• Only 7% of UUP voters plan to switch to a nationalist party first, according to the survey.
  • While 31% say their first move will be to Alliance, that isn’t a nationalist party.
  • 42% intend to first transfer to another unionist party: DUP, TUV or the NI Conservatives

On April 4 on Twitter, Unionist Voice posted: “Polls today purport to show over half of UUP voters transfer to nationalist parties (primarily Alliance), rather than remaining within the unionist family.

This tweet was in response to polling conducted in March 2022 by the University of Liverpool for the Irish News, and published the same day as the Unionist Voice tweet.

The claim is inaccurate.

  • Transfers

According to the survey data, only 7% of UUP voters plan to switch to a nationalist party as their first transfer away from the UUP.

While 31% of UUP voters surveyed plan to transfer to Alliance – the highest proportion of second preferences to any party – the Alliance Party designates as ‘Other’ and not ‘Nationalist’.

  • Findings

The survey found that, among those who intend to vote first for the UUP:

  • 42% said their first non-UUP transfer would go to a designated unionist party: DUP (17%), TUV (22%) or NI Conservatives (3%).
  • 36% said it would go to a party who neither designate as unionist or nationalist:  Alliance (31%), Green (2%), People Before Profit (3%).
  • Only 7% said their first move away from the UUP would be to a designated nationalist party – with all those people planning to transfer to the SDLP. Neither Sinn Fein nor Aontu recorded any percentage of the initial transfers away from the UUP.
  • 7% say they are undecided about their first transfer, and 8% say they intend to vote for UUP candidates only.

Note that the results of this opinion poll has a margin of error of 3.1%.