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Polls of Opinion and Attitude in Northern Ireland, 1973-2004



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Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna, Brendan Lynn, and Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

Polls of Opinion and Attitude in Northern Ireland, 1973-2004
| 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 |
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| 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 |
| 1980 | 1979 | 1978 | 1977 | 1976 | 1975 | 1974 | 1973 |

The following is an incomplete list of polls of opinion and attitude in Northern Ireland from 1973 to 2004. The list is in reverse chronological order. If anyone has any information which would supplement the material currently available, please contact CAIN.
See also:
ARK 'Research Updates' - analysis of the results of the NILT (Northern Ireland Life and Times surveys)
The results of elections in Northern Ireland.
The results of the Community Attitudes Survey conducted by the Central Survey Unit of NISRA.


2004

Date of survey: June 2004
Survey conducted by: Penna
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Employment Practices in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI News, 14 June 2004
Additional information: Most businesses in Northern Ireland "think Catholic or Protestant" when considering fair employment but have no diversity policy, according to a survey.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3803019.stm


Date of survey: January 2004
Survey conducted by: MORI/MRC
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI 'Newsline' Progamme
Main topic: Post Primary Education in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI 'Newsline', 26 January 2004
Additional information: More than 1,000 people were surveyed across Northern Ireland. Most people in Northern Ireland want to keep selection for grammar schools, but the majority think that the decision should be delayed past the age of 11.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3422835.stm


2003

Date of survey: 12 November 2003
Survey conducted by: Millward Brown Ulster
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Test of opinion in Northern Ireland prior to Assembly election
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, 12 November 2003
Additional information: The survey was based on a sample of 1,058 adults interviewed at 50 sampling points selected at random locations throughout Northern Ireland. The interviews were conducted between 6-8 November 2003. Of those questioned over 80% said they were certain or very likely to vote in the Assembly election. An assessment of first party voting intentions revealed 26% support for the UUP, 22% SDLP, 20% DUP, 20% Sinn Fein, and 6% Alliance. Mr Blair's decision to call the election was endorsed by 53% of those polled, with David Trimble's decision to pull out of agreed sequencing because of demands for clarity over IRA arms also backed by 53% of those questioned.
See: http://www.ums-research.com/reports/2003/opinion_nov03/


Date of survey: June 2003
Survey conducted by:  
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Attitudes to the Euro in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, 27 June 2003
Additional information: At the time of the survey, a majority of those questioned in Northern Ireland indicated that they would reject membership of the Euro if a referendum were to be held.


Date of survey: 9-14 May 2003
Survey conducted by: Millward Brown Ulster
Survey sponsored by: Newsletter
Main topic: Whether people in Northern Ireland wished to see the end of direct rule and the restoration of the Stormont institutions
Reported / published: Newsletter, 19 May 2003
Additional information: The survey consisted of 900 interviews by telephone with a representative sample of the Northern Ireland population aged 18 years and over. The survey was conducted during the period 9-14 May 2003. Of those questioned 41% felt that the Secretary of State should end suspension, and 39% were of the view that he should not. However, it was clear that there major differences in opinion between two main communities. Some 59% of Unionists were against restoring the institutions of the Agreement, whilst 63% of Nationalists thought that this should be done. Similar divisions were evident with regards the postponing of the Assembly elections with 61% of Unionists believing that the Prime Minister was justified in postponing the Assembly elections, compared to 31% of Nationalists.
See: http://www.ums-research.com/reports/2003/opinion/


Date of survey: February 2003
Survey conducted by: Dr Colin Irwin, Research Fellow Queen's University Belfast
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Attitudes to the political process in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, 19 February 2003
Additional information: The poll was based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews. Whilst support for the Good Friday Agreement had fallen the majority of those questioned still believed that devolution remained the best form of government for Northern Ireland.
See: www.peacepolls.org


2002

Date of survey: November 2002
Survey conducted by: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI's Business Day
Main topic: Attitudes of business leaders in Northern Ireland towards the current political process
Reported / published: BBC NI's 'Business Day', 7 November 2002
Additional information: The survey was based on responses from 500 chief executives of companies in Northern Ireland which employed more than 10 people. Three quarters of chief executives polled said the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement would weaken business confidence, while a majority warned of job cuts and reduced investment if violence increases. Furthermore almost 80% said an assembly was the best option for running the Northern Ireland economy and two thirds also supported closer ties to the Republic of Ireland's economy.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/northern_ireland/2002 /business_day/2413007.stm


Date of survey: November 2002
Survey conducted by: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI's 'Business Day'
Main topic: Attitudes to the UK joining the Euro amongst Northern Ireland business leaders
Reported / published: BBC NI's 'Business Day', 7 November 2002
Additional information: The survey was based on responses from 500 chief executives of companies in Northern Ireland which employed more than 10 people. Some 60.4% of those who expressed a view were in favour of the UK joining the Euro, with 39.6% against. There was however a slight difference in opinion between those east of the River Bann where support for the single currency was 56.8%, and west of the river where it reached 67.5%.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/northern_ireland/2002 /business_day/2411409.stm


Date of survey: 15-16 October 2002
Survey conducted by: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI Hearts and Minds Programme
Main topic: Political views and opinions in the wake of the suspension of the power-sharing Executive
Reported / published: BBC NI 'Hearts and Minds' programme, 17 October 2002
Additional information: The poll was based on a survey of 1,080 people across all the 18 parliamentary constituencies and 26 district council areas of Northern Ireland. Amongst its findings was that support for the Good Friday Agreement stood at 56%, compared to more than 70% at the time of the referendum four years previously. Amongst the unionist community only a third of unionists would still vote for the Agreement, whilst amongst nationalists although support has dropped, some 82% would still vote for the Agreement. Futher disillusionment amongst unionists was evident with the fact that 58% of unionists told the pollsters that they did not want to share power with either the SDLP or Sinn Fein.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2335861.stm


Date of survey: September 2002
Survey conducted by:  
Survey sponsored by: BBC's 'Cracking Crime' Day
Main topic: Attitudes towards policing in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI News, 17 September 2003
Additional information: The poll asked more than 500 local people their opinions on crime and policing in Northern Ireland. With regards to the policing reforms in Northern Ireland over the past two years, 55% of all respondents registered their support, with 75% of Catholics and 43% of Protestants giving their backing.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2265097.stm


2001

Date of survey: 30 October 2001
Survey conducted by: Millward Brown Ulster
Survey sponsored by: The Bellfast Telegraph
Main topic: Political opinion in the wake of General de Chastelain's announcement that he had witnessed a significant act of IRA decommissioning last week
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, November 2001
Additional information: The survey was based on a representative sample of 1,010 adults (18 and over) interviewed on a face-to-face basis at 56 sampling points selected at random throughout Northern Ireland. Of those questioned, some 51% believed General de Chastelain when he said that a significant act of decommissioning had been carried out the previous week, whilst some 33% people did not believe him. Some 79% of Catholics believed the General's statement. Protestants, however, were twice as likely to disbelieve (52%) rather than believe (29%) General de Chastelain's statement. Th reinstatement of David Trimble as First Minister and the full return of the Assembly was the most popular option for the way forward in Northern Ireland, attracting 43% of the general public overall.
See: http://www.ums-research.com/reports/2001/future_peace/


