That BBC poll (about a border poll)


There are two ways you can look at it. You could take the view – one, I suspect, that many if not most people will take – that the poll undertaken for the BBC shows that the idea of a reunited Ireland is a long, long way off. The figures support such a view. When asked if they wanted a referendum on partition or a ‘border poll’ as we’ve now learned to call it, 33% said Yes and 52% said No. Fifteen per cent said they didn’t know what they wanted.

And it gets worse for United Irelanders. It’s hardly a surprise that 72% of Protestants said they didn’t want a border poll; and it’s deflating if not depressing that a bare majority of Catholics – 53% – wanted a border poll.

All that’s on the BBC website under the heading ‘More than half in Northern Ireland oppose border poll’. But ‘strewth, if you look at The Irish Times, you’ll see that they look at the figures under the heading ‘Sharp rise in support for united Ireland, survey reports’. Eh?

The IT notes a marked increase in the percentage interested in a reunited Ireland, pointing to the 17% who wanted it in 2013 and the 22% wanting it now. It notes that those of a Catholic background wanting a reunited Ireland in 2013 was 35%, whereas it’s now 43%.

So it’s glass half-full or glass half-empty, depending on how you look at it. Those who equate Catholic with nationalist/republican will need to think again: there are clearly an awful lot of people from a Catholic background in favour of staying within the UK. On the other hand, pollsters tend to talk about ‘direction of travel’ or ‘momentum’, and it is true that there is a statistically significant increase in those in favour of a border poll.

In the end, though, these figures must be more cheering for those who embrace the Union with Britain than for those keen to be free from any such snuggling.

However, let me tell you a little story.

In 1911, King George V visited Ireland. The Daily Telegraph of the day reported the occasion:

“Half the great fog of misunderstanding and suspicion that has brooded so long over the relations between England and Ireland has been cleared away in the seven-mile roar of welcome”. And when the King and Queen went to the Phoenix Park for the races, “the thousands of spectators cheered them to the echo. When they appeared on the balcony the multitude cheered the more. It was altogether a great and stirring reception”. Such was the success of the visit, some pundits figured the King had resolved the Home Rule question for keeps.

But as we know it hadn’t. All of five years later, on the 24 April 1916, a group of desperate men seized the GPO and declared Ireland a republic. All of seven years after King George’s visit, Sinn Féin received a public, Ireland-wide endorsement of their commitment to an independent Ireland.

Events, dear boy, events.



43 Responses to That BBC poll (about a border poll)

  1. Freddie mallins September 9, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    It seems, Jude that ideology can be bought. So many nationalists only interested in their pocket. Depressing.

  2. Gerard September 9, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    I wouldn’t call them ‘desperate’ Jude and there were females among them! Just saying like..

    • Jude Collins September 9, 2016 at 10:20 am #

      I know, Gerard – you’re right about the women.I opted, chauvinist that I am, for the majority. As to ‘desperate’ – I think when people set out on a course that they pretty well know will end in their deaths, they are desperate. In other words, they’ve despaired of any other means to achieve their goal.

      • Gerard September 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

        Fair point Jude re the desperate tag.

  3. PF September 9, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    “Events, dear boy, events.”

    And harmonisation.

    Hands up who else thinks these results will lead to even more Unionist complacency?

  4. Twinbrook Lad September 9, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    A very large statistical increase indeed and not to be discounted at all. As you said Jude, momentum and swings are important and as Claire Hanna pointed out last night, polls consistently showed similar support in Scotland for independence until a referendum was called, then, after a proper debate, it was pushed down to the wire.

    Personally, I think anyone in favour of remaining in the UK can be broken down into two camps. Those individuals, families and businesses that are quite happy and content with remaining, usually, we are told/lied to, because we are economically and financially better off.

    Whether it is the NHS, state pensions, or just afraid of change. These people will say, no, not in favour of a poll (but could be persuaded). The other are the diehard Unionist/Royalist, GSTQ, Flegs and these people I believe are in a minority and will never accept a RI.

    It is that first group that should be targeted. Best to wait until Article 50 is triggered and negotiations over brexit take place, then a clear choice for NI can be asked again, Only the question I would like to see asked is ‘If it is shown that NI would be better off financially under a political union with GB or by a RI, would you agree to a poll?

