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BBC NI Leaders' Debate post-programme poll: Mike Nesbitt 'wins'

By Bill White, LucidTalk

Published 03/05/2016

LucidTalk's post-programme poll
LucidTalk's post-programme poll

As you may have seen the BBC NI Political Leaders' Debate programme ran from 8pm to 9pm on Tuesday.

LucidTalk conducted a post-programme 'Rapid reaction - Your Opinion' poll of our NI-Wide Opinion Panel to ascertain views and opinions regarding the programme.

The poll received 564 completed responses, from invited participants, who made up a representative demographic sample of the Northern Ireland population.  

Here are the results from the three poll questions:

Question 1: Overall, and in the round, which NI Party Political Leader did best, and/or 'won', the BBC Leaders debate programme tonight? (please answer honestly and neutrally - disregarding your personal political views).

Results are in Graph 1 above

Question 2: How do you rate each of the NI Political Party Leaders performances in tonight's BBC Leaders Debate programme? (Again please answer honestly and neutrally - disregarding your personal political views).

Results are in Graph 2

Question 3: Please list the two top election issues that you think came out as most important in the debate tonight e.g. jobs, culture, opposition, health, education etc.. - please list this as single words, or short expressions. Please express in order of priority (in your view).

The main issues identified were in order of importance to the respondents were:

LucidTalk conducted a post-programme poll
LucidTalk conducted a post-programme poll

Health, Education, Jobs, Victims, Economy, Opposition, Culture, Legacy, Marriage, Integrated education, Sectarianism, Reconciliation, Justice

As can be seen Mike Nesbitt is viewed as having 'won' the debate, and all other results can be seen from the graphics above. A more complete report will appear later.  

It is noticeable that a large number of the comments were critical of all the leaders, with a general view that there was far too much 'shouting over one another' (to quote one respondent).

Handout photo of (left to right) UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, DUP leader Arlene Foster, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and Alliance Party leader David Ford as they take part in Noel Thompson hosted Election 2016 - The Leaders' Debate on BBC One Northern Ireland. PA
Handout photo of (left to right) UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, DUP leader Arlene Foster, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and Alliance Party leader David Ford as they take part in Noel Thompson hosted Election 2016 - The Leaders' Debate on BBC One Northern Ireland. PA

There was also criticism of the programme structure e.g. 'there should have been opening and closing statements' which would have 'set the tone and agenda'.

Methodology:

Polling was carried out by Belfast based polling and market research company LucidTalk. The project was carried out online for a period of 11 minutes from 8.59pm to 9.10pm 3rd May 2016 (11 minutes). The project targeted a registered list of members of the LucidTalk NI-Wide Opinion Panel (1,800 members) who had already agreed to participate, and pre-registered for the poll. The sample of respondents 564 was balanced by gender, age-group, area of residence, and community background, in order to be demographically representative of Northern Ireland.

All surveys and polls may be subject to sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. NB In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

LucidTalk – Professional Credentials

LucidTalk is a member of all recognised professional Polling and Market Research organisations, including the UK Market Research Society (UK-MRS), the British Polling Council (BPC), and ESOMAR (European Society of Market Research organisations). The BPC are the primary UK professional body ensuring professional Polling and Market Research standards. All polling, research, sampling, methodologies used, market research projects and results and reports production are, and have been, carried out to the professional standards laid down by the BPC.

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