Despite the name of this site in practice it is often more GBPollingReport than UKPollingReport. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of opinion polls cover only Great Britain and exclude Northern Ireland. This is very much a historical legacy – the way things have always been – presumably because of the very different party system in Ulster. Moreover, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of demand for market research in Northern Ireland, so most pollsters don’t really operate there to a significant degree.

As a result there is very little polling on today’s Assembly election in Northern Ireland. The only company that really does regular political polling is LucidTalk, who’ve done regular Assembly voting intention trackers over the last month or so.

They published a final election poll earlier this week, conducted over the weekend. Topline figures with changes since the 2016 Assembly election were DUP 26.3%(-2.9), Sinn Fein 25.3%(+1.3), UUP 13.9%(+1.3), SDLP 12.2%(+0.2), Alliance 9.5%(+2.4), TUV 4.4%(+1), GRN 3.4%(+0.7). If those turned out to be the result it would suggest comparatively little change since last year’s election – the DUP would have lost votes, but would still be the largest party and are still obviously the dominant force on the Unionist side of politics. Exactly how that translates into seats given the complicated politics of Northern Ireland is a different matter. Full details are here.

LucidTalk are also doing some on-the-day polling today to check for any last minute movement – if that shows any shift they’ll be be updating tomorrow morning.


633 Responses to “Polling for the Northern Ireland Assembly election”

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  1. @Bigfatron @Neil A @Alec @Colin

    Interesting debate on the unethical use of incentives to lure foreign skills to these shores.

    I think you have a valid point especially if these people come from less developed countries as they are being denuded of their brightest lights when they are needed the most.

    Conversely why shouldn’t they settle in a new country if they can pass the entry exam so to speak. Should they be denied that opportunity?

    There’s no easy answer on this one.

  2. @Hireton “I wonder if any polling will be done in African countries about their reaction to the apparent decision of the UK Government to name (informally presumably) its post Brexit trade drive in Africa “Empire 2.0” On the other hand, polling might not be needed.”

    I guess it won’t be all that bad for ship workers on the Clyde building the Dreadnaught 2.0 program then!

  3. COLIN

    Yes, I have seen that and commented upon it. I don’t think that money will go very far in terms of making the UK the centre of the world when it comes to AI research.

    “The BBC commented that given the importance of AI, this was not very much money”

    We’ll see how much of that money goes towards matching the amount Germany is offering.

  4. @Sea Change – “Please provide a source that shows there has been a mass exodus that has caused this and it is not just the seasonal number they usually need.”

    Well you could start with the NFU, as quoted here in Farmers Weekly –

    http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/nfu-issues-warning-potential-labour-shortage.htm

    Quote “Fruit and veg crops will be left rotting in the ground next harvest unless action is taken to deal with the migrant labour shortage in the UK, according to NFU deputy president Minette Batters.

    Ms Batters issued the chilling warning as she delivered her verdict on the labour shortage facing the agricultural industry, especially its horticulture sector.”

    You could also try David Camp of the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) – “Camp told the Food and Drink Federation’s Brexit conference that for the first time he could remember “we are not going to meet all the supply needed for the Christmas peak”.

    “At this moment in time, labour providers are experiencing the worst labour shortage since before 2004,” he said.”

    You could also try the House of Lords home affairs inquiry , as reported in the press on Jan 18th – “Written evidence submitted by the National Farmers Union shows that the Brexit vote has caused serious recruitment difficulties for British agriculture.

    “The results of the first three quarters of the 2016 NFU Labour Provider Survey found that there was a dramatic change in labour availability within the space of nine months, clearly showing the deterioration in the ability to maintain EU labour in the horticulture sector,” said the NFU in its evidence to the House of Lords committee.”

    Is this enough evidence for you?

    Now, what I suggest is that;

    1) You open your eyes and ears to what is actually going on, rather than some of the complete guff that Brexiteers are promoting, so then you wouldn’t need to ask people to provide evidence when they make abundantly obvious points that you find hard to accept

    2) If you are going to go down the route of demanding evidence for every counter point, make sure you provide ‘evidence’ for every single point you wish to make.

  5. Brexit is unravelling in front of the very people who voted for it. The working class will be hit hardest when foreign manufacturers leave the UK. The cost of imports is already costing jobs.

