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Northern Ireland would vote to stay in UK if border poll was held, according to survey

A new poll has suggested that people in Northern Ireland would vote to remain in the UK if a referendum was called in the present day.

Of those surveyed, 49% said they would vote to stay in the UK while 43% would support a united Ireland. The remainder were undecided.

The Lucid Talk poll, which had a sample size of 2,845 and a 2.5% margin of error, was conducted for BBC NI’s Spotlight programme over April 5-7.

Spotlight commissioned a similar poll in the Irish Republic as part of a special programme reflecting on the centenary of Northern Ireland’s foundation.

In the Irish Republic, 51% of people said they would vote for a united Ireland while 27% would vote against it. That poll was conducted by Lucid Talk/Ireland Thinks between April 6 and 9. The sample size was 1,008 with a 2.5% margin of error.

The poll also asked people for their views on the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol that governs post-Brexit trading arrangements between the region and the rest of the UK.

In Northern Ireland, opinion was sharply divided, with 48% wanting it scrapped and 46% thinking it should be retained.

However, people in Northern Ireland were also asked whether their MLAs should vote for the region to remain in the Single Market when they decided on the Protocol’s future in three years. Some 56% said Northern Ireland should remain in the Single Market while 38% said it should not.

In terms of Northern Ireland’s constitutional position in the longer term, the survey asked people if they thought the region would still be within the UK in 10 years and in 25 years.

On the 10-year timeframe, 55% of people in Northern Ireland felt it would still be in the UK, with 32% believing a united Ireland would be achieved by then.

In the Irish Republic, 59% felt Northern Ireland would still be in the UK in 10 years, with 26% predicted Irish unity would have been achieved by then.

The results were significantly different for 25 years. In Northern Ireland, 37% felt the region would still be part of the UK in 25 years, with 51% believing it would not.

In the Irish Republic, 26% felt Northern Ireland would still be part of the UK in 25 years, with 54% saying it would not.

The poll, which was taken in a period when disorder was flaring in certain areas of Northern Ireland, asked people if they thought violence could return to the region.

In Northern Ireland, 76% said yes. In the Irish Republic, 87% feared a potential return to conflict.

The survey also asked people if they thought the centenary should be celebrated. Of those questioned, 40% agreed and 45% disagreed.

In the Irish Republic, 12% said it should be celebrated and 50% said it should not.

In Northern Ireland, 48% said they believed partition was a negative development which should be regretted with 41% disagreeing.

In the Irish Republic, 71% said it was a negative development, with 7% disagreeing.

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