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Six out of 10 women won’t vote for any of Northern Ireland's political parties


Nearly six out of 10 women don’t intend to vote for any of the seven main parties in the next general election, our poll has shown.

The staggering final figure is 59% compared to just 32% for men.

Our poll also showed that the slide in support for the UUP is continuing, with the Alliance Party threatening to overtake it for the first time.

The disinterest of women in politics compared to men may reflect the comparatively low representation of women at Stormont.

After the last election only 20 of the 108 MLAs are women.

Sinn Fein, eight of whose 29 MLAs are female, has a particular imbalance between male and female voters — 32% of those who intend to vote are men but only 23% of women.

The DUP, which has only five female MLAs out of 38, still has equal numbers of men and women voting for it (30% and 31%).

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So do most parties except Alliance and the SDLP where women voters are in the majority.

Both parties attract the support of 14% of women while Alliance also has 8% of men and the SDLP 11% of men.

The UUP also has more female than male voters (12% compared to 10%) despite the fact that only two out of its 16 MLAs are women.

Almost half (48%) of those surveyed say they won’t vote or refused to answer the question, broadly in line with last year’s Assembly election when 44.4% of people didn’t vote.

Changes in the vote level for individual parties were generally within the margin of error or 3.6%. With this proviso the biggest winner was Alliance which went up 3.2% to 10.9%.

That means that for the first time in its history Alliance is neck and neck with the declining UUP.

It scored 11%, down from 13.2% in the last Assembly election, a result that was the lowest in the party’s history.

In the east of the province — the key area it had targeted for breakthrough — Alliance is already pulling ahead of the UUP.

Sinn Fein (28%) and the DUP (30.7%) were both up around 1% on their showing last year and the gap between these two big parties has been maintained at just under 3%.

Jim Allister’s TUV was up a smidgin under a percentage to 3.2% and the SDLP fell just over 1% to 13%.

The Greens stand to nearly double their vote but their entire projected support of 3.7% is within the margin of error.

During the past year the four main unionist and nationalist parties have said that they intended attracting votes from across the sectarian divide.

The poll suggests they’ve made baby steps in that direction.

Seven per cent of Catholic voters said they intended backing the DUP and 3% for the UUP, while 5% of Protestant voters said they would give their first preference to the SDLP and 3% to Sinn Fein.

For full statistics analysis visit Lucid talk

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