Our recent Belfast Telegraph-LucidTalk East Belfast constituency poll, showed that the 'non-voters' are still with us, and are increasing in number. The latest figures from this poll suggest that the Non-Voters are growing again, making up 38% of those who took part, up four % points from our last Northern Ireland (NI)-Wide poll in September 2014. So who are these ‘Don’t Know/No Opinion/Don’t vote’ people? – the question has puzzled politicians for decades. They are on the rise not only in Northern Ireland, but in Southern Ireland, the UK, and other western democracies. In terms of where they come from, the LucidTalk poll results over the past three years show that Northern Ireland’s non-voters are either from the top or bottom social groups, more female than male, are probably employed in the private sector more than public sector, and tend to be from the younger age-groups. They also tend to be more urban than rural, and are mostly of ‘no religion’ or from ‘other’ religions i.e. they don’t identify themselves as Protestant or Catholic.
See Bill White's latest blog article on DebateNI, the Belfast Telegraph's new on-line vehicle for politics and opinion in Northern Ireland. Bill looks at the old argument of whether an elected representative has the right to do what he or she thinks is correct, without regard to what political party that person stood for at the previous election. See what Bill says at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/bill-white/do-we-elect-the-person-or-the-party-29424689.html - and please leave your views!
The results suggest that our political parties, who were recently criticised for pushing integrated education off the agenda, do not reflect the views of the majority of people in Northern Ireland.
You can access the full poll results from here