Northern Ireland voters left poll-axed by survey result
Published 27/04/2011 | 05:35
Grassroots unionist voters have discovered they share the views of Sinn Fein and the SDLP on some policies, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.
The results came in the latest phase of our True Colours online survey , in which people from Belfast and Londonderry have been taking the test.
Participants are asked to support, oppose or remain neutral on a series of policy questions and are then told which party they are most aligned to.
In the largely working-class Protestant Village area of south Belfast, the True Colours test left some people aghast.
Retiree Trevor Cooke, who emerged as 65% Sinn Fein and 65% Alliance, admitted: “I’m confused — who am I meant to vote for now? I didn’t expect them to come out evenly.
“It probably aligns with what I think, so I’m not incredibly surprised — I reckon the test is accurate.
“They’ve (unionists) really got to work hard for my vote now.
“I always thought I was left-wing so I expected Sinn Fein to come up high.”
But Sharon Stewart, who came out 73% Sinn Fein, said: “I’m horrified — it’s not what I expected at all.
“I don’t think politicians round here do very much for the people, so what can they expect?
“It’s totally appalling that unionist policies aren’t more in line with what voters want.”
Anne Crowe, a domestic at Belfast City Hospital who came out 60% SDLP and 60% Sinn Fein, concluded: “I would consider myself a unionist so I’m horrified by the results.
“It shows you what the unionists are doing for their own voters — absolutely nothing.”
In the mostly Catholic, middle-class area of Culmore, four miles outside Londonderry, SDLP voter Mary Casey was surprised to find that her results gave her a reading of 56% match with Sinn Fein or the DUP, while her match with her own party was 46%.
Community activist Mrs Casey (59) said: “I was surprised — but the survey didn’t have supplementary questions and if it had that would have probably altered the results. It would have benefited from this to find out the respondent’s mindset.”