Date of survey: 11-12 October 2001
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: Ireland on Sunday
Main topic: Political attitudes in the Republic of Ireland
Reported / published: Ireland on Sunday, 14 October 2001
Additional information: The poll was based on a random sample of 1,004 adults aged 18 and over from across the Republic of Ireland who were interviewed by telephone on 11-12th October 2001. On the issue of Northern Ireland people were asked which of the following two groups they would blame most for the current failure of the peace process, the IRA for not decommissioning its weapons, or the Unionists for not giving the IRA more time to do so. In reply 36% of those interviewed blamed the IRA, 28% the unionists, 26% chose neither and 9% did'nt know. With regards to the topic of decommissioning, 83% believed the IRA should decommission all its weapons now to restart the process, whilst 10% believed the IRA should hold onto its weapons.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/2001 /republic-poll2-oct-2001.htm


Date of survey: October 27 2001
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: News of the World (Irish edition)
Main topic: Political attitudes in the Republic of Ireland
Reported / published: News of the World (Irish edition), October 2001
Additional information: The poll comprised a random sample of 505 adults aged 18 and over from across the Republic of Ireland and interviewed by telephone on 27th September 2001. On the question of whether Sinn Féin (SF) should be part of the next Irish government or not, 45% of those interviewed said no and 39% yes. On the issue of decommissioning, some 66% of those polled believed that the IRA should decommission all its weapons before Sinn Féin is allowed into government in the Republic.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/2001 /ireland-poll-sept-2001.htm


Date of survey: 15 and 17 september 2001
Survey conducted by: MRBI
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times, and RTE 'Prime Time' programme
Main topic: Opinions and views on the current state of the political process in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Irish Times, 21 September 2001
Additional information: The poll was a representative sample of 1,000 electors aged 18 and over throughout all 17 constituencies in Northern Ireland. Some 85% of those questioned believed that the IRA should begin the process of putting its weapons beyond use. While 64% of the sample indicated that they had voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 only 52 per cent said they would vote in favour of it now.


Date of survey: 10-11 September 2001
Survey conducted by: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI Hearts and Minds Programme
Main topic: Views and opinion on the current state of the political process in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI 'Hearts and Minds' programme, 20 September 2001
Additional information: 1,178 people responded to the survey with interviews being conducted in all 18 Westminster constituencies and 26 district council areas across Northern Ireland. The poll suggested that more people in Northern Ireland would prefer a fresh Assembly election to another temporary suspension of devolution. The election option was favoured by 41% of those polled as opposed to 31% who opted for another one-day suspension by the Secretary of State. The poll also gauged the level of support for the proposed new Policing Board, with results suggesting that more than 60% of unionists and nationalists were prepared to back the new board.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1550272.stm


Date of survey: 17-19 August 2001
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Attitudes in Britain on the political future of Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, 21 August 2001
Additional information: The poll was based on a random sample of 1,004 adults aged 18 and over, and was conducted by telephone interviews between 17-19 August 2001 across Britain. Of those questioned, 41% stated that they thought there should be a united Ireland. Only 26% felt that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom. When questioned about who was to blame for the problems in the Northern Ireland peace process, 3% named unionists, 5% said republicans, whilst 64% blamed both sides equally.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/2001 /guardian-poll-aug-2001.htm


Date of survey: 10-15 May 2001
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Political opinion in Northern Ireland prior to the Westminster general election and local government elections on 7 June 2001
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, 16 May 2001
Additional information: The poll comprised a representative sample of 1,031 adults interviewed between 10-15 May 2001, and was carried out at 56 sampling points selected at random throughout Northern Ireland. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin (SF) voters were asked if these two parties should form a pact. Democratic Unionst Party (DUP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) supporters were similarly asked if these two unionist parties should form a pact. On the concept of an SDLP / SF pact, 45% were opposed to a pact while 38% were in favour of the idea. For the unionist parties, the situation was reversed in favour of forming a pact by a margin of 45% to 39%. On the SDLP / SF side, strongest support for the pact concept came from SF (49% in favour), whilst on the unionist side, strongest support for the pact came from UUP voters (48% in favour).
See: http://www.ums-research.com/reports/2001/may_opinion_poll/


2000

Date of survey: November 2000
Survey conducted by: Department of Higher and Further Education - Training
Survey sponsored by: Labour Market Bulletin
Main topic: Northern Ireland economy
Reported / published: Irish News, 22 November 2000
Additional information: Survey outlining Northern Ireland economic outlook in relation to the improved political climate.


Date of survey: 25-26 October 2000
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: State of the peace process in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Belfast Telegraph, 27 October 2000(?)
Additional information: The poll was based on a representative sample of 1,051 adults (18 and over) interviewed on a face-to-face basis at 50 sampling points selected at random throughout Northern Ireland. Of those questioned some 24% wanted the Executive and Assembly to be suspended again, whilst 59% wanted them both to continue in operation. On this issue the unionist community was evenly split, with 38% calling for suspension and 42% wanting the institutions to remain in operation. On the Good Friday Agreement, support has fallen slightly from 71% in 1998 down to 69% at present. This decline is most marked within the unionist community where some 53% are now opposed to it, whilst 47% continue to support it. Within the nationalist community 94% continue to support the Agreement. F
See: http://www.ums-research.com/reports/2000/good_friday_agreement/


Date of survey: October 2000
Survey conducted by: Joint Society for a Common Cause (JSCC) - Youthquest 2000
Survey sponsored by: The Irish News
Main topic: Youth outlook on life in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Irish News, 23 October 2000
Additional information: Survey documenting the opinions of young people with regard to society in Northern Ireland.


Date of survey: June 2000
Survey conducted by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Northern Ireland
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Sinn Fein voters’ views on arms inspections
Reported / published: The Guardian, 2 June 2000
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 3-9 May 2000
Survey conducted by: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Hearts and Minds' programme
Main topic: Political views and opinions on the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: BBC 'Hearts and Minds' programme; and Irish News, 11 May 2000
Additional information: 1,336 people across all 26 local council areas, and 18 constituencies, were surveyed. Two thirds of those surveyed were still in favour of the Good Friday Agreement, and two thirds of Ulster Unionist voters were in favour of David Trimble leading his party back into Government.