  5. fiosrach September 9, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    The incisive remark by one of the commentators about the native population becoming more at ease in the British colony here because of the rise of a substantial catholic middle class is very telling. From the very setup of this rump state ALL state functions should have been avoided. But eventually the go ahead Catholics and ex nationalists carved a niche for themselves, as all “cosmopolitans” do. Principled stands were thrown to the winds and now this middle class is so comfortable that they are prepared to live “like Protestants” . Captain Terence’s dream has come true. I’m sure a class like this exists in Palestine too where some entrepreneurs have oozed their way into Zionist society at the expense of their own people. There was always a class of crawlers in this country and will always be. They morph from Redmondites to Nationalists to SDLP to, and it shames me to say it, Sinn Féin.

    • PF September 9, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      Do you mean to say that some have come to see the benefits of the Union?

      • fiosrach September 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

        There’s a comfortable living to be made from drugs and prostitution but are there any benefits?

        • PF September 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

          I’ll take it you’re anti EU?

  6. Antaine de Brún September 9, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    The BBC website and the Irish Times are like parallel lines, they have much in common but they will never meet. It would appear that some at the Beeb are not up to speed with their coordinates either.

    The population of the north of Ireland is stated to be in the region of 1,900,000 yet the results of the recent poll are based on the views of 1000 people responding to binary questions. One can never be sure with randomness.

    On the “mainland” this morning, listeners were treated to a brief item on sectarianism associated with shipbuilding in Belfast and Glasgow.

    Perhaps it is time to deal with statistically significant others in Ireland.

  7. Jack Black September 9, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Events Jude, absolutely correct, as a supporter of unification the last elections demoralised me somewhat regarding Nationalist aspirations when they simply did not turn up to vote.

    For people like me, it is now a case of hope that events someday will make Nationalists/Unionists see their future lies in reunification, sad really.

  8. Colmán September 9, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    I don’t believe in these surveys. No-one has ever asked me or anyone I know to participate in one. It would seem that they are being used to shape public opinion rather than to guage public opinion. The only survey that matters is a referendum.

    • fiosrach September 9, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      I agree with you,Colman. All my life I have had a wide and varied circle of acquaintances and none of them was ever asked to participate in such a survey.

  9. Cal September 9, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    A campaign like that in Scotland encompassing this whole Island will in my view see the vast majority of Catholics voting for reunification. I don’t like this idea of not giving people a vote because opinion polls don’t show a demand for one. Opinion polls are good for talking about but in now way whatsoever should they influence democratic processes at the ballot box.

    After brexit is settled, announce the border poll two years down the line and let’s have our debate and have our vote. I’d much rather have the chance to speak my mind as be told there’s no need for me to voice an opinion because a pollster has concluded it’s not worth our time.

    These polls are often worded in such a fashion as to give the people commissioning the poll the answer they want. I expect to see many more of these polls showing no support for a UI as we approach the demographic tipping point in the north of Ireland.

  10. Aidan murray September 9, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Having carried out a few quick calculations I found that the sample of people polled was made up of 37% catholics. This is not a representative sample as the last census in 2011 showed that 45% of the population of the occupied counties are from a Catholic background. If we assume that the trend from 2001 to 2011 continued, this figure is likely to be higher. I wonder what other bias has skewed the results.

    • Scott Rutherford September 9, 2016 at 11:28 am #

      How did you work out how many people from the catholic background they asked?

      Usually the sample a reputable polling company use will be representive of the overall population.

  11. billy September 9, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    20yrs now we are no further times slipping by and the younger kids have no interest,(not a bit of wonder)stormont needs scrubbed for a start to begin with,a plan needs drawn up what a ui would be like,ff needs to move north and stand in elections,and thats only for starters.

  12. ANOTHER JUDE September 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    I didn`t bother watching The View after I caught the trailer, no point, everyone knows the BBC wouldn`t scare the horses by telling us most people in the artificially created statelet actually want democracy to be given a chance in Ireland. For what it`s worth, people who vote for Sinn Féin all want Ireland to be given it`s place amongst the other nations of the world, while most SDLP voters probably want the same. Unionists don`t, obviously.

    • giordanobruno September 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

      In an exit poll after the General Election in the unoccupied counties only 60% of SF voters said they wanted unification, which seems remarkable to me.
      Maybe SF should use their great wealth to commission a poll of their own, free from BBC or other media bias and present it to us.
      They might as well as they seem to be doing bugger all else to push for a referendum.

