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'I won't see border poll in my lifetime', says DUP leader Foster


DUP’s Arlene Foster

DUP’s Arlene Foster

DUP’s Arlene Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster has said there will not be a border poll or a united Ireland in her lifetime.

The DUP leader, speaking to BBC NI's The View programme, said there was no evidence that a majority of people in Northern Ireland would vote for a united Ireland.

Sinn Fein has called for a referendum on Irish unity within the next five years.

However, Mrs Foster, when asked if she thought she would see a united Ireland during her lifetime, said: "No I don't".

The DUP leader, who turns 50 this year, gave the same reply when asked if she thought a border poll would be called during her lifetime.

Asked why she believed this, Mrs Foster said: "Because there has to be evidence there.

"As you know the test for a border poll is that people would vote for it in a majority and there is no evidence of that.

"Yes, people can have different opinion polls, but there's no tangible evidence if you look right across Northern Ireland."

The View will be broadcast on BBC One NI at 10.35pm tonight.

A recent LucidTalk poll, commissioned by The Detail, found that 46.8% of people in Northern Ireland would vote to remain in the UK, while 45.4% would vote for a united Ireland. 7.8% said they would be 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.

However, another major study found that a total of 29% of people in Northern Ireland support Irish unity but 52% would back remaining in the UK if a referendum was held imminently.

The face-to-face study was carried out with just over 2,000 people who were interviewed across 18 Westminster constituencies between December 28, 2019 and February 11 2020.

The study was led by Liverpool University and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council with interviews conducted by Social Market Research.

Belfast Telegraph

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