Latest poll shows surge in support for united Ireland
SUPPORT for a united Ireland has seen a huge surge in recent times when the results of the latest survey are compared to the benchmark for public attitudes.
The 2020 The Northern Ireland Life and Times survey, which gauged opinion between September 2019 and February last year, showed support for Irish unity at 25 per cent, with 14 per cent of respondents answering 'don't know'.
The latest survey published in the Sunday Times, conducted by LucidTalk and employing different methodology, shows support for a united Ireland at 42.3 per cent – close to double that recorded in the Life and Times survey.
However, a LucidTalk poll conducted a year ago found support for a united Ireland at 45 per cent, with a 2.3 per cent margin of error, and 8 per cent 'don't knows'.
In the latest poll the number of 'don't knows' has grown significantly to 10.7 per cent.
Irish News columnist and historian Brian Feeney said the latest poll result had "clearly rattled unionism".
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"Saying a poll is ‘divisive’ is no answer and ignores the democratically mandated obligation in the Good Friday Agreement to hold one," he said of Arlene Foster's response to the figures.
He said the results demonstrated a marked increase in support for unification and a growing appetite for a border poll.
"The Sunday Times/LucidTalk figures not only show majority support for holding a poll in five years but a surge in support for Irish unity, in fact almost doubling support in previous findings," he said.
"This will put pressure on the British government to come clean on what criteria it will use to honour its obligation to call a poll which the current northern secretary has recently avoided."