      • M M September 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

        Glad you picked up on the lack of effort regarding a united Ireland by SF gior. They seem more preoccupied with gay marriage than their stated aim of reuniting the country.

        Not that I have anything against gay marriage but let’s concentrate on the priorities first.

        • giordanobruno September 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

          M M
          I do tend to have a go at them, but I genuinely can’t see what their strategy is,beyond the ‘outbreed the bastards’ scenario.

          Firstly they signed off on this peculiar deal where the British S.O.S alone decides when conditions are right for a referendum.
          Did they not think that leaving that so vague was a recipe for delay and procrastination by Unionism Southern parties and/or the British governments?
          Perhaps it was a necessary fudge at the time.

          But now, nearly 20 years later, why have they not sat down with the British government and asked for a clear set of measurable criteria for the calling of a referendum, which is after all their first order of business?
          Finding out what is required might be considered the most basic of steps.
          Then plan a strategy to get it.

          Is it a Nationalist First Minister?
          Maybe. We don’t know.
          Is it a sequence of positive polls?
          Maybe. We don’t know.
          Is it a certain figure in pure Catholic v Protestant numbers?
          Maybe. We don’t know.
          Why not make some fuss and find out.

          • Morpheus September 11, 2016 at 7:57 am #


            I wrote this back in April 2014 saying EXACTLY the same thing:


          • giordanobruno September 11, 2016 at 9:36 am #

            Great minds think alike.
            It seems such an obvious point I cannot figure out why SF (or even the SDLP) have not tried to nail it to the wall.
            It’s like being asked to sit an exam without knowing what the criteria for pass/fail is.
            As I said,it was perhaps necessary to fudge it at the time of the talks,but now (20 years later) we should all be asking for clarification.
            Is it possible that it suits the shinners to keep it vague as they have no more desire for a referendum in the immediate future than Unionists?

  13. pjdorrian September 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    We are expected to take a poll of a thousand as evidence of the attitudes of a whole voting population. We don’t know how the sample population was chosen. Imagine trying that when presenting a dissertation for a higher degree.
    Some people mentioned that many pro Union people were self interested because the NHS and Welfare seems to be better in the UK. They ignore the fact that both of these features are currently being stripped out of the British way of life. How long has the NHS left? Well senior Torys said it would be privatised before the end of this Parliament as for Welfare, You’ll soon be given the PIP.
    This poll is merely a snapshot of the time it was taken, it does not mean this will always be so. We should keep on hammering

  14. Belfastdan September 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    After the British general election and the Brexit vote one would have to treat any poll with a large degree of scepticism.

    However I am not deluded enough to ignore the fact that in the years since the GFA the nationalists parties and in particular SF have done little or nothing to maintain and promote the cause of a UI. Could it be that they themselves have become too comfortable with their MLA salaries and ministerial trappings in the talking shop that is the assembly. If they don’t care then why should the ordinary person in the street.

    I would vote for a UI at the drop of a hat but I have become very disillusioned with those who are supposed to be the representatives of Nationalism.

    Just to finish those who think they would be better off remaining with Britain because of things like pensions and benefits well that train has hit the buffers and the good old days (for some) of cradle to grave provision is over.

    • billy September 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      your right about why should the ordinary person in the street care.
      nobody is seeing any benefits except the chosen few,500grand for the toffs to enjoy a days golfing in portrush,another million and a half to dicky up the seafront for the cameras.why would people bother voting for this rule and the irish gov taking a bigger role in the running of the place will move things on far quicker,stormonts had 20yrs of chances it doesnt and cant work.

    • Ryan September 9, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

      “Just to finish those who think they would be better off remaining with Britain because of things like pensions and benefits well that train has hit the buffers and the good old days (for some) of cradle to grave provision is over”

      But Belfastdan, benefits are more generous in the South than in the North. If someone votes on the basis of benefits then they really do have a low opinion of themselves and need to rethink their lives.

      This all comes down to a lack of education about the facts, really. But British propaganda plays a big part too.

      The average wage in the South is almost double, DOUBLE, what it is in the North.

      The South exports almost 17 times as much goods worldwide compared to the North.

