May 17, 2022
Unionists are supporters of a political ideology in the United Kingdom that advocates the continuation of the union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, unionists are also known as loyalists. Unionism played an important role in the history of Ireland, in which Irish nationalism was an important part. In the 1920s much of Ireland became independent from the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom, unionism has remained an important topic ever since. Today, there is still political division in Northern Ireland between unionists and nationalists/republicans. This division led to violent conflict, including The Troubles. Since the late 20th century, unionism has come to play a major role in Scotland and to a lesser extent in Wales. The Scottish National Party won the 2011 Scottish elections. On 18 September 2014, a referendum on Scottish independence was held. A majority of the electorate chose to maintain the union with the United Kingdom. When asked "Should Scotland become an independent country?" 55.3 percent of the electorate voted 'No' and 44.7 percent voted 'Yes'.