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Survey reveals nearly half of NI want to remain in UK, but a third would vote for United Ireland

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A Northern Ireland welcome sign

A Northern Ireland welcome sign

A Northern Ireland welcome sign

While nearly half of the Northern Ireland population wants to remain within the UK, a third would vote for a United Ireland tomorrow, a recent survey has revealed.

The Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) survey by   ARK  found 63% of the 1,397 people surveyed – taken from a randomised sample of the population- believe a united Ireland is more likely after Brexit, while 48% of respondents still support the union.

It also found an increase in people here reporting a nationalist identity- with 26% identifying as such - an increase from 19% reported in 2020.

The number of those who identified as unionist, however, was down 3% from previous years, with 32% of those surveyed this year identifying as unionist.

Those who identify as neither unionist nor nationalist remain the largest group at 37%, but this has fallen from a peak of 50% in 2018.

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The survey tracks social attitudes in Northern Ireland and is part of a joint initiative between Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.

The survey also asked those taking part on their opinions on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

It found that 44% of unionists said on balance the protocol was bad for Northern Ireland, with 40% describing it as a "mixed bag".

Meanwhile, a large majority of nationalists (69%) said the protocol was good on balance.

As a new bill on the legacy of Northern Ireland's Troubles passes through Parliament which shifts the focus from prosecutions towards "information recovery", only 29% of respondents said they supported an ending of Troubles-related investigations and prosecutions.


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