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It is most popularly associated with candidates in elections for the Parliament of Northern Ireland. Such candidates supported the positions of Unionism in Northern Ireland but, for various reasons, could not reconcile to themselves to the Ulster Unionist Party or other groups. It was also used by Unionists in what became the Irish Free State, as they were unionists, but not in Ulster. The label was also used in Scotland, demonstrating an association with ideology of the Unionist Party, the predecessor to the modern Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Notable users of the affiliation Edit
Northern Ireland Edit
- George Hanna was an early example, representing East Antrim in the British House of Commons from 1919.
- Tommy Henderson represented Belfast Shankill from 1929 to 1953 as an independent Unionist.
- James Woods Gyle, a member of both houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and a contemporary of Henderson, was an independent Unionist throughout his political career.
- James Brown contested the 1945 Northern Ireland general election under this label.
- Norman Porter was elected for Belfast Clifton in the 1953 election on this ticket.
- Lloyd Hall-Thompson would later hold the same seat, Belfast Clifton, similarly.
- George Forrest won the 1956 Mid Ulster by-election as an independent Unionist before switching to the Ulster Unionist Party.
- Bertie McConnell was elected to the NI Parliament under this banner in 1969.
- Hugh Smyth served in both the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973) and the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention as an independent unionist.
- Frank Millar was elected to both the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention and the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982) as an independent Unionist.
- Dorothy Dunlop Assembly member for East Belfast 1982-1986 campaigned under this label before joining the Conservative Party.
- William Bleakes used the term, newly prohibited in elections, following his departure from the Conservatives 1998–2001. The legal change meant he stood and branded himself from 2001 simply independent.
- Fraser Agnew, Boyd Douglas and Denis Watson used the title before forming the United Unionist Coalition.
- Pauline Armitage MLA for Londonderry East, 1998-2003 briefly used the designation before joining the UK Unionist Party.
- Roger Hutchinson sat as such following his expulsion from the third party he stood with, the Northern Ireland Unionist Party, in 2000.
- Ivan Davis ran as independent Unionist after failing to secure selection as UUP candidature for the 2003 Assembly election. He has subsequently returned to the UUP.
- Sylvia Hermon had been elected as an MP in 2001 for the Ulster Unionist Party. In 2010, she announced her intention not to seek the nomination as the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists candidate for North Down in the 2010 Westminster election, standing as an independent unionist. She was re-elected to the House of Commons under this designation until her retirement in 2019.
- David McClarty ran as an independent unionist after being de-selected by the UUP for the Northern Ireland Assembly election in 2011 in the East Londonderry constituency. He was re-elected to the Assembly under this designation and held the seat until his death in 2014.
- Basil McCrea and John McCallister took on the label after leaving the UUP in 2013.
- Claire Sugden has represented East Londonderry in the Northern Ireland Assembly since her 2014 Co-Option, after the death of David McClarty. She has sat as an Independent since her selection. She served as the Minister for Justice on the Northern Ireland Executive from May 2016 to January 2017.
- Belfast City Councillor Ruth Patterson described herself as such following her expulsion from the Democratic Unionist Party in 2015.
- Ken Maginnis, Baron Maginnis of Drumglass sits as an independent unionist peer in the House of Lords, since resigning from the UUP in 2012.
- Alex Easton left the DUP in 2021, but was re-elected in the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election as an independent unionist.
- Francis Bennett-Goldney won Canterbury in 1910 against a Conservative as an Independent Unionist, having strongly independent views as he opposed the growing arms race and diplomatic contest with the German Empire, acquiesced in by the other main parties.
- Ian Smith stood unsuccessfully as such in the 1963 Kinross and Western Perthshire by-election in Scotland, which was won by the then Conservative and Unionist Party leader, Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home.
- David Robertson in Caithness and Sutherland in 1964.
Southern Ireland Edit
Four MPs elected to the Southern Ireland House of Commons for Dublin University at the 1921 election. They were the only MPs to attend the opening of the Parliament of Southern Ireland, as all other members, who had been elected for Sinn Féin, sat as members of the Second Dáil. All four were elected again at the 1922 Irish general election, and would each continue to serve in the Irish Free State either as Independent TDs or, in Fitzgibbon's case, as a judge.
- Ernest Alton, TD 1922–37, Senator 1938–43
- James Craig, TD 1922–33
- Gerald Fitzgibbon, TD 1922–23, Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice 1924–38
- William Thrift, TD 1922–37
Republic of Ireland Edit
See also Edit
- "Biographies of Members of the Northern Ireland House of Commons". Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "Mid-Ulster 1950-1970". Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- W.D. Flackes & Sydney Elliott, Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1993, Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1994, p. 305
- "North Belfast 1973-1982". Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Local Government Elections 1985 - 1989: Belfast". Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Newtownabbey Borough Council Elections 1993-2011". Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "East Londonderry". Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Upper Bann". Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Lagan Valley". Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "John McCallister resigns from the UUP". BBC News. 15 February 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- Magee, Kevin (23 November 2015). "Ruth Patterson: Belfast councillor will not appeal DUP expulsion". BBC News NI. Archived from the original on 26 November 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Gay MP says she'll report matter to police after unionist Lord Maginnis allegedly called her a 'queer'". TheJournal.ie. Press Association.
- "MP to report Ken Maginnis to police over alleged 'queers' comment". The Irish News. 9 January 2020.
- "Dungannon's Lord Maginnis acquitted of motoring offences and says he fought for rights of pensioners". www.tyronetimes.co.uk.
- Breen, Suzanne (21 April 2022). "Alex Easton: Four ex-DUP councillors back independent candidate in North Down for Assembly election". Belfast Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
- "Major Bennett-Goldney, M.P.". The Times. 29 July 1918. p. 9.
- "P.M. FOR COMMONS - British Pathe". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- "Ian Marshall: Becoming a member of the Seanad makes me a stronger unionist". 20 April 2019. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.