Northern Ireland

Poll shows expectation of united Ireland within 10 years

The polling on behalf of the European Movement Ireland showed 45 per cent of people believe there will be a United Ireland within a decade
The polling on behalf of the European Movement Ireland showed 45 per cent of people believe there will be a United Ireland within a decade The polling on behalf of the European Movement Ireland showed 45 per cent of people believe there will be a United Ireland within a decade

The proportion of people in the north who believe there will be a united Ireland within a decade is greater than those don't, according to a new poll.

A survey published today shows close to half (45 per cent) of people think there will a 32-county Ireland within the next ten years, whereas 39 per cent believe the region will remain in the UK, with 16 per cent saying they don't know.

It also shows overwhelming support for the EU on both sides of the border, with 88 per cent of people in the Republic and 79 per cent in the north advocating membership of the bloc.

However, only one-in-four respondents (24 per cent) in the Republic believe there will be united Ireland within ten years, a seven point drop when compared to the corresponding survey last year. 

The poll found 58 per cent of people south of the border don’t believe there will be a united Ireland in the next ten years, an increase of 15 points over the course of 12 months.

Read more: Latest poll shows growing support for Irish unity

Nationalists urged not to be disheartened by poll support for united Ireland

Conducted on behalf of think tank the European Movement Ireland, with data collection north of the border undertaken by Lucid Talk, the survey is the first dedicated all-island opinion poll on EU issues.

It shows that a majority (64 per cent) of respondents who say they voted to leave the EU in 2016 believe Northern Ireland is doing worse since Brexit.

The same polling found three quarters of people in Northern Ireland (74 per cent) and 51 per cent in the Republic think the north should be represented in the European Parliament. 

Across the island, 60 per cent of respondents said they feel more politically, socially and culturally close to Europe, compared to 30 per cent who answered Great Britain.

It was the think tank's tenth year producing the survey but the first time Northern Ireland has been included in the polling.

SDLP MP Claire Hanna. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.
SDLP MP Claire Hanna. Picture by Cliff Donaldson. SDLP MP Claire Hanna. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.

South Belfast MP Claire Hanna said the polling confirmed there was a "real interest in Northern Ireland rejoining the EU via an inclusive new Ireland". 

"Brexit has been a disaster for the whole UK, as evidenced by the majority of local leave voters who acknowledge that Brexit has been damaging,"said the South Belfast representative. 

"But it is also clear that those of who believe in a new European future for the north need to make the case for that vision on both sides of the border, explaining the practical benefits of change and the inspiring potential of a new Ireland inside Europe."