What Are The Latest Odds on a United Ireland?

What Are The Latest Odds on a United Ireland?
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The odds of a United Ireland being voted for during a referendum on the subject are improving, according to the best betting sites.

Northern Ireland may be marking its 100th year as a separate country to Ireland but there are rumblings that suggest it won’t see out another century.

The decades-long Troubles that plunged the island of Ireland into civil war have threatened to return, as the Good Friday Agreement is tested to its max by Brexit.

Many north of the border worry that Westminster’s neglect of Northern Ireland during the Brexit process – which has included Boris Johnson’s disastrously rewritten deal that has put a trade barrier down the Irish Sea – could lead to reunification.

And bookmakers in both the UK and Ireland are cutting their odds on the possibility of a United Ireland within the next few years.

United Ireland Odds

According to both Betfair and Paddy Power, there is a 33% chance a vote on a United Ireland will pass before 1 January 2024. Those odds of 2/1 have come in steadily over recent months amid concern Northern Irish politics is being left behind by the UK.

Down in Westminster Johnson’s Tory party is currently battling numerous fronts caused, in part, by his Brexit policy. Having agreed to break away from the EU midway through a global coronavirus pandemic, the Conservatives initially enjoyed a polling boost after claiming the successful vaccine drive could not have been delivered had the UK still been in the trading bloc.

Seemingly forgetting the European-record 136,000 death toll from the virus, the UK has been bullish in its approach with the EU all year.

Indeed, it has threatened to tear up the Withdrawal Agreement penned less than a year ago, in an effort to get around an impasse around trade through the Irish border.

The Good Friday Agreement states that no hard border should stand on the island of Ireland – which means checks from the UK into the EU must now be done between Great Britain and the Northern Irish trade gateways of Belfast, Warrenpoint, Coleraine, Larne and Londonderry.

There appears to be an increasing sense of neglect from Westminster over how to solve growing tensions in Northern Ireland. This has partly contributed to support for Sinn Fein rising to 25% in the polls, while the unionist DUP has slid to 13%.

As Perspective Magazine states: “Northern Ireland has long been an afterthought in the minds of policymakers in London”.

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Northern Ireland Betting

The next Northern Ireland Assembly election is expected to take place in May 2022, at which point the likes of Sinn Fein and the DUP will duke it out for supremacy of Stormont.

What’s more, two-thirds of voters in Northern Ireland say there should be a referendum over its inclusion in the United Kingdom following Brexit. The country voted against Brexit in 2016, yet currently, there is a seven-point lead in favour of remaining part of the UK.

Whether 2024 would be too soon for a referendum remains to be seen. But if the Northern Ireland Assembly election shakes things up then punters who back such a swift vote could be well rewarded.