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Support for the DUP has halved since the 2019 Westminster elections

Support for DUP falls to 16% after Poots election, poll shows

A new poll has seen support for the DUP slump to just 16 per cent, posing a major challenge for incoming leader Edwin Poots.

Sinn Fein is by far the largest party on 25 per cent , giving it a 9 per cent lead on its nearest challengers and putting Michelle O'Neill on course to take the role of first minister at the next election in May 2022.

The DUP and the Alliance party are now level on 16 per cent, while the Ulster Unionist Party has risen to 14 per cent , overtaking the SDLP, down one point to 11 per cent, according to the LucidTalk poll for the Belfast Telegraph.

There were also gains for the TUV, up one point to 11 per cent, in what is perhaps a sign of fracturing support among unionist parties.

The polls will make troubling reading for incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots.

In addition to falling well behind its Sinn Féin rivals, Mr Poots' personal rating among DUP voters is low.

The survey found that his leadership rival, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, was more popular among their supporters by a three-to-one margin.

Two thirds backed Mr Donaldson to replace the outgoing Arlene Foster, while only a fifth backed the man who ended up taking the job.

When asked which candidate they would back if they had a vote in the DUP leadership contest, 64 per cent of the party's voters said Mr Donaldson, while just 21 per cent opted for Mr Poots.

Mr Poots will now be tasked with arresting his party's decline, which has tumbled from 31 per cent at the 2019 Westminster election.

Other unionist parties are set to profit off their falling support. Among those who voted DUP at the last Assembly election, 29 per cent say they will now vote TUV, while 10 per cent will vote UUP.

Another 4 per cent said they would now vote for the Alliance party.

Things are looking considerably better for Sinn Fein, whose support has steadily climbed since 2019.

The party secured 23per cent of the vote that year, rose to 24 per cent in January, and 25 per cent in the latest survey.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 7th, 2021 at 01:28:10 PM EST

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