  6. ALAN

    @” the centre of the world when it comes to AI research.”

    USA by the look of it-followed by UK-with Germany & the rest trailing.

    http://asgard.vc/the-german-artificial-intelligence-landscape/

  7. @Alec

    “Quote “Fruit and veg crops will be left rotting in the ground next harvest unless action is taken to deal with the migrant labour shortage in the UK, according to NFU deputy president Minette Batters.”

    There may be trouble getting stuff, food included, into the UK.

    “CHIEF, the stalwart of Customs declarations in the UK for decades is to be replaced. Rather than create a system from scratch, HMRC are sourcing an off the shelf product (in fact 2 – one is a tariff product, the other is a declaration processing system).

    The EU Referendum result inserted a rather large spanner into the works of the contract process (they were supposed to sign the contract with the declaration system provider the day after the referendum!) as the future landscape may well change significantly (Current CHIEF operating capacity 100 -150million declarations per year – potential post-Brexit volumes estimated at 300-350 million declarations per year) further discussions were had with the potential supplier.”

    http://www.customs.net/news?aid=8784

  8. “Yes, I have seen that and commented upon it. I don’t think that money will go very far in terms of making the UK the centre of the world when it comes to AI research.”

    How much more is there to know about Al?

    I mean, I thought we knew pretty much everything there was to know about him? Except I suppose we never did find out how he got that scar on his knee.

  9. Sorry – just realised I was talking about the wrong Al.

  10. COLIN

    In terms of startups you might be right, I’m not looking to start my own business up at the moment. Who knows, in the future the UK might offer very attractive terms for me to come and set a business up in the UK.

    Until then it’s Germany offering the attractive options for me (other EU countries aren’t far behind). How that balance changes in the future, who knows? I’ll examine my options at the time, although continuing to do a post-doc in Germany will be a very strong one. If the UK wants to compete for my labour I’ll more than welcome it.

  11. Some more info and comment ( from a reasoned pro indy blogger) on the BMG poll on a Scottish Independence referendum and its reporting here:

    http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/this-will-shock-you-but-it-turns-out.html?spref=tw

  12. Fruit and veg rotting in the fields,brexit unravelling before our eyes…..

    Strewth, we’re all doomed!!

    How will we cope?

    The E U has been so marvellous for us, things just won’t ever be as good ever again…..

  13. @Ken Tse Ping

    I think Osborne was already taking us down that road!!…

  14. @Sea Change

    “There is no problem having settlement rights for skilled migrants once they have worked in the country paying taxes for 4-5 years.”

    ——-

    Yes you’re still not getting it. From their point of view, why come here when they have more rights on the continent? Esp. when govt, is cutting…

  15. @Hireton “I wonder if any polling will be done in African countries about their reaction to the apparent decision of the UK Government to name (informally presumably) its post Brexit trade drive in Africa “Empire 2.0” On the other hand, polling might not be needed.”

    The govt hasn’t named the African trade drive “Empire 2.0”

    It’s the opponents of the govt who have done so:

    quote

    Members of the 52-nation network will meet in London on Thursday and Friday and officials will launch a charm offensive in a bid to replace the EU.

    In 2011, the Commonwealth formally agreed to start negotiations on creating a free trade zone from 26 African nations touched by past British conquest.

    Some Whitehall official are skeptical of the idea, branding it ‘Empire 2.0’, and fear that starting negotiations before Brexit could lead to punishment by the EU commission to which the UK owes loyalty until it actually leaves the union.

    end quote

    I expect some Remainers don’t want to buy food from Africa because they feel we should pay extra to support European farmers whom they think are “special” and deserve trade more than anyone else.

    Some of the opponents of trade with Africa also think it is “imperialistic” to trade with them and want them kept poor so they can continue to virtue signal by weeping over them.

    The Africans themselves are keen to go ahead though – they’ve been locked out of trade through protectionism by both the EU and USA and they feel this is a chance to break through.

  16. CANDY

    @”The Africans themselves are keen to go ahead though – they’ve been locked out of trade through protectionism by both the EU and USA and they feel this is a chance to break through.”

    Absolutely-but its much more cynical when you look at the detailed barriers.

