DUP leader remains confident of winning Assembly election despite opinion poll

The latest Lucidtalk poll puts 26% of support for Sinn Fein, ahead of 20% for the DUP.
DUP leader remains confident of winning Assembly election despite opinion poll

By Rebecca Black, PA

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said he is confident his party will win the Stormont election despite an opinion poll putting his party six percentage points behind Sinn Féin.

If the results are reflected by votes cast at the ballot box next week, it will be the first time that a nationalist party is the largest at Stormont.

That would allow Sinn Féin to nominate the next First Minister, likely to be their vice president Michelle O’Neill.

At the last Assembly election in 2017, the DUP attracted 28 per cent of first-preference votes and returned 28 MLAs, ahead of Sinn Féin who then received 27 per cent of first-preference votes and returned 27 MLAs.

2022 NI Assembly election
Sinn Fein’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill could be nominated as the next First Minister if her party tops the poll at the Stormont election. Photo: PA

Support for Sinn Féin is now at 26 per cent with the DUP on 20 per cent, according to the latest the LucidTalk poll commissioned by the Belfast Telegraph.

Mr Donaldson told the PA news agency he believes the DUP is going to win this election.

“I think the polls are not reflective of what I find on the doors in Northern Ireland,” he said.

 

“As we’re going around, there is strong support for the DUP, most unionists recognise the DUP is the only unionist party that can win, they don’t want to see Sinn Féin winning and taking forward their divisive Border poll agenda.

“Most unionists recognise there is a clear choice in this election, the DUP’s five-point plan or Sinn Féin’s divisive border poll plan and I think on May 5th we’re going to see unionists voting for the DUP and transferring their votes to other unionist parties because not only do I want the DUP to win, I want to see unionism win more seats as well and that’s entirely possible in a number of constituencies.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said he remains confident his party will win the Stormont election. Photo: Rebecca Black/PA

“I’m not bothered by polls and I think the political pundits who stake their reputation on the results of polls might get a surprise on May 5th.”

The Lucidtalk poll puts the Alliance Party and the UUP on 14 per cent each, the SDLP on 10 per cent, TUV on 9 per cent, Green Party on 3 per cent, People Before Profit on 2 per cent and others and independents on 2 per cent.

The poll was carried out online on April 22nd-24th using its established online opinion panel, comprising of 13,816 members, which it states is balanced to be demographically representative of Northern Ireland.

The latest poll results were based on 3,699 full responses which were authenticated, audited and weighted to a NI-representative data-set of 1,708 responses which was used for analysis in terms of the final results.

Lucidtalk say all results are accurate in terms of being Northern Ireland representative to within an error of plus or minus 2.3 per cent at 95 per cent confidence.

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