Date of survey: 3-5 May 2000
Survey conducted by: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI Hearts and Minds Programme
Main topic: Opinion on the state of the peace process in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI 'Hearts and Minds' programme, 11 May 2000
Additional information: Some 1,336 people responded to the survey with interviews being conducted in all 18 Westminster constituencies and 26 district council areas in Northern Ireland. Support for the Good Friday Agreement remains strong, with some 67% of those questioned stating that they would still vote in favour of it, whilst 33% would vote against if another referendum was held. There was however a drop in the number of unionists supporting the Agreement from 56% in 1998 to 43% at the time of the survey. In the wake of IRA statement about putting its arms "completely and verifiably beyond use", some 73% believed that David Trimble and the UUP should go back into the Executive on 22 May. There were however significant differences between the two communities, with 50.1% of unionists saying 'yes' and 49.9% saying 'no', whilst amongst nationalists 72% said 'yes' and 28% 'no'.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/742455.stm


Date of survey: February 2000
Survey conducted by: Dr Paul Connolly and Dr Michaela Keenan
Survey sponsored by: University of Ulster
Main topic: Racial prejudice
Reported / published: Irish Times, 15 April 2000
Additional information: Of the 1,250 people surveyed, researchers found that Northern Ireland people were twice as likely to express racial rather than sectarian prejudice.


Date of survey: February 2000
Survey conducted by:  
Survey sponsored by: Police Authority for Northern Ireland (PANI)
Main topic: Satisfaction with, and confidence in, the Police force
Reported / published: Irish Times, 15 April 2000, and BBC NI News, 14 April 2000
Additional information: The survey on behalf of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland (PANI) involved a random sample of 1,072 people, who were chosen at random in February 2000. Of those surveyed, 67% of respondents expressed confidence in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) as a whole, compared with 58% the previous year. 44% of Catholics questioned thought the police were doing a good job, compared to 37% in May 1999, whilst 83% of Protestants surveyed said the RUC's performance was good, up 10% on the survey in 1999.


Date of survey: October 1999 - January 2000
Survey conducted by: NILT (Northern Ireland Life and Times) Survey
Survey sponsored by: Queen's University of Belfast; and the University of Ulster
Main topic: Political Attitudes - The Constitutional Question and Issues for the Assembly
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 22-23 February 2000; and
Mac Ginty, Roger., and Wilford, Rick. (2000) 'Now what? Attitudes to devolution in Northern Ireland', Research Update, No.3, February 2000, [PDF; 40KB]. Belfast: NILT.
Additional information: The survey was funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It involved face-to-face interviews with a random and representative sample of 2,200 adults in their own homes and was conducted before the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/; and ARK 'Research Updates'


1999

Date of survey:

10-12 September 1999

Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: The Patten Report; and Good Friday Agreement (GFA)
Reported / published: Irish News, 13 September 1999
Additional information: The poll comprised a representative Northern Ireland sample of 1,020 respondents and was carried out at 44 locations. On the Patten proposals for the reform of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), 69% of Catholics supported the measures whilst 65% of Protestants disapproved. With regards the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), those Protestants who would now vote in favour was found to be 39%. As for the peace process as a whole, 71% of all those surveyed stated that they were 'not very confident' or 'not at all confident' in it succeeding.


Date of survey: 7-8 July 1999
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: 'The Way Forward' Proposals
Reported / published: Irish Times, 10 July 1999
Additional information: The poll involved a quota sample of 1,000 of the electorate in all electoral constituencies across 100 sampling points in the Republic of Ireland. Within Northern Ireland 1,000 personal on-street interviews were held across the area. A total of 65% of those interviewed in Northern Ireland stated their support for the establishment of the proposed Northern Ireland Executive by 18 July 1999. There was however a noticeable difference in opinion between the two communities with the proposal supported by 91% of Nationalists but only 47% of Unionists. 75% of people in Northern Ireland favoured decommissioning by May 2000 as did 85% of people in the Republic of Ireland.


Date of survey: July 1999
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: News Letter
Main topic: Protestant Opinion of 'The Way Forward' Proposals
Reported / published: News Letter, 9 July 1999
Additional information: 53% of Protestants disapproved of the British government's 'The Way Forward' proposals.


Date of survey: July 1999
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland edition)
Main topic: Political attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland edition), July 1999
Additional information: The poll comprised of 516 telephone interviews with a cross-section of people in Northern Ireland. When questioned about which politician was most to blame for the breakdown in the attempt to form a power-sharing administration, 35% said David Trimble, 27% Gerry Adams, 5% Tony Blair, 1% Bertie Ahern, 9% others, and 23% replied 'don't know'. On whether there would be a full-scale return to violence by the IRA, some 42% believed it was very likely or quite likely, whilst 44% felt it was quite unlikely or very unlikely.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1999/ sunday-mirror-northern-ireland-poll-july-99.htm


Date of survey: 21-22 April 1999
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) 'Prime Time' programme; and The Irish Times
Main topic: Formation of the Northern Ireland Executive, and Decommissioning
Reported / published: RTE 'Prime Time' programme, 1999; and Irish Times, 27 April 1999
Additional information: The survey was conducted among 1,000 voters throughout Northern Ireland's 18 constituencies. 73% of those surveyed stated that they would vote 'yes' in another referendum. But there were major differences between the two communities on how progress could be made on the issues of decommissioning and the formation of an Executive. Overall 54% believed that an Executive could only be formed after decommissioning, with 77% of Protestants in favour but only 23% of Catholics. As to whether the Executive should be formed without decommissioning some 54% overall said 'yes', with 78% of Catholics in favour but 71% Protestants against.


Date of survey: 12-19 February 1999
Survey conducted by: Market Research Northern Ireland
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 4 and 5 March 1999
Additional information: This research was undertaken by Dr. Colin Irwin of the Institute of Irish Studies at The Queen’s University of Belfast in collaboration with representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and Sinn Féin (SF). The project was independently funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. 1,000 face-to-face interviews were held. Some 93% of those who took part wanted the Agreement to work. There were however sharp difference between Protestants and Catholics as to what the most important elements were. For instance, the key issue for 63% of Protestants was decommissioning, whilst for 56% of Catholics the reform of the RUC was seen as the most important issue.
See: www.peacepolls.org


Date of survey: February 1999
Survey conducted by: Market Solutions (NI)
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Decommissioning of paramilitary weapons
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 8, 9, and 10 February 1999
Additional information: The poll involved personal interviews with 1,117 respondents at 44 randomly selected points (quota sample) throughout Northern Ireland. Some 84% of those surveyed believed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Loyalist paramilitaries should start decommissioning immediatley. On the question as to whether Sinn Féin (SF) should be allowed to take their seats on the power sharing Executive without prior decommissioning by the IRA, 60% of all respondents said 'no' and 29% 'yes'. Opinion was however sharply divided amongst the two communities with 85% of Protestants replying 'no' and 63% Catholics saying 'yes'.


