Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: How many Sinn Fein supporters back Westminster abstention policy?

By Claire Williamson

Sinn Fein's supporter base are overwhelmingly in support of their policy to abstain from taking their seats at Westminster, latest polling suggests.

Belfast-based polling and market research company LucidTalk carried out a survey to gauge public opinion as part of its monthly 'tracker poll'. The online poll targeted their 8,827 member NI Opinion Panel - of which 2,883 responses were received.

In an overwhelming endorsement of the Sinn Fein’s leadership position the results reflect what the party's voters only said about its Westminster abstention policy.

Of those who took part 87% fully support the policy, with 70% ‘totally agreeing’ with it.

Only 5% (i.e. 1 in 20) of Sinn Fein supporters totally disagree with the policy. 7% don’t agree, but are not overly concerned either way.

In addition, Sinn Fein supporters were asked 'If the Sinn Fein leadership changed their Westminster abstention policy, would you support/accept this’?

Over 50% would either not like this policy change, or would be totally against this policy change, with 30% being totally against this change of policy.

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Overall the Sinn Fein voter base would be split on this issue – but overall this is a major endorsement of Sinn Fein’s current policy position on this issue.

The Lucid Talks poll results show that even if the Sinn Fein leadership wanted to change policy on this issue, it would be very dangerous for them to change this policy, as a substantial part of their support base would be against this policy change, and may let their views be known.

Methodology:

Polling was carried out by Belfast based polling and market research company LucidTalk. The project wascarried out online for a period of 60 Hours from 11am 21st June to 11pm 23rd June 2017 (60 Hours). The project targeted the established Northern Ireland (NI) LucidTalk online Opinion Panel (8,827 members) which is balanced by gender, age-group, area of residence, and community background, in order to be demographically representative of Northern Ireland. 2,883 full responses were received, and a data auditing process was carried out to ensure all completed poll-surveys were genuine 'one-person, onevote' responses, and also to collate a robust and accurate balanced NI representative sample. This resulted in 2,080 responses being considered in terms of the final results - the results presented in this report. All data results have been weighted by gender and community background to reflect the demographic composition of Northern Ireland resulting in 2,080 responses being considered in terms of the final results. All data results produced are accurate to a margin of error of +/-3.0%, at 95% confidence.

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