Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: How many voters want power-sharing restored in Northern Ireland?

By Claire Williamson

The majority of the Northern Ireland voter base want the Stormont Executive reformed, latest polling suggests.

The deadline to strike a deal to restore the power-sharing institutions is fast approaching and discussions are ongoing for parties to find agreement by Thursday. Belfast-based polling and market research company LucidTalk carried out a survey to gauge public opinion as part of its monthly 'tracker poll'.

Read more: Poll: How many Sinn Fein supporters support Westminster abstention?

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It found that 60% of the Northern Ireland voter base want the institutions reformed.

However, 16% want a period of direct rule, but with the long-term objective to get the NI Government institutions up and working again.

Basically this 16 % also support the reformation of the NI Government institutions but after it has been ‘well sorted out’ as one comment put it (i.e. a period of direct rule with ongoing discussions).

Sinn Fein voters match the total Northern Ireland results on the reforming of the NI Government and executive.

However, 36% of Sinn Fein voters support joint authority by the British and Irish governments.

Only 45% of DUP voters support the reformation of the Stormont institutions, compared to 59% of UUP voters. LucidTalks said this was significant, maybe showing that DUP supporters see the ‘power’ their MPs now have in London, and are therefore less interested in getting the Stormont institutions up & working again, at least in the short-term.

Results show 1 in 3 DUP voters want a period of direct rule with discussions on future NI government institutions.

LucidTalks says that point also probably feeds into the fact that only 13% of UUP voters want direct rule permanently, compared to 21% of DUP voters who want this solution (i.e. this is over 1 in 5 of current DUP voters).

There is strong support from the Alliance, Green and Independent group of voters for the reformation of Stormont - 66% support this, i.e. 2 out of 3.

However, it’s noteworthy that an additional 18% (i.e. apart from the 66% above) support a period of direct rule with ongoing discussions to get the institutions on a ‘totally sound footing’ as one comment put it.

It is also noteworthy that 11% would prefer joint authority by the British and Irish governments.

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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