Next Week – beginning on Monday 7th April, the Belfast Telegraph will be publishing the results of their LucidTalk Northern Ireland – Wide Youth poll, along with full comment and analysis. The objective of the LucidTalk - Belfast Telegraph ‘youth poll’ was to obtain a balanced view of Northern Ireland opinion, on this occasion within the 16-24 year-old age-group. To achieve this, the LucidTalk opinion sample was balanced across community (i.e. religious), social background, location, and gender. This approach allowed the collation of a representative view of what the young people of Northern Ireland are really thinking about a range of current issues including politics, jobs, and their vision of the future.
In particular, the poll-project involved the direct ‘live’ participation of several youth groups, clubs, and associations across Northern Ireland, which allowed the members of these clubs and associations to ‘vote’ directly in the poll-project, via the LucidTalk ‘on-the-road’ polling station. This direct participation by the Youth organisations is great fun for the young people, as they complete the survey confidentially, seal it, and then place it in the LucidTalk Ballot Boxes, giving the feeling to the young people that they are taking part in a genuine democratic process, and that their views will really count.
As well as the ‘direct contact’ youth association program, the LucidTalk poll-project included telephone and direct individual interviews. This combination of contact channels ensured that the widest possible range of views and opinions were collated, resulting in the most accurate possible data sample to be obtained, and the most accurate possible reflection of the current views of the young people of Northern Ireland.
Some interesting trends have emerged, with many questions when analysed by religious background, showing key differences in attitudes between Protestants and Catholics. With poll results, one key way the pollsters work out trends and compare results between polls, is to work out + or – ‘ratings’ for the various questions. As an example, if we take the ‘How often would you meet someone from the other tradition’ question, we see this shows a +23 rating overall, showing that most young people (not all) feel they meet someone from the other tradition fairly often. It should be noted that + 23, is a reasonable positive score, but it is not overwhelming, and could not be described as excellent. However, if we analyse this question by religion (i.e. how our poll respondents defined their religion) we find that Catholics felt they met someone from the ‘other tradition’ more than Protestants by a factor of 6 to 4, and Protestants felt they didn’t meet someone from the ‘other tradition’ that often, by a factor of 2 to 1! The ‘rating scores’ for all applicable questions will be reported in the Belfast Telegraph all next week. So keep a look out, as they provide interesting reading, and throw up some key questions about the future of Northern Ireland.
Full results, along with the detailed poll-project methodology, will be published on the LucidTalk web site week beginning 14th April.