Belfast Telegraph

Careful what you wish for, SF told over border poll

By Staff Reporter

Almost one in three SDLP voters want to remain in the UK, as do almost 1 in 10 Sinn Fein supporters, according to research from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Irish Studies (IIS).

The survey also found that those Protestant and Catholic voters who tend not to vote in Westminster or Stormont elections would come out and vote decisively to stay in the UK if a border poll were to be held.

These were just some of the findings presented by the IIS Director, Professor Peter Shirlow, to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Liverpool, yesterday's Sunday Times reported.

The former Ulster University academic told the newspaper: "Sinn Fein is clearly calling for a border poll but it brings to mind the old saying 'be careful what you wish for'.

"(Non-voting) Protestants are quite clearly prepared to come out and vote in a period of what they would see as a significant reformation or change in society.

"The Good Friday Agreement was obviously a major change in the governance of Northern Ireland, so they came out for that, then disappeared again," he commented.

The IIS research also found that 27% of 'non-voting' Catholic people would support the status quo in a border poll.

The Liverpool study also reported that 54% of Northern Ireland voters in 2015 wished to remain in the UK, while 34.6% preferred a united Ireland.

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