Newton Emerson: SF, DUP want to avoid Stormont collapse after gauging popular mood

Any public concern about protocol will be focused on stability of Stormont

‘Sinn Féin and the DUP, despite grandstanding over the protocol or language legislation, are clearly determined to avoid another Stormont collapse.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘Sinn Féin and the DUP, despite grandstanding over the protocol or language legislation, are clearly determined to avoid another Stormont collapse.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

People in Northern Ireland are evenly split and deeply polarised over the Brexit protocol, it has been reported this week, following research by Queen’s University. Support for the protocol is at 43 per cent, contrary to nationalist insistence it has majority backing. Opposition is at 48 per cent, strengthening unionist claims they can vote parts of the protocol down when the Assembly gets its first chance to do so in 2024.

Three-quarters of people said the protocol would be a factor in how they vote in the next Assembly election, with four in 10 prepared to change who they vote for on the issue.

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