Data

The study contains three datasets:

  • Public attitudes to a citizens' assembly: this is a survey dataset in which the respondents were a representative sample (n=1000; in-home interviews; computer assisted personal interviewing) of the Northern Ireland population. The respondents were asked a set of questions about the idea of using a Citizens Assembly (made up of randomly selected citizens who deliberate and come to a decision on a given issue) to make decisions on sensitive issues in Northern Ireland that parties find difficult to resolve. The survey was conducted by Ipsos-Mori and was part of an Omnibus survey. Quota sampling was used to ensure that respondents are representative of the broad population in terms of age, gender, social class and geographical location.
  • Political elite attitudes to a citizens' assembly: this is a survey dataset in which the respondents were elected politicians in Northern Ireland, specifically Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). A representative sample of 42 of the total of 108 MLAs was achieved. A random stratification approach was used, stratified by location (Belfast, East of Bann, West of Bann) and party (DUP, UUP, SDLP, Sinn Fein, Alliance, Other). A sample of 60 MLA was initially thus randomly selected and approached to participate. If an MLA refused another from the same party (and location) was randomly chosen as a replacement. Interviews were conducted face to face by Ipsos-Mori at MLA offices, as part of the annual Ipsos-Mori MLA survey Omnibus.
  • Deliberating citizens: This is a dataset generated from a survey of citizens (representative quota-based sample of n=1000; in-home interviews; computer assisted personal interviewing). It was conducted by Ipsos-Mori and was a stand-alone, bespoke, survey. Quota sampling was used to ensure that respondents are representative of the broad population in terms of age, gender, social class and geographical location. The aim of the survey was to conduct a deliberative polling exercise in which the respondents would be asked to deliberate on a sensitive political issue. Specifically, this was the issue of flag display. The deliberation respondents were asked to engage in was 'internal' deliberation: they were asked to observe specially generated short videos showing the background to the flag issue, showing the different perspectives on the flag issue, and also they were asked to imagine that they were having a debate with someone from the 'other community' on the issue. An experimental approach was used in the survey in order to identify whether the citizens engaging in the deliberation generated viewpoints on the flag issue that were different from citizens in a 'control group' who were not asked to engage in deliberation. #

The datasets are available from the UK Data Archive.