Only 16 per cent of Democratic Unionist Party voters would back the recent deal on post-Brexit trade rules if a referendum were held, a poll showed on Saturday.
The survey by polling company LucidTalk for the Belfast Telegraph newspaper found that just 38 per cent of the region's wider unionist electorate would vote in favour of the Windsor Framework agreement if a referendum were held.
While 73 per cent of DUP voters and 50 per cent of unionist voters would oppose the deal, 67 per cent of all voters in the region were in favour thanks to strong support among nationalists, the poll showed.
𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐅𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐬𝐭 𝐍𝐈 𝐯𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 pic.twitter.com/jcupwrFU3R
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) March 11, 2023
The British government is not expected to need the votes of the DUP or the wider Northern Ireland electorate to ratify the agreement, which was announced in February, but British prime minister Rishi Sunak had hoped to use the deal to convince the party to end a boycott that has frozen the region's devolved government.
In an apparent sign of falling support for the DUP's boycott, the percentage of unionists who said the region's devolved government should not be restored until issues around post-Brexit trade rules are resolved fell to 54 per cent from 66 per cent in a poll six weeks ago.
The online poll questioned 3,409 people on March 3rd to 5th.