Overwhelming support for the concept of a United Ireland
YES For Unitys “Simulated Border Poll” in Strabane – Lifford was a huge learning experience for all involved and a fantastic window into working class people’s fears, hopes and aspirations for the future.
First time activists and experienced political volunteers took to the doorsteps, engaging in discussions and convincing people in the merits of a United Ireland and of a referendum leading us to that reality.
People from different political parties and none came together to deliver the “Simulated Border Poll”. The lessons learned were huge, organisational structures, activists communication, the benefits of social media, the importance of activist training all these things are better learned now than in the heat of the actual Irish Unity referendum that’s no doubt on the horizon.
We also learn from the negative aspects of the “Simulated Poll”, having too few activists to cover huge canvass areas, the capacity of activists, the fears that those who support the concept of a United Ireland have, like how will the health care system operate, the education system, the social welfare system, the fears of the Civil Service, Brexit uncertainty.
We spoke to an elderly woman who talked about her parents getting harassed at the Border Custom’s checks; we spoke to young Civil Servants who have concerns about their jobs in a United Ireland, we spoke to workers who believed their jobs might be under threat there is allot of misinformation out there and real fear but also hope that a United Ireland can deliver for them.
As we move towards an era of referendum and great change we believe that beginning this process of engagement will help us deliver the type of society that works in the interests of all Irish people from all religious and cultural backgrounds.
This island needs to change completely and YES For Unity believes the answers to working class people’s fears are found in socialist economic programs. We can deliver an Irish National Health Service, an education system that can deliver free access from Primary to University; we can end unemployment and the housing crisis and build a society which at its core is fair and equal. That’s what people want and a United Ireland can be the catalyst for that change.
Our questionnaire was constructed to be engaging, we asked “Do you wish to see a Border Poll on Irish Unity?” and “Do you wish to see a United Ireland in the future?” then we finished with “What are your fears and concerns about a United Ireland?” The final question was the real window.
YES For Unity accept that the canvass was carried out in an overwhelmingly nationalist area, this was by design, as demographic shifts show that Unionism is in a permanent minority and we can deliver a 50% plus 1 win in a Border Poll. After analysing all the data collected we can say that 96% of the people in Strabane – Lifford support a United Ireland in the future.