Independent Unionist

Independent Unionist has been a label sometimes used by candidates in elections in the United Kingdom, indicating a support for British unionism (not to be confused with trade unionism).

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.

At the 1938 Northern Ireland general election Tommy Henderson and five defeated candidates stood for the "Independent Unionist Association", which was distinct from other Independent Unionists.

Notable users of the affiliation

Northern Ireland


  • 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.[12]


Republic of Ireland

See also


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