      The standard of living in the South is in the top 10 in the World. The UK as a whole is in the teens. Indeed in 2005 the South ranked No.1 in the World for best quality of life.

      Irish Unity would cause Irish GDP to increase by £25 billion in the first 8 years alone.

      I could go on. You wont hear those facts on the BBC, you can be sure of that.

      Now why would anyone, especially Catholics, want to choose to stay in a bankrupt, sectarian, anti-Catholic state that is an absolute failure, over a far better quality of life, a society truly 21st century and free of sectarianism? I mean, Orange Parades aren’t exactly appealing……

      I agree SF need to get a move on but education about the FACTS is key here and a counter to British propaganda also. The SNP did it, so can we.

  15. Scott Rutherford September 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    There two things that stand out for me in this poll.

    The first one I believed anyway and that is Catholic does not equate to nationalist. A third of people from the Catholic community would vote to remain in the UK.

    The second and more surprising one is how low support for a UI is amongst the younger 18-34 group at only 19%. The 35-54 age group 29% support a UI.

    Perhaps this a sign that peace has increased the satisfaction with the status quo amongst the younger generations?

    • Ryan September 9, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

      “The first one I believed anyway and that is Catholic does not equate to nationalist. A third of people from the Catholic community would vote to remain in the UK”

      But yet less than 1% of Catholics vote for Unionist parties at election time here.

      Catholics boycott the border poll in 1972 because they knew they would’ve lost it because the state was designed to have a Pro-Unionist majority.

      Does being Protestant equate to being Unionist?….even though more Protestants vote Nationalist than Catholic vote Unionist…..

      “A third of people from the Catholic community would vote to remain in the UK”

      Where’s your evidence for that claim scott? a poll of 1000 people?? As a Catholic myself I honestly cant find one reason to vote remaining in the UK….I’ve yet to meet one Catholic that can find one either. It just doesn’t make sense. Its almost mathematical. 2+2 doesn’t = 5. Why would people choose to vote for a state that is a social and economical disaster, especially one that is notorious for its anti-Catholicism?……

      “Perhaps this a sign that peace has increased the satisfaction with the status quo amongst the younger generations?”

      Or maybe its just propaganda? I’m from the younger generation and I’m not satisfied. If these results really were genuine and representative…..why doesn’t political Unionism just jump in for a quick victory and agree with a Border poll? Because everyone knows that a border poll held tomorrow morning would too close for comfort. Indeed we can debate and talk about this for years but we would just be speculating. The only way to really find out is to have a border poll. Nationalism is up for it but why isn’t Unionism?…..Well I already know the answer to that.

      • Scott Rutherford September 10, 2016 at 8:15 am #

        I’m basing what I say on evidence presented in this poll Ryan.

        You seem to be basing what you say on anecdotal evidence and your conspiracy theory that this poll is not genuine.

        So why, you ask does this not equate to stronger support for the Unionist parties in Stormont. Well probably because people don’t vote for parties based solely on there constitional position.

        Can you point me to any hard evidence that the majority of the people in NI support a UI.

        Opinion polls, election results……anything substantive at all?

      • giordanobruno September 10, 2016 at 9:50 am #

        Have you really never met a Catholic who wants to remain in the UK?
        I can only assume you move in a very small circle.
        Your argument remains based on the idea that every Catholic man woman and child is nationalist.
        You have no evidence to support that notion.

  16. Sherdy September 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    How could you even think there could be Britishness from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation?
    Because during our troubles the BBC operated as a department of the British government – during all those years they totally followed the government line, with never a critical comment or programme which might have given succour to either the republican or loyalist side.
    They don’t have the word British in their title for nothing, you know!

    • Ryan September 9, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

      “They don’t have the word British in their title for nothing, you know!”

      Well said Sherdy. The British media is as fair and open as the Communist Party of China. Another tool of the British Government but a powerful tool.

  17. Perkin Warbeck September 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    Seems like it was the Brexit vote, Esteemed Blogmeister, which has sparked these mini-polls re a Border Poll.

    The reaction to these m.p’s. south of the Black Sow’s Dyke has been simultaneously both funny peculiar and, erm, funny ho-ho-ho.