    EU puts a tarriff on processed coffee beans to protect German Coffee Roasters. They want to keep Africa as a supplier of basic materials-stopping them moving up the value chain into processing.

    We discussed the idea of “stealing” foreign Labour. The EU is “stealing” Africa’s manufacturing future.

  17. ALAN

    I like your buccaneering Free Trader approach .

    I hope a UK AI company brings you back to UK at some point in the future to cash in on your German education & research :-)

    All the best anyway in what looks like a very exciting sector..

  18. Hireton

    “Empire 2.0”

    Candy is correct that its not the official Government term for the terminology, but she is wrong in suggesting that its “opponents of the govt who have done so”,

    As her own quote makes clear, its a term coined by those working in the civil service who are, of course, perfectly entitled to have their own views as to the idiocy of their bosses’ strategies.

    In that sense, its like “Project Fear” – a term used by Better Together workers internally to describe a strategy that they had deep misgivings about.

    However, such terminology then takes on a life of its own, if it turns out to be pithily accurate.

  19. @Old\Nat

    Surely you know that some of the biggest opponents of govt come from the civil service (regardless of which party is in power)?

  20. Alec

    “Quote “Fruit and veg crops will be left rotting in the ground next harvest unless action is taken to deal with the migrant labour shortage in the UK, according to NFU deputy president Minette Batters.”

    They’ve been saying the same thing in California for 50 years.

    Because the people who come to do the crop-picking don’t sit and do it for 50 years – as soon as they learn the ropes they move into the cities looking for something better and you need to import more.

    It’s totally stupid.

    The only sensible solution is raising the productivity of the farming sector so the wages can go up.

    #

    The problem here is individual farmers can’t do the research needed to tech up farming. It needs govt investment

    I’m just about old enough to remember pols talking about “picking winners” and others saying (mostly correctly) that it was a fool’s errand.

    However what govts can do is pick losers – because they’re obvious – and by losers i just mean those sectors with the lowest productivity and put money into raising it in those sectors (like the japanese) because raising average productivity is the only way to prosperity.

  21. MRJones

    I doubt you could ever build a automated fruit picker that could do the job cheaper than doing it by hand.

    The idea that the Japanese have an efficient agriculture sector is ludicrous, it’s incredibly inefficient and only exists in it’s dwindling state due to subsidies and protectionist policies when it comes to agricultural produce.

    Agriculture has pretty much turned into a way of boosting retirement incomes than a serious industry about half of all farmers are 70 and above and a lot of the rest is considered part time work done at the weekends to supplement non agricultural jobs.

    Young people move away from rural areas as soon as possible rather than turning to farming themselves.

  22. Carfrew

    “Next question: how many fruitpickers have been replaced by robots?”

    https://techcrunch.com/2014/12/23/at-california-olive-ranch-technology-takes-root/

    growing olives as hedges to allow automated picking

    the problems are
    1) individual farmers mostly won’t have the resources to develop innovations like this

    2) cheap labour is the path of least resistance so *when available* it’s the first choice. if that option is closed down you get innovative solutions instead

  23. Alan

    “I doubt you could ever build a automated fruit picker that could do the job cheaper than doing it by hand.”

    See the post above yours – the solution is to grow things in a way that makes them easier to harvest.

    #

    “The idea that the Japanese have an efficient agriculture sector is ludicrous,”

    Nobody said it was.

    The point is reducing your average productivity is stupid in the short and long term. Preserving it at a certain point while figuring out how to make it more productive is less stupid.

    #

    “Agriculture has pretty much turned into a way of boosting retirement incomes than a serious industry…snip…Young people move away from rural areas as soon as possible rather than turning to farming themselves.”

    Yes it’s productivity has dropped too low to be attractive when there are other options.

    High tech farming would change that.

  24. “See the post above yours”

    below, rather

  25. @Mr Jones

    Well I suppose the olive picker will come in handy for when global warming means we have a surfeit of olive groves…

    Was olive picking a high-waged activity though, with a shortage of pickers? Or did the tech develop regardless irrespective of cheap labour because olives easier to pick?

    Anyway, if Alec’s right about pruning out of pickers we’ll find out how quickly the fruit sector innovates…

  26. @Mr Jones

    “Whereas negative coverage of the EU in the TV media remained at zero.”