Date of survey: February 1999(?)
Survey conducted by: Pricewaterhousecoopers
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI Hearts and Minds Programme
Main topic: Attitudes to the Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: BBC NI News, 4 March 1999, and BBC NI 'Hearts and Minds' programme
Additional information: The poll was based on the views of 1,900 respondents interviewed across Northern Ireland. The survey found that amongst unionists support for the Agreement had fallen to 41% of those who responded, a drop of 14% from the estimated 55% who voted for the Agreement in the referendum. On the question of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons, the survey showed support for David Trimble falling to 32% among unionists if he agreed to allow Sinn Féin to sit on the Executive without decommissioning, with some 68% opposed to such a move. Whilst for nationalists support for no preconditions on the formation of the Executive had a clear 54% majority.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/northern_ireland/latest_news/290205.stm


1998

Date of survey: October 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: News Letter; and The Irish News
Main topic: Poll of Politicians
Reported / published: News Letter, 1998; and Irish News, 1998
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 25 June 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) 'Prime Time' programme; and The Irish Times
Main topic: Assembly Exit Poll
Reported / published: RTE 'Prime Time' programme, 1998; and Irish Times, 26 June 1998
Additional information: The poll was conducted amongst a sample (quota sample) of more than 2,000 voters interviewed immediately after they had voted in the Assembly election. The sample was spread throughout all 18 constituencies and undertaken at 124 polling booths. Interviews were conducted face-to-face with randomly selected individuals throughout the hours of polling from 7.00am to 10.00pm. Estimates of the percentage vote for each politcal party were as follows: SDLP 24%; UUP 20%; DUP 18%; SF 14; APNI 8%; UKUP 3%; PUP 3%; UDP 1%; WC 2%; Other Unionists 3%; and Others 3%.
See also: Results of the 1998 Northern Ireland Assembly Election


Date of survey: 22 May 1998
Survey conducted by: Electoral Office
Survey sponsored by: British Government
Main topic: Referendum on 'The Agreement' reached during the multi-party talks at Stormont.
Reported / published: All local newspapers and national newspapers, 23 May 1998
Additional information: On 22 May 1998 referenda were held in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on 'The Agreement' reached during the multi-party talks at Stormont. The referenda were envisaged as an integral part of the peace process. In Northern Ireland 71.12% of those who took part voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement. In the Republic of Ireland the corresponding figure was 94.4%.
See also: referenda results


Date of survey: 22 May 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) 'Prime Time' programme
Main topic: Referendum Exit Poll
Reported / published: RTE 'Prime Time' programme, 1998; and Irish Independent, 23 May 1998
Additional information: The poll was of 1,750 people who voted in Northern Ireland, while more than 2,000 were questioned at 150 polling stations in the Republic of Ireland.


Date of survey: 18 May 1998
Survey conducted by: Irish Marketing Surveys (IMS)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Independent
Main topic: How the electorate will vote in the referenda on 22 May 1998
Reported / published: Irish Independent, 20 May 1998
Additional information: Irish Marketing Surveys (IMS) interviewed 1,114 adults at 100 centres in the Republic of Ireland and 840 adults at 50 points in Northern Ireland. The poll was designed to estimate how people were likely to vote in the referenda on 22 May 1998. All questioning of voters was on a face-to-face basis in their homes.


Date of survey: 12-13 May 1998
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: The Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: Irish Times, 15 May 1998
Additional information: The poll was conducted among a national quota sample of 1,000 electors at 100 sampling points throughout every constituency in the Republic of Ireland, and 500 electors in Northern Ireland. Within Northern Ireland those prepared to vote in favour of the agreement in the referenda on 22 May 1998 fell to 56%, with 87% of Catholics in favour along with some 36% of Protestants.


Date of survey: May 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Independent
Main topic: Decommissioning
Reported / published: Irish Independent, 20 May 1998 (?)
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 13-14 May 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Irish News; and the News Letter
Main topic: Youth, Politics and Voting Intentions
Reported / published: Irish News, 18 May 1998
Additional information: A representative survey of 18-30 year olds carried out throughout Northern Ireland. When questioned on voting intentions in the forthcoming referendum on the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) 45% of those polled said they were definitely going to vote. From this group some 66% were likely to vote 'yes' and this consisted of 75% Catholics and 25% of Protestants.


Date of survey: April 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) 'Prime Time' programme
Main topic: Referendum
Reported / published: RTE 'Prime Time' programme, 1998
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 16 April 1998
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Sunday Independent
Main topic: The Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: Sunday Independent, 19 April 1998; and Belfast Telegraph, 20 April 1998
Additional information: The survey involved a sample of 1,147 adults at 50 locations throughout Northern Ireland. When questioned about voting intentions in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) to be held on 22 May 1998, of those interviewed 52% stated they would vote in favour, 13% would vote against, 3% would abstain, and 32% were undecided. As for levels of support amongst the two communities in Northern Ireland for the GFA, 78% of Catholics and 34% of Protestants were in favour of it. Amongst all voters, 42% believed that the GFA brought a united Ireland closer whilst some 30% said it ensured the status of Northern ireland within the United Kingdom.


Date of survey: 11-14 April 1998
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau Ireland (MRBI) for The Irish Times and ICM in Britain for the Guardian; fieldwork in Northern Ireland by the Harris Research Centre
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times; and The Guardian
Main topic: The Good Friday Agreement
Reported / published: Irish Times, 16 April 1998; and the Guardian
Additional information: This was the first test of popular opinion on the settlement reached at Stormont Buildings on Good Friday. It was conducted among a national quota sample of 1,000 electors in the Republic of Ireland, 500 in Northern Ireland, and 1,000 in Britain. Within Northern Ireland 73% of those polled were prepared to vote 'yes' in the forthcoming referendum , with 90% of Catholics in favour along with some 62% of Protestants. In the Republic some 61% of those questioned said they would vote in the fortcoming referendum to change the Irish constiution in the wake of the peace Agreement in Northern Ireland. In Britain of those interviewed, some 51% said they knew a lot or little about the Northern Ireland peace Agreement, whilst 48% said they did not know very much or nothing at all. Asked, however, if a referendum was held on the peace Agreement in England, Wales, and Scotland how would they vote, some 82% stated they would vote in favour.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1998/ guardian-ireland-peace-april-98.htm


Date of survey: February 1998 (?)
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: BBC NI Hearts and Minds Programme
Main topic: Attitudes to political talks on the future of Northern Ireland
Reported / published: BBC NI News, 5 March 1998, and BBC NI 'Hearts and Minds' programme
Additional information: The poll was based on interviews with 1,600 people across all 18 parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland. Of those questioned, 13% believed that the political parties would reach a settlement by the May deadline set by the British and Irish Governments. Within the unionist community, some 42% believed that Northern Ireland's place within the UK was much safer in the hands of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader David Trimble than in those of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Ian Paisley (27%), who remained outside the talks process. As for the atttitude of nationalists to the talks, some 75% would be prepared to settle for less than a united Ireland.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/politics/62191.stm


Date of survey: 1998
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Robinson, G. Heenan, D., Gray, A.M. and Thompson, K. (1998) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Seventh Report. Hants: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis. (NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1997

Date of survey: September 1997
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Northern Ireland 'Hearts and Minds' programme
Main topic: Party participation in the political talks
Reported / published: BBC 'Hearts and Minds' programme; and Irish News, 12 September 1997
Additional information: Sample of 1,561 people in 74 wards from all 26 district council areas. Some 70% of those interviewed believed that the unionist parties should take part in face-to-face negotiations with Sinn Féin (SF). 56% of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) voters and 22% of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) voters thought their leaders should negotiate with SF.