    For the following reasons: one is sufficiently barnacle-encrusted to recall that one of the main planks of the Pro-Common Market Campaign (as it was then known back in 1972) was that by joining Europe we Irish would at last be able to escape from under the heel (economic, political, linguistic, cultural and what’s that the gummy-mouthed granny in the corner is muttering ?) of the UK.

    It was with this particular plank that the pro-Europeans energetically whacked the blankety blank anti-Europeans (alleged) over their thick, insular heads.

    On January 1, 1973 (J-Day) The Free Southern Stateeen duly joined Europe along with – mirabile dictu ! Dia idir sinn agus an Diabhal !– the UK. The latter minor detail oddly enough did not seem to merit much attention from the overwhelmingly pro-European media.

    Passeth the time, cometh a different date, 23 June, 2016 (B-Day).

    The sounds immediately emanating from Dublin were not so much Diddley-aye as Dithery-aye. Indeed, it was not until the recent falling of a particular Apple down upon the head of Paddy Newton that the Definite-aye began to replace the Dithery-Aye.

    The,erm, gravity of the situation seems only then to have hit the head on the nail.

    On Liffieyside now, however, there is a palpable feeling that where Brexit there too will we Ovine Oirish Leggsit.

    During a flying visit to Denmark for a few days the other week, Esteemed Blogmeister, (don’t ask, one is still seeking answers oneself) one noticed posters for a theatrical show in Copenhagen. On the flight over The Perkin had posed this particular question to his inner European:


    This particular poster appeared to answer that question handily enough.

    Cope, that is, with not being primarily an English-speaking capital of a Danish-speaking country. The theatrical poster featured a colourful and crowded advertisement for a professional production in one of the city’s landmark theatres, of :

    -Anything Goes !

    The only words in English were the title of the musical and the name of the composer: Cole Porter.

    Imagine !

    Hailing as one does from the, erm, Ancient Irish East (eat your heartfelt slogan out, Wild Atlantic Way !) one’s competence in Danish, while superior no doubt than those less linguistically privileged from the other three points of the Irish compass, would still be nonetheless merely of the order rudimentary. Not extending much beyond the perfunctory cupla focal:

    -Leixlip, Howth, Smerwick, Saltees, Skellig, Wicklow, Wexford, Veorafjoror.

    Norses for courses, that sort of thingy.

    Curiously, it was unnecessary to test one’s fluency in Danish as one found an almost universal ability among the Norsey natives to speak the German Q’s English. Perhaps, not as barbarously as that spoken by the Genus Bertieahernus, but get-byable nonetheless, and then some.

    The reason why The Perkin was hoping to discover just how Copenhagen copes was prompted by the following :

    Ever since Brexit the mantra ‘As the last remaining English-speaking member of the EU we are advantageously positioned to barf, barfer and barfest etc’ has been chanted by every incense-burning and cant-panting political praying mantis such as Brian ‘Boru Hoo’ Hayes, MEP, all the way from Bantry Bay up to and including Clontarf, Dublin Bay itself.

    One mentions the B’Hayes fellow because, ever since he became a MEP and moved to Brussels (allegedly) he has been talking the B’Hayses off himself in every Liffeyside radio studio, week on week, going forward. He was even appointed Director of Elections for the blue chip Blue Shirt Party.

    (Mind you, in fairness, going backward, he did nod in the direction of decency to lie low for about a wet weekend after he had steered FG on to the rocks during GE 16 as the Master Pilot of that FSS party).

    This Poor Mouthpiece for the Rich harbours a particular animus for the Leprechaun, an animus which is of a Gregorian intensity itself. ‘Clab’ incidentally is one of a wide menu of Leprechaun words from which one can choose, for ‘mouth’.

    Since moving to the Mainland of the Continent Brian Hayes, MEP, in his plus fours and DIY high fives has been generating more ‘clab’ head speed on Liffeyside radio-links than if he had never set foot in the city of the Manikin Pis.

    This monoglotto mentality was further evidenced in a piece last week in The Unionist Times penned by a chap name of Shaun Traynor under the title:

    -Why an ‘Ulster Proddie’ like me wants to become an Irish citizen.

    Despite the organ in which it is published it turned out, oddly enough, to be a thoughtful piece well worth a read. A long time resident in England it was a feeling of betrayal by Brexit which prompted him to head to the Irish Embassy in London and make his application for a passport.

