What next after the interim report on Irish referendums?

 A surprising initiative It’s a remarkable fact about the working group on Unification Referendums that it took an initiative led by London academics to start the process of setting rules for a possible outcome that has been the Irish obsession of centuries. The initiative was in part a reproach as to how politics particularly but not only in Northern Ireland is serving the public, partly an acknowledgement of the complexity of the issues where intensity of feeling can prevent people …

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Opinion may be swinging but even DUP supporters favour a soft Brexit. What are the DUP doing to help bring this about?

Polling results on Brexit vary widely according to the questions asked and the sequence of events in Parliament and between the UK and the EU, a major analysis of recent polls has found. Mrs May’s persistence with her deal despite last week’s massive majority against it suggests  that even the most dramatic results can be regarded as  unstable or heavily conditional. Some results however are clear enough. Unionists and nationalists are deeply divided on whether there should be a second …

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With Brexit fever, lies,lies and damned polls

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. …

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Nearly two decades of sectarian politics have produced increasing indifference to politics, which is progress of a kind. Age, education and income are now the great dividing lines.

The Guardian’s Henry McDonald  reports an advance of the findings of a  complex opinion survey carried out by Social Market Research Belfast for four universities and coordinated by a team including Professor Peter Shirlow, now at Liverpool.  In common with the NI Life and Times opinion  surveys the poll confirms a much more complex state of public opinion than a straight standoff between unionist and nationalist or a  hardening of attitudes between them.  A huge amount of political agnosticism is …

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