Majority of UK voters including Scots would encourage a United Ireland and are prepared to vote tactically for a Brexit outcome

Perhaps reinforcing the impression that the protestors on the streets of Glasgow in the last few days were not too representative of wider opinion, an opinion poll from Deltapoll, with more than 2 000 respondents on 5th to 7th September, showed quite strong support for the notion of a United Ireland:

Take out the don’t knows and 56% support United Ireland?

Indeed, only in Wales (Why?) did there seem to be a majority against it:

Take out the don’t knows and 54% of Scots support a United Ireland?

As for being prepared to vote tactically for a party supporting your preferred Brexit outcome, leave or remain, nearly three times as many said Yes as said No:

Take out the don’t knows and 70% would vote tactically on the basis of Brexit, leave or remain?

While the majority for such action was notably smaller in Scotland (and London)than elsewhere, it surely remains a factor that the SNP planners need to keep in mind:

Take out the don’t knows and 65% of Scots would vote tactically on the basis of Brexit, leave or remain?

2 thoughts on “Majority of UK voters including Scots would encourage a United Ireland and are prepared to vote tactically for a Brexit outcome

  1. This responds to your opening remarks regarding the ‘sectarian’ incidents in Glasgow on the past two weekends rather than on the main thrust of the article.

    Looking behind the headlines of ‘sectarian’ violence at ‘republican’ march, it seems to me that the violence was wholly by the counter-demonstrators. Undoubtedly, there is an anti Catholic aspect to it, but, it is more anti Irish and, more generally, an expression of the right wing xenophobia, being given consent by Brexit.

    We saw this ugly spectacle at the riot in George Square on the day following the 2014 referendum. We saw it accompanying the Orange Order march in Calton when the priest at a Roman Catholic church was spat on by someone walking alongside the march. We have seen it at marches to Ibrox prior to some Rangers matches. However, increasingly, Rangers FC has moved towards a much more strenuous disassociation of itself from such groups and that is to be welcomed and supported.

    However, the media trope is generally of the ‘both-sides-are-equally-bad’ type, with hints that it is the ‘republican’ aspect which is the root cause. This is the kind of partisan reporting which dominated in the reporting of the appalling violence which scarred Northern Ireland from the late 1960s until the Millennium.

    I am not saying that there were no appalling acts carried out by the Provisional IRA and related groups – there were many – but the violence and cruelty on the ‘loyalist’ side was, if anything, even nastier and in greater quantity, given that there is increasing evidence that they were supported in this by factions within the UK armed services and, in the early years, in the police force.

    The reporting in the recent events in Glasgow have emphasised ‘Irish Republicanism’. The Irish REPUBLIC has been in existence for 70 years and its constitution has no remaining allegiance to the United Kingdom or the Crown. Indeed, her Majesty’s state visit to the Irish Republic a few years ago was greatly appreciated by the Irish people and the Queen deserves a great deal of personal credit for the way she dealt with this. The March in Govan was an Irish UNITY march – the ‘republican’ word was not mentioned. This march was supporting the principle that is the main point of this article that a majority in the UK (except Wales!) supports Irish Unity. The Good Friday Agreement facilitates unity should a majority on BOTH sides of the (currently notional) border agree in a referendum. So, the march was expressing a democratic right. It is legitimate to argue against unification of Ireland, but, it is not legitimate to attempt to attack the advocates of unity and to cause disorder in Govan. All of those arrested were on the counter-demonstrators’ side.

    In one of the two marches, the following Saturday, the term ‘republican’ was used in the context of support for ‘republican prisoners’. But, despite that, those demonstrating appear to have conducted themselves peacefully, although some made gestures which could be termed provocative and the aggression was by the counter-demonstrators, including the throwing of flares, which resulted in a police officer being hospitalised.

    There is a lot of information about ‘sectarianism’ and the times of the ‘Troubles’ which is widely available. So there is no excuse for the media and some politicians to fall back into the old tropes which proved unhelpful in the past and have been an impediment to resolving a complex problem with a long history. With regard to ‘sectarianism’ in Scotland, Professor Tom Devine, using his powerful statistical analytical methods has demonstrated that it is a waning problem in Scotland, largely due to demographics and, probably, to better education.

    With regard to the Calton Orange parade I referred to earlier, I think that many in the senior ranks of the Orange Order have conducted themselves with a great deal of nuance and diplomacy and deserve credit for their courage in challenging the attitudes of the ‘followers’ on the pavement.


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