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.
YouGov’s latest poll in Scotland suggests that some Labour MPs, and possibly two Liberal Democrats, might be saved by tactical voting.
Our overall voting figures, published in today’s Times, indicate a near wipe out. These are based on the conventional way of projecting votes into seats, which is to assume an identical swing to the SNP in every constituency. However, in the same survey, YouGov asked a series of questions for Channel 4 News about tactical voting; and this makes a significant difference.