Sinn Fein’s proposal for a Border vote on a United Ireland would end in rejection, according to a new opinion poll, with only 17 per cent in favor.
Party leader Gerry Adams is keen for the vote on Northern Ireland’s future to be held as soon as possible.
Provision for the poll on a United Ireland is included in the Good Friday agreement.
But the Irish Times reports that a new opinion poll for the BBC suggests that a majority of people would vote for Northern Ireland to remain as part of the union with Britain.
The Ipsos MORI poll of more than 1,000 respondents for the BBC television programme Spotlight found that 65 per cent of people would vote for the North to stay in the UK while 17 per cent would vote for a united Ireland.
Some twelve per cent would not vote and one in 20 did not know how they would vote.
The BBC survey is the first since Adams called for a referendum on a united Ireland.
The poll results suggest that slightly more Catholics - 38 per cent - would vote for the North to remain in the union compared to 35 per cent who would vote for unification.
It also showed that 92 per cent of Protestants would vote in favour of the union with just 2 per cent in favour of a united Ireland.