Date of survey: Septemer 1997
Survey conducted by: Queens University Belfast and the Rowntree Trust
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph, and Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic: Party participation in the political talks
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 12 September 1998; and Irish News, 12 September 1998
Additional information: 93% of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) supporters and 76% of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) supporters wanted their respective party to remain in the multi-talks then taking place at Stormont.


Date of survey: August 1997
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Party participation in the political talks
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 12 September 1998; and Irish News, 12 September 1998
Additional information: 65% of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) voters and 44% of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) voters thought that their respective parties should remain in the multi-party talks then taking place at Stormont even if Sinn Féin (SF) were to become involved.


Date of survey: 10-17 February 1997
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Compromise on Parades and Marches
Reported / published: Irish News, 26 February 1997
Additional information: The survey involved a random sample of 1,000 people across Northern Ireland. When questioned about the Orange Order parade at Drumcree 62% of all those interviewed believed that a compromise should be made, with 55% of Protestants and 73% of Catholics taking such a view.


Date of survey: 1997
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Dowds, L., Devine, P. and Breen, R. (1997) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Sixth Report. Belfast: Appletree Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1996

Date of survey: 16-17 October 1996
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Irish News
Main topic: Ceasefire breakdowns and issues involved in the talks process
Reported / published: Irish News, 22 and 23 October 1996
Additional information: Ulster Marketing Surveys interviewed 1,038 adults chosen on the basis of a quota sample between 16 and 17 October 1996. When questioned as to whether the multi-talks would produce a settlement acceptable to both Loyalists and Republicans, some 22% thought it very likely / fairly likely, whilst 61% considered it to be fairly unlikely / very unlikely.


Date of survey: September 1996
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Sunday Times
Main topic:  
Reported / published: Sunday Times, 1996
Additional information: Sample of 1,149 people.


Date of survey: June 1996
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Newsnight' programme; and Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE)
Main topic: Election Survey
Reported / published: BBC 'Newsnight' programme, 1996; and RTE, 1996
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 31 May - 2 June 1996
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Political opinion in Britain on range of issues including Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, June (?) 1996
Additional information: The poll was based on a random sample of 1,200 adults (aged 18 and over) interviewed by telephone between 31 May and 2 June 1996 across Britain. The results were weighted to the profile of all adults. In relation to Northern Ireland, people were questioned whether, in the wake of Sinn Féin (SF) winning 15.5% of the votes in recent elections, the party should be invited to all-party talks on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. As to whether SF should be allowed to join these talks in the abscence of the IRA renewing its ceasefire, some 58% said they should not, whilst 32% believed they should be permitted to do so.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1996/guardian-poll-june-1996.htm


Date of survey: February 1996
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Daily Telegraph
Main topic: Cease-fire Breakdown
Reported / published: Daily Telegraph, 1996
Additional information:  


Date of survey: February 1996
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Independent
Main topic: North-South Poll
Reported / published: Irish Independent, 1996
Additional information:  


Date of survey: January 1996
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Future Confidence
Reported / published:  
Additional information:  


Date of survey: January 1996
Survey conducted by: MRC
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Political attitudes within Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 16, 17, and 18 January 1996
Additional information: 1,051 people were interviewed at 50 rabdomly selected sampling points throughout Northern Ireland. On the issue of decommissioning 60% of those interviewed believed that before talks could take place between the political parties, paramilitary organisations would have to decommission all their weapons. Some 70% supported the creation of a new Assembly as the next step towards all-party talks on the political future of Northern Ireland. With regards to options for a political solution in Northern Ireland the most acceptable across the two communities (with 34% support) was some form of power-sharing government.


Date of survey: 1996
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Dowds, L., Devine, P. and Breen, R. (1996) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Fifth Report. Belfast: Appletree Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1995

Date of survey: 17-18 August 1995
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Irish News
Main topic: Cease-fire anniversary / Date for all-party talks
Reported / published: Irish News, 22 August 1995
Additional information: The total sample yielded 1,116 respondents. 52% supported the setting of a date for all-party talks; there were large differences between Catholics and Protestants on the issue of talks, release of prisoners, and the role of the RUC in Loyal Order parades.


Date of survey: 10-11 February 1995
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Political opinion in Britain on range of issues including Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, February (?) 1995
Additional information: The survey involved a random sample of 1,427 adults, aged 18 and over, in 103 randomly selected constituencies across Britain. People were interviewed face-to-face and the results were weighted to the profile of all adults. When questioned about Northern Ireland, of those interviewed some 43% believed that powers on certain matters should only be handed over to executive boards covering the whole of Ireland (north and south) subject to a referendum in Northern Ireland, if the unionist parties agree.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1995/guardian-poll-feb-1995.htm


Date of survey: February 1995
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Channel 4 Television
Main topic: The Framework Document
Reported / published: Channel 4, 1995
Additional information:  


Date of survey: January 1995
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Joseph Rowntree Trust
Main topic: Northern Ireland Constitution
Reported / published:  
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 1995
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Devine, P., Robinson, G. and Breen, R. (1995) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Fourth Report. Belfast: Appletree Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1994

Date of survey: 9-10 September 1994
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Political opinion in Britain on range of issues including Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, September 1994
Additional information: The survey was based on a sample of 1,437 adults (aged 18 and over) in 103 randomly selected constituencies across Britain, with interviews being conducted on a face-to-face basis between 9-10 September 1994. In relation to Northern Ireland those interviewed were asked how long they thought the present IRA ceasefire would last, 41% said a few weeks, 24% a year or two, 13% permanently, and 21% did not know. In addition those polled were questioned on what role the British government should take with regard to persuading people how to vote if there was a referendum on the future status of Northern Ireland. Some 59% felt it should take a neutral stance, 16% said it should argue in favour of Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK and, 12% stated it should argue in favour of Northern Ireland becoming part of a united Ireland.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1994/guardian-poll-sept-1994.htm


Date of survey: February 1994
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic: Principle of Consent
Reported / published: BBC, 1994
Additional information:  


1993

Date of survey: 17-18 December 1993
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Independent Television News (ITN)
Main topic: Joint Declaration / Downing Street Declaration
Reported / published: ITN, 1993
Additional information: Survey was based on a quota sample of 848 respondents aged 18 and over and interviewing was conducted at 32 sampling points throughout Northern Ireland. Of those questioned 56% said that they were in favour of the declaration.


