Mini exit poll from polling station in East Belfast suggests fractured vote

A News Letter micro exit poll from East Belfast, Elmgrove finds a fractured vote.

By Ben Lowry
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 9:59 pm
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 6:48 am

The DUP and Alliance have as expected dominated in the area, but both have lost votes to rivals.

In our sample, the DUP is a shade ahead of Alliance, when it would normally be more comfortably ahead, because it has lost a significant number of votes to TUV. But Alliance too has lost votes to the Greens.

This is a small poll in only one constituency but it does suggest that overall Northern Ireland polling has been correct to find that votes are being spread across multiple parties so that even the DUP and Sinn Fein cannot expect to get much more than 20% of the vote.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Jack Magee, 29, who voted Green, not having voted in the last election, and Katriona Kirwin, who voted People Before Profit, having voted Alliance in the last election, at Elmgrove polling station

The News Letter chose Elmgrove because it has a similar voting pattern to the constituency as a whole, albeit slightly more unionist than average, as explained in the previous poll results below.

• The Elmgrove first preferences were as follows in our micro poll:

DUP 91 first preferences

Alliance 90

Stephen Priestley switched from DUP in the last election to supporting TUV in this one over the Irish Sea border. Pictured at Elmgrove polling station on May 5

TUV 47

UUP 33

Green 23

PUP 22

Elmgrove is a polling station in East Belfast

PBP 11

SF 7

A further 221 people would not divulge their vote.

• For comparison, see the last micro poll we did at Elmgrove.

2019 general election

• DUP Robinson 159 votes

• Alliance Long 93 votes

• Ulster Unionist Carl McClean 14 votes

And see below even earlier findings at Elmgrove (with, in brackets, the vote that would have been expected if such a sample of voters had perfectly reflected the seat):

June 2017 general election

DUP 174 votes (157)

Alliance 91 votes (102)

Ulster Unionists 5 (9)

SF 3 (6)

SDLP 2 (1)

Green 2

Spoiled vote 3. A further 158 people would not say how they voted.

• March 2017 Assembly

DUP 66 (67)

Alliance 60 (56)

PUP 17 (12)

UUP 16 (23)

TUV 7 (4)

Green 6 (6)

SDLP 4

Sinn Fein 2 (5)

Lab 1 Others (5)

Total 179

Won’t say 119

• May 2016 Assembly

DUP 60 (69)

Alliance 59 (54)

Ulster Unionist 23 (21)

Green 14 (11)

PUP 10 (9)

Hutton 10

Others 12 Others (24)

Total 188

Won’t say 99

• May 2015 General

Gavin Robinson DUP 131 (123)

Naomi Long All 102 (107)

Neil Wilson Conservative 10 (7)

Ross Brown Green 6 (7)

Won’t say 55

• May 2010 General:

Peter Robinson 53 (49)

Naomi Long 52 (56)

Trevor Ringland (UUP-Tory) 23 (32)

David Vance (TUV) 22 (8)

Won’t say 42