Poll: Proposed TCDSU stance on Irish Unity lacks necessary support among students

The policy would be unlikely to pass at referendum, Trinity News polling suggests

A recent poll conducted by Trinity News indicates that support for the students’ union taking an official stance on Irish unity would not be enough to pass in a student-wide referendum.

Overall, 40.9% of students would be in favour of the union adopting an official stance on Irish unity, while 29.3% of voters “neither agree nor disagree” with the proposition.

In recent months, student campaigners have called for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to take an official stance in support of reunification, circulating a petition which reached over 200 signatures last month.

Their proposal states: “TCDSU expresses its support for the reunification of Ireland, and will actively and inclusively campaign for Irish unity with recognition for all communities on this island.”

A student-body-wide referendum on the proposed policy would be automatically triggered if the petition reaches 250 signatures.

There was no significant variation in support between year group or faculty. A higher percentage of “anti-government” voters were in favour of the policy, with 43.5% of this group agreeing in comparison to 33.3% of government voters – respondents who indicated support for one of the three coalition parties in the poll.

The policy needs a qualified majority of 60% to officially adopt the stance, and with nearly a third of all voters currently undecided, the campaigners would require a concerted and effective communication strategy to convince those in the middle ground.

The divide among parties followed somewhat predictable trends; support for the proposal was highest among Sinn Féin voters, with 68.2% in favour of its adoption.

The next-highest support came from People Before Profit voters (44.9%), followed by Fianna Fáil (44.44%).

The party least in favour was Labour, with 48.5% of voters being against the policy, however the small sample size of Labour voters should be noted (33).

Among supporters of the Social Democrats, the most popular party among Trinity students, 40.5% disagreed that TCDSU should adopt a stance in favour of Irish unity.

Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that a long-term policy referendum would require a two-thirds majority to pass, rather than 60%. Trinity News apologises for this error.