73.1% of respondents in the Republic would vote for Northern Ireland to be part of united Ireland
The percentage of people in Northern Ireland who would vote for a united Ireland is almost as high as the number of those who would vote to remain the UK, according to a new poll.
The LucidTalk poll, which was commissioned by The Detail, looked at how Brexit has impacted the view of Northern Ireland's constitutional future.
It showed 46.8% in Northern Ireland would vote to remain in the UK, while 45.4% would vote for a united Ireland. 7.8% said they would unsure how they would vote.
LucidTalk ran the same poll in the Republic of Ireland, where 73.1% of respondents said they would vote for Northern Ireland to be part of a united Ireland, while 10.2% said they would vote in favour of Northern Ireland remaining in the UK. 16.7% of respondents said they didn't know what way to vote.
In both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland polls, which took place between January 31 and February 3, a majority of respondents said they supported a referendum on Irish unity within the next decade.
A major face-to-face study of 2,000 voters carried out between December 28 and February 11 and published in the Belfast Telegraph earlier this month showed that less than a third of people here would vote for a united Ireland if a border poll was held tomorrow.
Responding to the results of The Detail's LucidTalk poll, Professor Colin Harvey of Queen's University Belfast said it looks like support for the current constitutional arrangements is on a knife-edge.
"That is simply remarkable. It shakes the legitimacy of the foundations of the existing constitutional order," he said.
Meanwhile, the poll also shows the number of people opposed to the current Brexit arrangements has increased since the 2016 referendum, when 55.8% of Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the European Union and 44.2% voted to leave.
When asked on Brexit Day, January 31, 68.7% of respondents in Northern Ireland said they were not satisfied with the current Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. 16.2% said they were happy, while 15.1% said they didn't know.
In the Republic of Ireland, 74.6% of respondents said Brexit makes a border poll more likely, compared to 68.7% here.
In Northern Ireland, 82.4% respondents said Brexit had intensified the debate around our constitutional future, 15.4% said it hadn't and 2.2% said they didn't know or weren't sure.
Financial journalist Paul Gosling said a ten year plan is needed to make a united Ireland economically viable.
"There is probably unanimity that any border poll must avoid the mistakes of the Brexit referendum.
"Everyone needs to have clarity over the proposal, in advance of the referendum taking place. Just what would we be voting on?"
There was a total of 1,896 respondents in Northern Ireland and 1,171 in the Republic of Ireland and the margin of error was plus or minus 2.6% in Northern Ireland and 2.9% in the Republic of Ireland.
In the past three years there has been a range of opinion polls suggesting that support for a united Ireland within the Northern Ireland population is anything between 13% and 48%. Likewise, polls have suggested the support for a united Ireland among the Republic's voters is anything between 60% and 80%.