Lucid Talk today released the first findings of their February 2018 tracking poll.
I thought it worth doing a quick blog on these findings as they reveal some very interesting facts.
Below are two of the charts published by Lucid Talk, the first is an age grouping breakdown:
The second graphic shows us the overall effect of the above and a comparison with results in September 2017:
This is fascinating stuff, In the first graphic we can see that SF have a lead of 9.5% over the DUP in the under 44 category and Nationalist parties (SF & SDLP) have a full 10% lead over the main unionist parties (UUP and DUP).
In the older age cohort the figures are a lead of 10.2% for DUP over SF and 13.7 for Unionism (35.3% vs 49%)
This is massive electoral change coming down the line for political unionism and it’s a one way direction of travel.
Turning our attention to the second graphic which combines the results to give us a prediction as to voting intentions and the changes over a six month period the figures are equally startling.
There is a swing from DUP to SF of 3.1%, in the context of politics here, that is significant. I am sure the drop in support for the DUP will be much speculated upon over the coming days.
Using the above figures, the total Unionist vote (DUP/UUP/TUV and PUP) translates into 46.6%, well short of a majority. The total Nationalist vote (SF/ SDLP/ PBP) is 42.7%.
A swing to nationalist parties of 0.6% since September.
How this would translate into actual seats of course depends on the geographic spread of the votes and how motivated voters are in an actual election.
This poll demonstrates the continuing trends established in last years elections and the potential growth of the nationalist parties in the years ahead. For political unionism, while they continue to beat their tribal drums and resort to the dog whistling of the past, they are faced only with decline.
As events of the past two weeks demonstrate, Unionism keeps repeating the mistakes of it’s past. Walking out of the talks process was a colossal strategic error, lying about the circumstances in which that happened compounded that error and failure to have any idea about what to do next exposes their lack of vision and planning for the future.
The failure to be honest with their electorate is why their base was so woefully unprepared for the deal on restoration of Stormont. The above poll demonstrates that they are now managing the decline of unionism. Denial will only increase the shock to unionist voters as this process rolls out in the years ahead.
Like their allies in the Brexiteer brigade, they may have acted in haste but will have plenty of time to repent at leisure.
This is only going one way.