    Joining the long queue he was minded to imagine a few questions he might be asked, ranging from ‘Do you speak Irish’ to ‘Are you from Derry or Londonderry?’.

    Neither question, as it happened, got asked. In fact, there was but one, from the clerical officer on duty:

    -Do you have a birth certificate which shows that you were born on the Island of Ireland ?

    Simple, as. Nothing goes, apart from this. With the answer in the affirmative, the job was not only oxo but Paddy was also his Uncle.

    The monoglotty mentality enshrined in the clerical officer’s question is not, of course, the fault of the c.o. But rather the Mind (?) Set of the Drooling Classes of the Free Southern Stateen.

    There is but one simple way of defeating this form of clerical errorism; and that’s for all ‘Ulster Proddies’ to use their nappers, get cracking on the Leprechaun, and shame the shameless shoneens in Dublin. Which, as one understands it, is what delights them most.

    Do as the Danes did, and still do.

    Lig do Linda Ervine an bealach a reiteach / Let Linda Ervine lead the way.

    All together now on Liffeyside:

    – ‘In modern days the sound of Leprechaun is considered something to be frowned upaun’.

  18. paddykool September 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    I’m not sure I believe in polls and pollsters at all.What was it ….? a “sample.of a thousand people …eh? That’ll tell you what a thousand people are thinking (or maybe not!) in a single moment of time.That’s about the shape of it.
    What stuff like this is good for is that it gets people talking and maybe asking relevant questions. There have been a few murmurs about the economics of a united Ireland but they haven’t really been properly teased out. Then it might be like the Brexit thing where a lot of people were fed a tissue of lies and untruths to suit a personal agenda. Many people haven’t got a clue about politics , for example and are simply led by their emotions.They don’t actually think too hard or very much about the shape of their condition. They just want to feel secure and have stability for their family.They sometimes even want to work and have a job ….just so that they can buy”stuff”.It’s no good calling them pathetic either.They just mightn’t have the mental wherewithal to figure any of it out, or have time in their lives to get into the nitty-gritty of the details. It’s always worth remembering that half of the population just don’t bother voting for anybody or any thing.If they are interviewed in Pop vox situations on the street, they have no opinion at all. When someone from a call centre comes on the phone asking me for ten minutes of my time to do a “survey”, i usually say “no thanks” and wait for the next similar call.That’s what busy people do.
    In real terms , people would probably want an efficient all- Ireland National Health Service and their current pensions protected. They might fight shy of something that might jeopardise that status quo…even though the current NHS needs some tweaking. from my perspective , more considered talk is needed yet and if Ireland is ever to be united , the current republic would need to take more interest in the idea than they currently have .it’s no good waiting for the current balance of Catholics/Protestants to alter either .Many of those young minds are emigrating …leaving behind that same rump of wallowing non-voters who either don’t care too much or are easily manipulated.It would be daft to expect the current unionists to embrace the very idea of a united Ireland because they’ve built an entire ethos opposing the very thought of it , so we’ll get no motivation from them.
    As for this “Catholic Middle Class”….Well they’ve always been around .They were the progenitors of the Civil Rights movement fifty years ago , after all.Being socially mobile doesn’t necessarily mean that money is the only driver.It’s a hearts, minds thing but it is also very sensibly about stability and growth too. At the moment the UK is in a fairly unstable situation with a very unformed future .Who’s to say that if Ireland was re-united as a bloc within that same Europe that they wouldn’t be internationally supported in their new long- fought for venture. Ireland has many friends abroad.
    We’ve already proven that we can’t have a result by having another civil-war of sorts .That’ll hardly unite anybody and it will only give conservatives an excuse to use a club instead of the silver tongue. In the meantime we’ll have to see how Brexit pans out. A majority right across Ireland don’t want to be excluded as Europeans and those of us who already have them will continue to hold our Irish/European passports with whatever benefits that might involve , no matter what the rest want to do.Let’s see also what Scotland will do when the UK leaves the EU. Another ten years might change the landscape and the mood too.

  19. Freddie mallins September 9, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

    Not peace, Scott but equality.

    • Scott Rutherford September 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

      Yes your absolutely right Freddie

  20. Jud September 9, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    If I still worked in Belfast and the BBC phoned me I’d be inclined to say no for reasons of safety and job security.
    The voting booth would be another matter.

