When the final word on Brexit is written I think the greatest blunder(s) were committed by the Democratic Unionist Party, first off by backing Brexit, which many warned would place Northern Ireland’s place in the Union at risk, and then rejecting Theresa May’s deal, the latter is something which they now regret after Boris Johnson politically cuckolded them by placing a border in the Irish Sea.
There’s been a reckoning for the DUP judging by this latest poll which sees them now as the third placed Unionist party and equal sixth overall, that is quite the fall for the DUP, the certainly would be inheriting the wind after causing trouble in their own house of Northern Ireland, finishing sixth really would really feel like and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. A dramatic fall like this might rival Likud’s fall from grace in the 2006 Knesset elections where they tumbled from first to fourth.
I cannot see any betting markets for the winner of the next Stormont elections (scheduled for no later than next May) nor I can see any markets for the next First Minister where Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill should be favourite when a market opens up.
Sinn Féin winning the Stormont might trigger an Irish unity referendum as per the Good Friday Agreement and using the convention set by Alistair Jack there may further evidence for an Irish unity referendum threshold being reached in the near future. The Observer commissioned a Northern Ireland poll which found
Two-thirds of voters in Northern Ireland believe there should be a vote over its place in the UK, but only 37% want it to take place within the next five years, according to a new poll for the Observer.
Some 31% of voters said there should be a vote at some point about Northern Ireland’s place in the UK but after 2026, the LucidTalk poll found. A further 29% said there should never be such a vote. There is currently a seven-point lead for Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK should any vote take place.
Asked to state how they would vote, 49% said they would back remaining in the UK, while 42% backed being part of a united Ireland, with 9% saying they did not know. Other recent surveys have put support for a united Ireland much lower. The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, published in June, suggested that 30% backed a united Ireland.
There have been persistent concerns within the UK government that the fallout from Brexit could lead to increased support for a united Ireland, with problems still continuing over the Northern Ireland protocol – an element of the Brexit deal that has effectively erected barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK government is attempting to renegotiate the deal.
While many experts said they believed the political temperature in Northern Ireland was now cooling, the issue of a border poll has been raised by prominent figures in recent months. Earlier this summer, the British government rebuked Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar, for suggesting there could be a united Ireland in his lifetime. Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams also said in recent weeks that he believed a poll could happen within three years.
Ladbrokes have up several markets up on Irish unity, for example you can get 4/1 on a Two State Border Poll to be held before 2025 and several options for the year of Irish unity. I have to say I’m not tempted with that bet or any of the other bets but if PBers can spot some value please let me know in the comments.