If there was a referendum on the Northern Ireland border tomorrow I would vote for Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland or vote to stay in the United Kingdom.
bezzleford, Data: Ipsos Mori “Project Border” poll, 2016
The map above shows the support for remaining in the United Kingdom or a United Ireland among the regions of Northern Ireland.
– Numbers may not add up to 100% due to “don’t know” and “would not vote” answers.
– How likely is a referendum? – Unlikely but most polls nowadays show a majority (~50-55%) in favor of a referendum on the issue. A 2017 poll put support for a referendum at 62%, but with a majority of Protestants still against a referendum.
– What about an independent Northern Ireland? Is there any support? – According to this chart support for an independent Northern Ireland is low, but usually in the single-digit percentages.
– What about a Brexit? – This poll was taken after the Brexit vote. A number of polls have shown an increase in support for a United Ireland among North Ireland Catholics (from ~35% to ~45%), especially in the event of a Hard Brexit. Nonetheless, even in the event of a “hard Brexit” and a “hard border”, a majority of Northern Irish people still would vote to stay in the United Kingdom according to a LucidTalk Survey in October 2017. According to the Ipsos Mori poll, this map is based on, 83% said Brexit has not changed their position on the issue.
– What is support like in the Republic of Ireland? – According to a December 2016 poll by RTE which asked “Is it time for a united Ireland”, 46% of people said Yes, 32% No, and 22% said Don’t Know. In previous pre-Brexit polls, support varied depending on the timeline. A clear majority of people in ROI are in favor of a United Ireland in the long term (66% in 2015 said in their lifetime they’d like a United Ireland). In the short and medium term people in the ROI are more split on the issue, but still, most polls show(ed) a majority in favor. As within Northern Ireland, younger (<24) and older (>45) were more against the idea. Support was highest among 24-35.
– What is support like in Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) – what I found most surprising in these polls was that until 2008, a clear majority of people in Great Britain were in favor of a united Ireland.This graph shows the change in opinion between 1963 and 2008. Unfortunately, I can’t find any polls after 2008 for Great Britain.