Date of survey: 7-8 December 1993
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: Anglo-Irish relations and the prospective Joint Declaration
Reported / published: Irish Times, 11 December 1993
Additional information: The poll was a quota sample of 1,084 people interviewed at various points throughout the 26 district council areas across Northern Ireland. When questioned about the peace initiative launched by the two governments, 59% of those surveyed voiced their approval, this represented 88% of Catholics and 37% of Protestants. On the confirmation of talks between the British government and the Irish Republican Army (IRA), 74% of Protestants and 22% of Catholics did not approve, with 10% of Protestants and 54% of Catholics approving.


Date of survey: 27-29 November 1993
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: Progress towards a political settlement
Reported / published: Irish Times, 3 December 1993
Additional information: The poll was based on a sample of 1,022 people canvassed at points throughout the 26 district council areas in Northern Ireland. On the question of a future political settlement, the three most favoured options within the Protestant community were: greater integration within the UK at 35%; the creation of an assembly within the UK where local parties would share power at 27%; and a return to a parliament with majority rule at 21%. As for those Catholics interviewed the three most favoured options were: 33% in favour of some form of joint authority between London and Dublin; 32% supported a united Ireland; and 24% wanted an Assembly within the UK where local parties would share power.


Date of survey: 5-6 November 1993
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Political opinion in Britain on range of issues including Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, November (?) 1993
Additional information: The survey was based on a sample of 1,400 adults (aged 18 and over) in 103 randomly selected constituencies across Britain, with the interviews being conducted on a face-to-face basis between 5-6 November 1993. On the question of a long-term policy for Northern Ireland, some 23% believed it should become an independent state, 18% felt it should remain part of the UK, 17% believed in reunification with the rest of Ireland, 16% supported some form of joint sovereignty between the British and Irish governments, and 25% did not know. With regards to talks between the political parties on the future of Northern Ireland, 44% of those interviewed believed that Sinn F&ein;in (SF) should only be invited to attend if they renounced violence, 26% felt they should not be invited under any circumstances, and 15% that they should be invited automatically.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1993/guardian-poll-nov-1993.htm


Date of survey: October ? 1993
Survey conducted by:
Survey sponsored by: Sunday Independent
Main topic: Support for the /Hume-Adams Initiative'
Reported / published: Sunday Independent, 10 October 1993
Additional information: The survey was conducted in the Republic of Ireland. Of those questioned 72% supported the talks that led to the Hume-Adams Initiative.


Date of survey: 20 September 1993
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic: Government talks with paramilitary organisations
Reported / published: UTV, 1993
Additional information: The survey was based on a quota sample of 1,000 respondents aged 18 years and over and was conducted at 32 sampling points throughout Northern Ireland


Date of survey: April 1993
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Labour Representation in Northern Ireland
Reported / published:  
Additional information:  


Date of survey: March 1993
Survey conducted by:  
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: The future status of Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Sunday Telegraph, 1993
Additional information: The survey questioned a sample of people living in England on the issues related to Northern Ireland. Of those questioned, 56% said that they no longer wanted the region to remain part of the United Kingdom.


Date of survey: 1993
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Robinson, G. and Stringer, P. (1993) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Third Report. Belfast: Blackstaff Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1992

Date of survey: June 1992
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Queen's University of Belfast
Main topic: Post Election Survey
Reported / published:  
Additional information:  


Date of survey: April 1992
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Sunday Times
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement
Reported / published: Sunday Times, 1992
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 25 March 1992
Survey conducted by: MORI
Survey sponsored by: The London Times; and The Irish Times
Main topic: Attitudes of those living in Britain towards Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Irish Times, 25 March 1992
Additional information: The poll involved the questioning of 1,109 people in 55 constituencies across Britain. Of those questioned, 31% said they were in favour of Northern Ireland becoming independent; 29% favoured the region remaining part of the United Kingdom; 23% were in favour of a United Ireland; 17% had no opinion


Date of survey: 1992
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic: Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Robinson, G. and Stringer, P. (1992) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The Second Report. Belfast: Blackstaff Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1991

Date of survey: July 1991
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys; Irish Marketing Surveys; and Gallup
Survey sponsored by: Rowntree Trust
Main topic: Constitutional Talks [Brooke / Mayhew]
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 12 July (?) 1991
Additional information: Survey conducted by Ulster Marketing Surveys in Northern Ireland; Irish Marketing Surveys in the Republic of Ireland; and Gallup in Britain.


Date of survey: May 1991
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Queen's University of Belfast
Main topic: Women in Politics
Reported / published:  
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 8-9 March 1991
Survey conducted by: ICM
Survey sponsored by: The Guardian
Main topic: Political opinion in Britain on withdrawal of troops and long-term solutions for Northern Ireland
Reported / published: The Guardian, 13 March 1991
Additional information: The survey was based on sample of 1,393 adults (aged 18 and over) in 103 randomly selected constituencies across Britain, with interviews being conducted on a face-to-face basis between 8-9 March 1991. On the subject of Northern Ireland, of those questioned some 43% thought that the long-term policy should be for it to be reunified with the rest of Ireland, whilst 30% said it should remain part of the UK. With regards to the prescence of British troops in Northern Ireland, 45% believed that they should remain until a settlement was reached.
See: http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/1991/guardian-poll-march-1991.htm


Date of survey: 1991
Survey conducted by: Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey (NISAS)
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic:  
Reported / published: Robinson, G. and Stringer, P. (1991) (eds.) Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland: The First Report. Belfast: Blackstaff Press Ltd.
Additional information: Data from the series is lodged with the ESRC Data Archive and is available for further analysis.(NISA Archive study number 33235. ISSP Archive study number 33213.)
See: www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/, and ARK 'Research Updates'


1990

Date of survey: 25-26 January 1990
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Newsnight' programme; and The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Views on Ulster's Future - Anglo-Irish Agreement; Power-sharing or Majoirty Rule; political talks
Reported / published: BBC 'Newsnight' programme; and Belfast Telegraph, 30 January 1990
Additional information: Survey interviewed 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over at 40 sampling points throughout Northern Ireland. Results showed a significant decline among Catholics in support of the Anglo-Irish Agreement with the figure now standing at 41%. Amongst Protestants opposition to it now stood at 74% of those interviewed. Furthermore 87% of Protestants and 72% of Catholics believed that the Anglo-Irish Agreement had not improved relations between the two communities.


1989

Date of survey: February 1989
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Sunday Life
Main topic: Organisation of the main British political parties in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Sunday Life, 26 February 1989; and Belfast Telegraph, 27 February 1989
Additional information: Of those surveyed, over 50% were in favour of the main political parties in Britian organising and taking part in elections in Northern Ireland.


