Just over half (52 percent) of Northern Ireland voters in a new opinion survey say they do not want a referendum on political reunification of the island.
The poll for BBC Northern Ireland’s “The View” comes just shy of three months since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. In the referendum, 56 percent of the Northern Ireland electorate voted to remain in the E.U.
In the wake of the Brexit referendum result, Sinn Féin demanded that the secretary of state call a border poll, as provided by the Good Friday Agreement. The government can call a border poll if it “appears likely that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.”
The BBC poll shows that if such a border poll were held now, 63 percent of northern residents would vote to stay in the U.K., while just 22 percent would support joining the Republic of Ireland.
Shortly after the 23 June Brexit vote, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin reported a sharp rise in the number of people from the North applying for Irish passports. Some observers quickly interpreted this as indicating support for a united Ireland.