Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph online vote puts TUV's Jim Allister top of the poll

By John Mulgrew

Are you voting for the wrong political party? Almost 14,000 people have taken the Belfast Telegraph's online MyVote survey to discover which party is most closely aligned to their own views – with some surprising results.

Ahead of Thursday's local government and European elections, we teamed up with Chambre Public Affairs and pollsters LucidTalk to question how voters pick parties – based on policies, not loyalties.

After almost six weeks, we can now reveal that Northern Ireland's fringe parties have come out in front. In first place was Traditional Unionist Voice – 14.6% of those who took our poll were most in tune with Jim Allister's party policies. This was followed by the Progressive Unionist Party, whose views were in line with 13.8%.

The Green Party's policies were in line with almost 11% of those who took part, with the Ulster Unionists attracting 12%.

Stormont's largest parties followed closely behind, with Sinn Fein and the DUP on 11.4% each.

The survey quizzed voters on local government reforms to determine which party they perhaps should be voting for, when not choosing parties based on orange and green arguments.

Almost two-thirds of nationalists found out that a unionist party was closest to their own views on bread and butter issues.

Will Chambre of Chambre Public Affairs said the survey had tried to highlight how voting behaviour could change if the electorate here made their choices based on social, environmental and economic policies.

Derek McCallan, chief executive of the NI Local Government Association, said he was "encouraged by the enthusiasm for effective local government as demonstrated in the survey".

Bill White of pollsters LucidTalk said the survey produced some "interesting perceptions about local government".

"However, one key point was re-confirmed – policies don't always determine which party or candidate people end up voting for," he said.

To see all the results, visit belfasttelegraph.co.uk/elections

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