Northern Ireland General Election Attitudes Survey, 2010

  • Bernadette C Hayes (Creator)
  • Paul Mitchell (Creator)
  • Jonathan Tonge (Creator)



The 2010 General Election represented the first opportunity for Northern Ireland's (NI) voters to express their political preferences in a non-European election since the formation of a power-sharing devolved government in 2007, headed by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein. The Northern Ireland General Election Attitudes Survey, 2010 examines the NI electorate's views of the 2010 election and explores different possible scenarios, such as:
- thawing of the sectarian divide between Protestant-British Unionists and Catholic-Irish nationalists
- movement away from the main ethnic blocs by voters who may support cross-community parties such as Alliance or the Greens
- the utility of the joint 'Ulster Unionist-Conservative Party' label of Unionism's second largest party,
- the impact of Sinn Fein's new political approach, with the party supporting the Police Service of Northern Ireland since 2007

The survey provides vital evidence on the demographics of party support, the perceptions of parties and the views of the performance of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. The survey also tests the electorate's perception of the threat posed by 'dissident' republicans.

Further information can be found on the 2010 Northern Ireland General Election ESRC award web page.

Users are advised that the UK Data Archive holds the British Election Study series (available under GN 33066) which explores electoral behaviour in Great Britain.

Main Topics:The main areas of study are:
level of interest in the General Election
perceived key issue on which they voted
parties perceived as best able to address these issues
NI party perceived as closest to respondents views on this issue
voting patterns and reasons for choice of party/candidate in this election and in previous elections
reasons for not voting
attitudes to parties and leaders
attitudes to the economy and the parties best able to address economic issues
attitudes to Europe
attitudes to the status of NI
importance of selected issues to the NI electorate
satisfaction with the performance of the Government
level of contact with parties prior to the election
Date made available27 Aug 2010
PublisherUK Data Service
Date of data production2010
Geographical coverageNorthern Ireland

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • RES-000-22-4033

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