    ——-

    Lol, well it’s possible Clarkson and Co. might have issues but you have a point…

  27. @Carfrew “There is no problem having settlement rights for skilled migrants once they have worked in the country paying taxes for 4-5 years.”
    ——-
    Yes you’re still not getting it. From their point of view, why come here when they have more rights on the continent? Esp. when govt, is cutting…”

    It’s you who is not understanding. Work Permits will be worldwide. Everyone will be on an equal footing. If EU citizens want to come they should be subject to the same rules as everyone else. If they would prefer to go to Estonia so be it, the world is a big place with lots of people.

    @Alec

    Your original statement suggested that the exodus had caused a deficit of 75,000 workers. That is not the case. That is the total number needed for the sector. That is what I objected to. If there are to be shortfalls which is being postulated in your links then Government will need to make provisions to attract more seasonal workers.

    There is far too much Chicken Licken going on. Practical decisions will be taken to ensure sectors get the staff they need.

  28. A former SNP leader, is espousing the exact reasons I have been banging on about as to why the SNP should wait until at least 2021 before trying IndyRef2.

    I really hope they try and go for 2018 though!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/06/former-snp-leader-nicola-sturgeon-cannot-avoid-second-independence/

    These former leaders can be pesky with their interventions.

  29. Joseph1832,
    “If anyone truly believed in the economic argument for immigration they would be brutally selective.”

    If they cared about economics we would be brutally selective about the education of our own youth and ensure they did courses in shortage subjects. We would build enough houses and other infrastructure. We would have government intervention in commerce and considerably more redistibutive taxation (because it is good for the economy, not for moral reasons). But we dont. We could be far more self sufficient, but we choose to let the market take care of itself and the easy solution is just to let any kind of industry bring in additional staff when it needs it. If we did neither the hard solution to labour shortages nor the easy solution, then industry would just disappear.

    Millie,
    “takes longer today than it did thirty years ago, despite e-mails, land registration, etc. Why is that?”
    Because its billed by the hour? Although by itself that isn’t a sufficient reason. I would suspect that legal expertise is still an area of high demand and therefore low pressure to improve services. I understand however that artificial lawyers are making amazing progress.

  30. Sea Change,
    My point is that part of tha package currently atracting people here is that they can work here for as long as they wish, go home as freqeuently as they wish, end their lives in whichever country they fancy. There is no red tape or reliance on future good will by a host nation. All this is about to change. The package is therefore less attractive than it was, especially when other nations are still offering this same package.

  31. Jasper22,
    “The E U has been so marvellous for us, things just won’t ever be as good ever again”

    Someting we agree on then

    Sea Change,
    ” the world is a big place with lots of people. “. The argument made to leave voters was that immigration would be reduced, not that we would replace Italian doctors with Chinese. I have never understood the argument that non-europeans in general are more acceptable than people from neighbouring countries which have far more similar cultures to our own.

  32. @Sea Change

    “It’s you who is not understanding. Work Permits will be worldwide. Everyone will be on an equal footing. If EU citizens want to come they should be subject to the same rules as everyone else. If they would prefer to go to Estonia so be it, the world is a big place with lots of people.”

    ——–

    It’s clear enough what you are proposing. You can repeat the mechanism you are proposing as many times as you like, like a broken record, but it will not address the fact that I am talking about a CONSEQUENCE of the mechanism.

    Which is that it will make us less attractive to nurses etc. from the EU.

    Nothing in your mechanism addresses the fact that we won’t be in the EU hence can’t offer what the EU offers employees, especially if we ditch free movement etc.

    Indeed even non-EU nurses may prefer to try the EU first…

  33. A. We have a nursing recruitment issue. Nurses might prefer to work in the EU because of the freedoms
    B. It’s ok, I got it figured out!!
    A. Cool, are you going to have similar freedoms?
    B. Don’t be silly, they’re going to have to apply for Visas and stuff. Maybe we’ll let them in. Maybe not…
    A. How does that compare with the freedoms on offer in the EU?
    B. Permits will be worldwide!!
    A. ???
    B. They have to jump through the same hoops as everyone else!!
    A. Hoops??? This is more free because???…
    B. They can even go to Estonia!!!
    A. Yes I can see how that might help… Estonia.
    B. See I think of everything!!

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