Poll findings lay down a challenge to advocates of unity

And will the losers consent after a reunification vote?

Listen | 48:01

“Loser’s consent” could be a critical concept in the event of a referendum on Irish reunification. Will the losing side accept the results?

We got some idea of this from new poll results published by The Irish Times this week as a part of our North and South series.

On today’s Inside Politics podcast Prof John Garry of Queen’s University Belfast and Northern Editor Freya McClements join Hugh and Pat to discuss the levels of willingness that exist on the island to compromise and accommodate the other side in the event of a united Ireland.

Plus: How should we read the large number of “don’t knows” in the poll on support for reunification? Could enough undecideds swing towards holding a referendum within five years, or towards unity within 10 years, timeframes talked about by Sinn Féın?


North and South is a collaboration between The Irish Times and ARINS, which is a joint research project of the Royal Irish Academy and the Keough-Naughton Centre for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

John Garry is professor of political behaviour, and director of the Democracy Unit, at Queen’s University Belfast. He has published widely on public opinion, voting behaviour, and deliberation in Ireland, North and South. He wrote Consociation and Voting in Northern Ireland: Party Competition and Electoral Behaviour (University of Pennsylvania Press) and co-authored The Irish Voter (Manchester University Press). He is currently leading the Northern Ireland Assembly Election Study, 2022, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.