Date of survey: 14-15 February 1989
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Sunday Life
Main topic: Support for the Duisberg Talks
Reported / published: Sunday Life, 19 and 26 February 1989; and Belfast Telegraph, 20 February 1989
Additional information: Polling was conducted with 802 respondents on 14-15 February 1989 using 40 sampling points throughout Northern Ireland. Of those surveyed, 63% were in support of the talks. The talks had taken place on 14 October 1988 between members of the four main Northern Ireland political parties in Duisburg, West Germany. The parties involved were; Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).


1988

Date of survey: 5-6 October 1988
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: Extradition to Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Irish Times, 18 October 1988
Additional information: The survey interviewed a representative statistical sample of 1,000 electors, covering 100 sampling points and all 41 constituencies in the Republic of Ireland. Of those surveyed, 31% were in support of extradition.


Date of survey: 31 August - 2 September 1988
Survey conducted by: Marketing Research Consultancy
Survey sponsored by: Ulster Television (UTV) 'Counterpoint' programme
Main topic: Aspects of security measures in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: UTV 'Counterpoint' programme; and Belfast Telegraph, 9 September 1988
Additional information: 1,000 Northern Ireland residents were questioned using 40 sampling points. The results indicated significant differences between Catholics and Protestants on a range of issues. For instance with regards to the reintroduction of Internment within Northern Ireland, 10% of Catholics were in favour and some 84% opposed. For Protestants the figures were 67% in favour and 26% opposed. On the sealing of the border, some 68% of Protestants supported such a move with 24% against but only 11% of Catholics were in favour with 83% opposed.


Date of survey: September 1988
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement and Political Attitudes
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 4 and 5 October 1988
Additional information: The survey involved a sample of 1,100 interviews of people at 40 sampling points across all 26 district council areas in Northern Ireland. When questioned about the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), 64% of Catholics believed it had led to an improvement in the position of northern nationalists. Some 62% of Protestants were just as opposed to it as they had been when it had been signed three years ago. On the question of the best form of government for Northern Ireland the two most popular options were integration with the UK at 30%, with 25% of those interviewed giving their preference to some form of a power-sharing devolved administration.


Date of survey: 15-27 February 1988
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: Fortnight magazine; and Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement and political views
Reported / published: Fortnight, No.261, April 1988; pp. 6-8; and UTV, 1988
Additional information: The poll was a representative sample of 1,000 people interviewed across Northern Ireland. On the question of whether the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) had benefitted the nationalist community only 16% of Catholics said it had but 81% said it had not. 25% of Protestants replied that it had and 72% that it had not. As to whether the Agreement should be suspended to allow for inter-party talks to begin 72% of Protestants strongly agreed / agreed, but only 28% of Catholics strongly agreed / agreed with such a suggestion. On the best form of government for Northern Ireland the preferred option for Protestants was complete integration with Great Britain at 47%. For Catholics it was devolution with power sharing at 31%.


1987

Date of survey: May 1987
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic:  
Reported / published: UTV, 1998
Additional information:  


1986

Date of survey: June 1986
Survey conducted by: David J. Smith
Survey sponsored by: Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights (SACHR)
Main topic:  
Reported / published: Smith, David J. (1987) Equality and Inequality in Northern Ireland, Pt.1, Employment and Unemployment, PSI Occasional Paper no.39. London: Policy Studies Institute (PSI).
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 2-9 January 1986
Survey conducted by: Coopers and Lybrand
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 15 January 1986
Additional information: The poll was based on a quota sample of Northern Ireland's population and involved 2,004 interviews across the whole region. Amongst its key findings on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was that 49.3% thought it would lead to an increase in violence; 28.1% felt it would lead to a reduction of confidence in the security forces and, 42.9 believed it would have no effect in halting the electoral support for Sinn Féin (SF).


Date of survey: January 1986
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Newsnight' programme
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement
Reported / published: BBC 'Newsnight' programme, 1986
Additional information:  


1985

Date of survey: November 1985
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: The Sunday Times
Main topic: Anglo-Irish Agreement
Reported / published: Sunday Times, 1985
Additional information:  


Date of survey: (beginning of) May 1985
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic: Inter-Government Talks
Reported / published: BBC, 1985; and Irish Independent, 14 May 1985
Additional information: The poll involved the interviewing of 1,000 adults at 56 sampling points across Northern Ireland. Some 40% of those interviewed, 36% of Protestants and 46% of Catholics, felt that the Union (Northern Ireland and Britain) was weaker than 5 years ago. On the question of the Anglo-Irish talks, 45% of Protestants believed they were leading to the Irish government having a greater say in the affairs of Northern Ireland but 35% disagreed. As for Catholics, 38% were of the opinion that the Republic was having a greater say but 42% felt the opposite was the case.


Date of survey: 7-28 January 1985
Survey conducted by: Price Waterhouse Associates
Survey sponsored by: The Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Attitudes to issue of law and order in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Belfast Telegraph, 6 February 1985
Additional information: The poll was conducted through a mailed questionaire to a panel of 1,200 households recruited through a systematic random sample of the electoral register. Some 955 completed replies were received giving a response rate of 79.5%. Some 96% of Protestants thought the police did their job fairly. 47% of Catholics felt the police did their job fairly while 57% felt they did not do their job fairly. On the question of the legal system in Northern Ireland, 57% of Catholics felt that it dispensed justice unfairly but that 89% of Protestant thought it fair.


1984

Date of survey: June 1984
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic: Attitudes to Violence
Reported / published: BBC, 1984
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 9-15 May 1984
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: Report of the New Ireland Forum
Reported / published: Irish Times, 22 May 1984
Additional information: The poll was conducted among 1,000 people at 80 centres in the Republic of Ireland and 1,000 people in Northern Ireland at 80 centres. In the Republic 96% of those interviewed were aware of the report of the New Ireland Forum and in Northern Ireland the figure stood at 86%. On the report's usefulness, 53% in the Republic thought it useful and 31% said it was not. In Northern Ireland 26% considered it useful with 46% believing it was not useful.


Date of survey: May 1984
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: London Weekend Television (LWT)
Main topic: Cause of 'the Troubles'
Reported / published: LWT, 1984
Additional information:  


1983

Date of survey: December 1983
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic:  
Reported / published: BBC, 1983 (?)
Additional information:  


Date of survey: May 1983
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish News
Main topic: Political opinion in Northern Ireland prior to the Westminster election on 9 June 1983
Reported / published: Irish News, 6 June 1983
Additional information: The poll involved 1,020 representative interviews distributed around all 17 Northern Ireland constituencies at 102 sampling points. The state of the Northern Ireland political parties was as follows: UUP 35%; DUP 21%; SDLP 16%; APNI 13%; SF 8%; Others 5%. With regards to nationalist voters support for the SDLP was consistent in all demographic groups aged 25 upwards, whilst SF commanded greater support among those under 25.


