Tuesday, 6 July 2010

We're Northern Ireland

As part of its Union 2021 series the News Letter is trumpeting the new Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey and the growing personal identification with Northern Ireland over other identities in both the main religious communities. 

This data has to be treated with some caution as the NILT has had difficulties in its sampling, the transformation is very slow and we don't know if it will continue to grow.  Also the change has been a partial result of benign manipulation / social engineering by the NIO.  However, a growth from 10% to 25% over a sustained period is a clear trend.

This raises an interesting question for the future definition of Unionism here if it is trying to attract this section of voters.  During the recent election UCUNF tried to label any regional identification by the DUP with Northern Ireland as some form of closet (or overt) Ulster nationalism.  However, does this data mean that a regional emphasis may have greater utility in attracting beyond the traditional base?

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