Northern Ireland news

Alliance and SDLP 'more likely to attract female voters'

Ballot boxes being opened at Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt, Co Derry, last week during a 2019 General Election count. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

THE Alliance and SDLP are more likely to attract female voters, an analysis of last week's general election result has shown.

Statistics provided by polling company LucidTalk show that, of the Alliance's vote, 61 per cent were women - a drop of two per cent on the 2017 election.

The SDLP's vote last week was 57 per cent female - a three per cent rise on 2017.

The DUP, Sinn Féin and Ulster Unionists' support had more male support - 59 per cent, 55 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.

The polling company found that the results were roughly in line with voting patterns in the 2017 general election.

Of those who voted DUP in 2017, 61 per cent were men. Sinn Féin's support in 2017 was 59 per cent male, while the UUP's was 57 per cent male.

Analysis: The DUP has a badly bloodied nose and Sinn Féin a bruised backside (premium)

The figures from LucidTalk have a two per cent margin of error.

Separate figures looked at last week's voting patterns compared with the 2016 European Union referendum.

DUP and Sinn Féin voters generally fell into line with their parties' policies.

Only seven per cent of DUP voters in 2019 opted for Remain in 2016. The party was in favour of a Leave vote.

Around 11 per cent of Sinn Féin voters backed Leave. Sinn Féin has consistently called for Northern Ireland to remain within the European bloc.

There was a greater split in voters who opted for Remain-backing Alliance. Of voters who opted for Alliance last week, 26 per cent voted Leave in the EU referendum.

However, these voters could include those who initially backed Leave but have since changed their mind and Leave-voters who defected to Alliance from other parties.

The Ulster Unionists saw the greatest split in the Brexit vote. The party initially backed a Remain vote but later stated that the referendum vote should be respected. Before the election, party leader Steve Aiken said it would be preferable for the north to remain in the EU rather than leave under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's exit deal.

The figures show that 54 per cent of Ulster Unionist voters backed Remain in 2016.

Around 87 per cent of SDLP voters backed Remain.

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