine a NI in which their rights are reduced – which is both highly unlikely and places an association in respondents’ minds between post-EU Northern Ireland and civil rights / parity of esteem issues. This is the kind of thing clients do in polls when they want to achieve a particular result for PR purposes, rather than seek a clean measure of what people’s real opinions are.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Again, I don’t know, but it is a big discrepancy. Actually the age spread was the thing that struck me first – older age groups, who actually vote more, are very under-represented. I would trust Lucid Talk if they say the sample is representative that it clears some kind of hurdle there. But I would welcome more explanation on the odd age profile and, within the British community, the identity profiles.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    see my new post on this thread – Lucid Talk have attached a statement to this poll on their website and it makes VERY interesting reading. SF is up to some tricks here.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    sadly SF’s presence guarantees DUP support staying solid

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you MU. You are well aware of my scepticism about the limitations of polls anyway. Polls are always commissioned with agendas in mind, even if the agenda is to attempt as much objectivity as can be managed. It is impossible to find a question which will not trigger something problematic in any situation of polarisation, which is why I suggest that every poll needs to be evaluated against who commissions it and what their agenda is. I’ve been in advertising teams who have budgeted in their own private targeted assessments of a product specifically to avoid the sometimes unconscious imbalances that any assessment commissioned by the manufacturer inevitably entails. I will look for your post and check out your views on this particular methodology.

  • Georgie Best

    NI people are not English, they are well capable of understanding the implications of something. A hard border by definition means an end of parity of esteem, and leaving the EU obviously reduces people’s rights and leaves them at the mercy of London.

  • Georgie Best

    I’m sure Lucidtalk are competent in this respect. I would argue that for a border poll like this, after a collapse of the post 1998 settlement, that turnout would be very high and the differences between young and old turnout might not be as significant as in regular elections.