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42% of people in the North want a united Ireland - poll

In a rare result, the poll puts those who want a united Ireland almost on par with those who want to remain as part of the UK.

DUP leader Arlene Foster.
DUP leader Arlene Foster.
Image: Yui Mok

THERE ARE ALMOST the same number of people who want a united Ireland as who want to remain as part of the United Kingdom, according to a poll of Northern Irish citizens.

An online survey conducted by Lucid Talk for the BBC found that 45% of people in Northern Ireland wanted to remain as part of the UK, while 42.1% said they would like to join the Republic of Ireland. 12.7% said they didn’t know.

The result represents a much closer percentage than a Queens University poll which put the percentage at 21% in favour of a united Ireland. According to the BBC, Lucid Talk’s Bill White believes the online survey method may catch more “shy” united Ireland supporters than face-to-face interviews used in the Queens University study.

Traditionally, support for remaining under British rule has been the majority viewpoint. But since the UK voted to leave the European Union, there’s been a discussion that a referendum on Irish unity could be held in Northern Ireland in order to remain as part of the EU. The North voted to remain in the EU, and there are concerns that there won’t be a solution to the Irish border issue, causing difficulties for the day-to-day lives of those in Northern Ireland.

There were a number of other interesting (though not concrete, let’s remember) findings in the poll:

  • Fewer people in Northern Ireland think of themselves as British than in any other UK region. Just 46.7% see themselves as being British, compared to 58.6% who call themselves Irish.

Poll Source: BBC

  • More than a quarter of people said that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has made them more likely to vote for a united Ireland.

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Poll2 Source: BBC

When asked whether they agree that politicians in Westminster reflect their concerns, 62.4% of Northern Irish citizens said that they “strongly disagree”, with a further 18.9% saying they “tend to disagree”.

Today, an audio of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was released where he said that it was “unbelievable” that the UK government was allowing the Northern Ireland issue to control the Brexit deal the UK wants.

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