    There is also the status quo effect to consider.
    Some people fear change – even positive change.
    Voting to remain part of the poorest part of the UK – in a completely failed financial and political basket case – is still preferable to moving into a period of (even positive) change.
    A lot of this group would be swung by an open and optimistic case from the debate a referendum would spur. I can’t imagine any of the Southern parties doing anything but campaigning for unification enthusiastically.

    50% plus one in the next few years?
    Probably not – but it is heading irreversibly in the right direction.
    And a referendum process would be a fascinating time.

  21. billy September 9, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    just shows how much sought after the non voters are,everybody should do it.

  22. Ryan September 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    As an Irish Republican myself, I learned from knee high that to never believe anything you read in newspapers without thinking about it first.

    The media here has long, long been Pro-Unionist, that goes without saying. The best example of this I have ever came across was the reaction from the Belfast Telegraph to 50,000 people voting in a poll that showed 70% wanted Irish Unity. They scrapped the poll and said it was “just a bit of fun”. But previous BT polls they ran, in the same format as the one 50,000 people voted in, wasn’t a “bit of fun” then. They all returned Pro-Union results and the BT made that front page news…..

    Its the same tonight when I watched BBC Newsline. They were speaking about Jason Smyth and another girl winning Gold at the Paralympic Games. They mentioned that Jason represented Team Ireland but called him and the other girl “Northern Irish” at least 3 times. They mentioned Team Ireland once but they mentioned Team GB at least 5 times. As someone who has studied Psychology (I’m no expert btw), I know how this effects people who don’t know any better. I don’t know whether Psychological Warfare is the right term in this instance but the Brits certainly tried it against the IRA, most notably trying to increase paranoia about “Touts”.

    I spoke to Unionist journalist Alex Kane about the BT poll last night on twitter. He claimed he voted “10 times” on that BT poll that showed 70% wanted a United Ireland. I, too, tried to vote twice in that poll (with no intention of cheating, simply to see) and I found I could not vote repeatedly, only once. So me and Alex were bluntly contradicting each other. Alex used his claims to dismiss the Pro-United Ireland poll, even though I know for certain you couldn’t vote more than once….

    Has this poll hit my morale, my inspiration for a United Ireland? No. There’s 1.8 million people in the North and 1000 people being questioned doesn’t represent everyone. It would be interesting to find out who the people were that voted. I say that because it was the same with the census in 2011. The census came back with results that showed many people being Pro Union. The thing is I didn’t get a census form sent out to my home, nor did any of my relatives or friends…..indeed, no one I know received a census form, hence they were not able to return it.

    I stand with commentator and teacher Chris Donnelly on this one. He tweeted last night “I’d happily bet my house if a border poll was held tomorrow it would be 35%+ for a United Ireland”. I agree with him. I honestly don’t see what is appealing about a sectarian, bankrupt, anti-Catholic state…… my father always said to me: “Think twice about what you read and question what is the motives behind what is being written”. Very fine advice….

  23. gendjinn September 10, 2016 at 5:03 am #

    201 respondents in Down and 33 in Armagh, probably Gough barracks.

  24. Morpheus September 11, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    How any educated person gives these polls the time of day is beyond me.

    Asking 1000+ to give an uninformed opinion then fill column inches and airtime with the result – genius.

    Asking 1000+ people to give their opinion on Brexit before Brexit has even happened – bizarre! How are they supposed to give on an opinion on something they know nothing about? They don’t know anything about how it will impact their lives. Don’t know when (or even if) it is actually going to happen…the list goes on.

    (If anything the fact that most unionists are still unionist and most nationalist are still nationalist is not newsworthy. The fact that 20% changed from 1 to the other is. Read anything about it?)

    Asking people to give an opinion on a UI when they have no idea what a UI looks like – bizarre! What’s the education system like in a UI? What about the health system? Social security?

    Yet when they go on The View or are interviewed by the newspaper not one person points out any of this. Why do politicians and political commentators fall for it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME? Nolan did a whole show on it at the last pot-stirring exercise and people like Claire Hanna where put on the spot and then some TD with access to any of the material was asked to talk on behalf of Ireland and say if it could afford NI….”and tell me now!”

    Absolutely bizarre.

    Give the participants the information they need to give an informed decision THEN run the poll – it isn’t rocket science. Until such time the poll should be treated with the derision they deserve.