A Border Poll one day? Then let’s do it right

23 Nov

In yet another eventful couple of weeks in politics, what caught my eye the most wasn’t plans for a national broadband service, fanciful budget splurges or cringey speeches and interviews. It wasn’t mini-electoral pacts across dozens of seats in England and the ever-changing sands of political alignment over the Great Brexit Divide. Closer to home, it wasn’t even Lady Hermon stepping down, loyalist paramilitary threats to UUP candidates, a stage-managed Sinn Fein leadership contest or the tiny dramas of other … Read more

Considering the future of Northern Ireland

21 Oct

A panel considered how to engage in a friendly and unthreatening conversation about the future constitutional arrangements for Northern Ireland. This was held as part of a concluding reflection on the Holywell Trust’s series of 35 Forward Together podcast interviews. The panel comprised author Julieann Campbell, the commentator Denis Bradley (who was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past and former deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Maureen Hetherington of the Junction, plus myself as the … Read more

A “likely” story – the Secretary of State needs to explain under what circumstances he would hold a border poll

11 Sep

Following the release of Lord Ashcroft’s poll earlier today, showing that a narrow majority of Northern Ireland voters are in favour of Irish unification once those not expressing an opinion are excluded, it is worth exploring the crucial role that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has on the question of whether a border poll is held. Schedule 1, paragraph 2 of the Good Friday Agreement states that “the Secretary of State shall exercise the power under paragraph 1 … Read more

Ashcroft poll on support the backstop, reunification and party leaders

11 Sep

Lord Ashcroft has released the findings of his poll surveying Northern Ireland voters about their attitudes towards a border poll, the backstop and the various party leaders.  Border Poll He says about this In my poll, 45 per cent said that they would vote to stay in the UK, and 46 per cent said they would choose to leave and join the Republic of Ireland – a lead of 51 per cent to 49 per cent for unification when we … Read more