Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A new poll by Lord Ashcroft has revealed growing support for a unified Ireland with many citing Brexit as a motive for quitting the UK

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, a referendum on uniting Ireland could be held if it appears likely that it would have a chance of passing in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And support for reunification has ballooned since Brexit, which saw Northern Ireland vote 57% in favor of remaining in the European Union. Ironically, for the ultra-unionist DUP, who were the only major Northern Irish party to campaign for leave, it appears that their support for Brexit has actually contributed to a rise in support of their Doomsday Scenario: the reunification of Ireland. The poll has revealed that 44% of Northern Irish residents would vote in favor of quitting the UK and joining the Republic if a referendum was held tomorrow. Forty-nine percent of respondents said that they would vote to stay in the UK while 7% said that they did not know how they would vote. Pollsters, who interviewed 1,666 Northern Irish adults between May 24 and 28, 2018 revealed even those who opposed a united Ireland believed a referendum would eventually be held. Lord Ashcroft Polls said in the full report: “More than half of DUP voters said there should never be a referendum but fewer than one in five of them thought there never would be. More than eight in 10 Nationalists and three in 10 Unionists thought there would be a ‘border poll’ within the next decade.” The poll also spoke to voters in England, Scotland and Wales, who said leaving the European Union was more important than keeping Northern Ireland in the union. The poll report said: “If it were not possible both to leave the EU and to keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, 63 percent of Leave voters in Great Britain (including 73 percent of Conservatives) said they would choose to leave the EU. 27 percent said they would choose to keep the UK together, and one in ten say they didn’t know.” The new poll announcement backs up another released earlier in June 2018. The Lucid Talk poll, which was commissioned by the BBC, revealed that 42.1% of those surveyed would vote to join the Republic in a unified Ireland, just three points - the margin of error - behind those who want to remain in the UK. The remainder were undecided.

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