Northern Ireland

Poll shows voters' overall support for the Windsor Framework but opposition DUP among supporters

A majority of voters support the Windsor Framework. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
A majority of voters support the Windsor Framework. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

TWO-THIRDS of voters support the Windsor Framework but DUP supporters are overwhelmingly opposed to the latest EU-UK deal on the protocol, according to recent polling.

A survey carried out at the beginning of last week found a majority of nationalists and middle ground voters backed the revised post-Brexit trade arrangements, with just over one-third of unionists also supporting the deal.

But almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of DUP voters said they would vote against Windsor Framework in a referendum, while 16 per cent would support it, with 11 per cent ‘don’t knows’.

Those rejecting the deal were more likely to be older, male and working-class, the Lucid Talk poll published in the Belfast Telegraph found.

The results came as Sir Jeffrey Donaldson prepared to fly to the US ahead of this week's St Patrick's Day celebrations. The DUP leader is expected to come under pressure from the Biden administration to accept the revised protocol agreement, which copperfastens the north's dual access to the EU and GB markets.

The DUP leader may be encouraged by the survey indicating a softening within the unionist community on the restoration of the devolved institutions.

A poll conducted six weeks ago, showed two-thirds (66 per cent) of unionists said the DUP should not go back into government until the protocol was significantly altered or scrapped.

However, in last week's polling just over half (54 per cent) of respondents believed Sir Jeffrey's party should continue to boycott the institutions until changes are made to the Windsor Framework or the protocol is binned.

Overall, some 67 per cent of those surveyed backed the deal, with 27 per cent opposing it and 6 per cent ‘don’t knows’.

The Windsor Framework is most popular with Alliance/Green voters (98 per cent), followed closely by nationalists (97 per cent) but is least popular with unionists (38 per cent).

Half of unionists (50 per cent) said they would vote against the deal in a referendum, with 12 per cent ‘don’t knows’.

TUV voters are the most strongly opposed, with 88 per cent rejecting the Windsor Framework, while Ulster Unionist supporters (56 per cent) are most likely to support it.

A total of 3,409 people took part in the online poll, conducted from March 3-5, which has a margin of error of +/- 2.3 per cent.