Northern Ireland news

Majority of unionists would not back Good Friday Agreement now, poll suggests

The 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement led to the establishment of the Stormont powersharing Assembly (Liam McBurney/PA)
Jonathan McCambridge, PA

A majority of unionists would vote against the Good Friday Agreement if the referendum was held today, a new opinion poll has suggested.

A LucidTalk poll for the Belfast Telegraph said that only one in three unionists now endorses the agreement as the 25th anniversary of the historic peace deal nears.

The poll said that 64% of people in Northern Ireland would back the deal if another poll was held now.

The results showed that while 95% of nationalists and 96% of Green Party and Alliance voters would vote yes, only 35% of unionists said they would do the same.

The agreement, which led to the establishment of the Stormont Assembly, was backed by 71% of people across Northern Ireland in a referendum in 1998.

Just less than one third of poll respondents (31%) said they would vote no in a referendum today, including 54% of unionists.

The opinion poll said that 11% of people do not know or are unsure how they would vote if another referendum were to be held.

The poll also suggested a majority of people across Northern Ireland believe the DUP should re-enter government at Stormont regardless of what happens in negotiations between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

While 60% of poll respondents said the DUP should go back into government, this dipped to just 21% among unionist respondents.

The devolved powersharing institutions are currently not operating after the DUP withdrew as part of its protest against the post-Brexit protocol.

The LucidTalk poll was carried out online from 1pm on January 20 to 6pm on January 23, using an opinion panel of 14,422 members across Northern Ireland. Some 3,662 full responses were received which were then authenticated, audited and weighted to a 1,499 response data-set.

LucidTalk, a member of the British Polling Council, said the results are accurate to within an error of plus/minus 2.3% at 95% confidence.

Northern Ireland news