A new poll by the Belfast Telegraph, ranked Queen Elizabeth II as more popular than Martin McGuinness among Catholics in Northern Ireland.
Participants were asked to rank Queen Elizabeth, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, Democratic Union Party leader Peter Robinson, Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Irish President Michael D. Higgins on their performance. The poll was conducted among people of voting age.
Participants ranked each leader’s performance between Excellent and Very Bad. According to the Belfast Telegraph, participants used a scale “where 1 is excellent, to 5 very bad.” Queen Elizabeth scored +2.8, which was the only positive rating of the five leaders. Baggott finished in the bottom with -13.1 and Higgins came second to last with -1.8.
The Queen was more popular with women who rated her 4.1 than with men who rated her 0.3. Her rankings did well across all religious and nonreligious groups.
The now 87 year old head of the monarchy recently visited Northern Ireland during her Diamond Jubilee Tour in 2012. She made a historic visit to Dublin in May 2011. During her time in Dublin she visited the Garden of Remembrance and laid a wreath down. She said there things in history “which we would wish had been differently or not at all.”
McGuinness’ political party Sinn Fein had opposed the Queen’s 2011 visit. McGuinness scored -3.4 in the DE social grouping of the poll, which suggests that Sinn Fein still has a loyal base in working class.
Participants were asked to choose one of the nine Assembly Party leaders as the leader “offering the best hope for Northern Ireland.” McGuinness came in second with 20% after Robinson who took the title with 22.1%.