Two-thirds in Republic would vote for a united Ireland, survey reveals
Two out of three people in the Irish Republic would vote for a united Ireland, a major opinion poll has found.
Pollster Red C said its latest national survey - coming just weeks after the Brexit result - shows a sharp rise in support for reunification since a similar opinion poll six years ago.
Asked how they would vote if a referendum was held tomorrow, 65% of the sample electorate said they would vote in favour of reunification.
Some 30% said they would vote against it, while 5% said they were undecided.
The findings show an 8% jump in support for a united Ireland since Red C posed the same question in a poll carried out for the Sunday Times in 2010.
The shock Brexit result last month has sparked a renewed debate about a potential referendum on the Irish border.
A majority of voters in Northern Ireland want to remain as part of the European Union, with 56% voting Remain and 44% voting Leave.
Remain campaigners, including Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, have insisted their wishes must be respected and voiced his support for a border poll.
However Leave backers, among them First Minister Arlene Foster of the DUP, have insisted the EU referendum result is a UK-wide decision.
The leader of the Republic's main Opposition party Fianna Fail, Micheal Martin, said he hoped the Brexit result would lead to a united Ireland.
However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has in recent days retreated from his earlier talk of a border referendum.
The latest Red C poll also shows Mr Martin's Fianna Fail is the most popular party in the Republic.
Arch-rivals Fine Gael rely on his support for their minority government, formed after weeks of negotiations following a huge split in the vote earlier this year.
In a cross-border survey last year by broadcasters RTE and BBC Northern Ireland, 66% of people in the Irish Republic said they would like to see a united Ireland in their lifetime.
But only 30% in Northern Ireland held the same view, with 43% saying they would not like to see reunification.
For the poll, carried out for bookmaker Paddy Power, Red C interviewed a sample of 1,000 voters in the Republic between July 25 and 27.
Support for a united Ireland was equal at 65% among both men and women. More (69%) in less well-off social groups than better-off groups (59%) said they would vote for reunification.
Voters living in Dublin (56%) were less likely to vote in favour of a united Ireland than those living outside the capital (68% to 69%).
Sinn Fein (79%) and Fianna Fail (71%) supporters were most likely to back reunification, while Fine Gael (58%) voters were least likely.
There was a clear majority in favour among all age groups, particularly among those aged 55 to 64 (70%).