1982

Date of survey: October 1982
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic: Northern Ireland Assembly
Reported / published: BBC, 1982
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 10-14 May 1982
Survey conducted by: Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI)
Survey sponsored by: The Irish Times
Main topic: Prospects for 'rolling devolution'
Reported / published: Irish Times, 25 May 1982
Additional information: The poll was based on a quota sample of 1,000 adults at 88 sampling points across Northern Ireland. On the question of an Assembly and Executive to run Northern Ireland's affairs 3 out of 5 people favoured such a proposal. Large majorities also gave their support for North-South cooperation on issues such as tourism and energy. Small majorities believed that a Northern Ireland Executive should control matters such as education, housing, economic policy, and security.


Date of survey: February 1982
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys
Survey sponsored by: Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic: Inter-Governmental Council
Reported / published: UTV, 1982
Additional information:  


1981

Date of survey: 19-24 August 1981
Survey conducted by: Market and Opinion Research International
Survey sponsored by: New Society
Main topic: Survey of public opinion in Britain on issues relating to Northern Ireland
Reported / published: New Society, 24 September 1981: pp508-511
Additional information: The poll was a quota sample survey of 1,028 people of voting age across England, Scotland, and Wales. On options for a political solution, 21% supported the concept of Northern Ireland forming some sort of union with the Irish Republic. This compared with 24% for Northern Ireland remaining part of the Uunited Kingdom and 37% stating a preference for it to become an independent state. On the question of the withdrawl of British troops, 37% wanted this done immediatley, 17% were in favour of withdrawl within 5 years and 33% supported them remaining until a solution was found. Some 89% had no sympathy at all for those involved in the hunger strikes.


Date of survey: 18-22 June 1981
Survey conducted by: Ulster Marketing Surveys / MORI
Survey sponsored by: The Sunday Times
Main topic: Northern Ireland Constitution
Reported / published: First appeared in New Society, 24 September 1981: pp508-511; and Sunday Times; July (?) 1981
Additional information: The poll was a quota sample survey of 1,008 of people interviewed across Northern Ireland. Only 14% of those surveyed thought that the political option of Northern Ireland becoming politically independent was acceptable, and 79% judged it to be unacceptable. With regards the current unrest in Northern Ireland, over the next five years only 21% of the population expected the situation to improve whilst 28% believed it would deteriorate even further.


1980

Date of survey: (early) September 1980
Survey conducted by: Carrick James Market Research
Survey sponsored by: Fortnight magazine; and Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE)
Main topic: Reactions to proposals contained in the British government's White Paper of July 1980
Reported / published: Fortnight, No.178, October-November 1980: pp4-5; and RTE, 1980
Additional information: The poll was a quota sample of 508 respondents conducted at 21 sampling points throughout Northern Ireland. On the British government's preferred option of power-sharing with cabinet posts shared proportionallly between the main parties, 44% of respondents listed it as their first preference. There was however a marked difference in opinion between Protestants and Catholics, with 26% of Protestants making it their first choice compared to 76% of Catholics.


1979

Date of survey: October 1979
Survey conducted by: Economic and Social Research Institute
Survey sponsored by: Economic and Social Research Institute
Main topic: Attitudes to the situation in Northern Ireland
Reported / published: Irish Times, 16 October 1979
Additional information: The survey was conducted in the Republic of Ireland. Of those surveyed 72% were in favour of unilateral British withdrawal from Northern Ireland, and 21% supported IRA activities.


Date of survey: 16-20 July 1979
Survey conducted by: Opinion Research Centre
Survey sponsored by: Independent Television News (ITN)
Main topic: Test of public opinion in Northern Ireland on political mattters
Reported / published: ITN, 1979; and New Society, 6 September 1979
Additional information: The poll was carried out on a representative quota sample of 632 electors at 35 separate locations across Northern Ireland. On the question of possible political solutions, power-sharing was the option which attracted most support with some 73% of Protestants and 77% of Catholics in favour of some form of government which would encourage both communities to work together. However, there was no such consensus as to what actual form this should take.


1978

Date of survey: 1978
Survey conducted by: Edward Moxon-Browne
Survey sponsored by:  
Main topic:  
Reported / published: Moxon-Browne, E. (1981) 'The Water and the Fish: Publlic Opinion and the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland,' in Paul Wilkinson (ed.), British Perspectives on Terrorism. London: George Allen & Unwin.
Additional information:  


Date of survey: January 1978
Survey conducted by: Opinion Research Centre
Survey sponsored by: Ulster Television (UTV)
Main topic:  
Reported / published: UTV, 1978
Additional information:  


1976

Date of survey: March 1976
Survey conducted by: National Opinion Poll
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); and the Belfast Telegraph
Main topic: Political developments in the aftermath of the Constitutional Convention
Reported / published: BBC, 1976; and Belfast Telegraph, 19 March 1976
Additional information: The poll was a representative quota sample consisting of 1,007 adults from 50 polling districts across Northern Ireland. Some 64% backed the voluntary coalition proposal rejected by the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC). Only 43% believed that a political solution would come within the next 20 years.


1974

Date of survey: June 1974
Survey conducted by: Opinion Research Centre
Survey sponsored by: Independent Television News (ITN)
Main topic:  
Reported / published: ITN, 1974
Additional information:  


Date of survey: 30 March - 7 April 1974
Survey conducted by: National Opinion Polls
Survey sponsored by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Main topic: Test of public opinion in the wake of the February 1974 Westminster elction
Reported / published: BBC, 1974; and Belfast Telegraph, 19 April 1974
Additional information: The poll was based on a sample of 1,000 people across Northern Ireland. Some 69% thought that the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive should be given the opportunity to prove themselves. With regards the Sunningdale proposal for a Council of Ireland, only 26% of Protestants considered it a good idea, compared with 72% of Catholics.


1973

Date of survey: (first two weeks) May 1973
Survey conducted by: Carrick James Market Research
Survey sponsored by: Fortnight magazine; and The Sunday Times
Main topic: Political Developments in the wake of the 1973 White Paper
Reported / published: Fortnight, 21 May 1973: pp6-7; and the Sunday Times
Additional information: The poll was carried on a quota sample of 950 voters in 6 of the 12 Westminster constituencies across Northern Ireland. On the question of the White Paper, 56% wanted to make the proposals work or to give them a try. With regards to individual items in the White Paper, 58% were in favour / strongly in favour of power-sharing. On the question of a conference with the Republic, 70% of Catholics were strongly in favour / in favour, compared with only 16% of Protestants.


Date of survey: 8 March 1973
Survey conducted by: Electoral Office
Survey sponsored by: British Government
Main topic: Referendum ('Border Poll') (NI)
Reported / published:  
Additional information: The referendum was held in Northern Ireland on 8 March 1973 and was a poll on the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. The referendum was boycotted by the Catholic / Nationalist population of Northern Ireland, hence the resulting unanimous majority vote of 98.92% in favour of maintaining the Union with Britain.
See also: referendum results


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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