A Stormont minister has admitted that the results of our exclusive opinion poll made uncomfortable reading for Northern Ireland’s politicians.
Results from the second day of the Belfast Telegraph/Lucidtalk poll on the performance of MLAs were raised on the floor of the Assembly yesterday.
The poll revealed that people here rate Stormont almost on a par with the recently-ousted Greek government, with fewer than one-in-ten voters believing the Assembly has performed better than direct-rule ministers.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood told the Assembly: “The Belfast Telegraph today does not make pleasant reading.
“It does not make pleasant reading on the basis of its assessment survey, which is not necessarily conclusive of anything. It does not make particularly happy reading about the standing of the Government and the Assembly.”
However, Sinn Fein said it was getting the message that people are “happy” political progress is being made and that the Assembly and Executive are working.
A party statement said: “What we put our focus on is what the electorate tell us day and daily.
“The message we are getting, and it is one that is evidenced at election time, is that people are happy that the institutions are working and happy that political progress has been made.
“There are issues which need to be tackled, including the need for greater fiscal power and greater all-Ireland working.”
The Ulster Unionist response to the findings that Alliance is beginning to inch ahead, particularly in the east of the province, was: “bring on the European election”.
A party statement said: “With reference to the Alliance Party, in the last elections we returned 99 councillors to their 44, and 16 MLAs to 8. We will see Alliance again at the hustings for Europe in 2014, where we will be defending a European seat.”
But it added that leader Mike Nesbitt is “acutely aware of the party’s relative strength around the province and is conscious of the need to engage tens of thousands of pro-union citizens who currently don’t vote for any party”.
For full statistics analysis visit Lucid talk