The headline percentages from the initial results released today.
39.89% = British only
25.26% = Irish only
20.94% = Northern Irish only
00.66% = British and Irish only
06.17% = British and Northern Irish only
01.06% = Irish and Northern Irish only
01.02% = British, Irish and Northern Irish only
05.00% = Other
Aggregate National Identity:
47.26% = Irish
46.72% = British
01.02% = British/Irish/N. Irish
05.00% = Other
48.36% = Protestant / Other Christian
45.14% = Roman Catholic
00.92% = Other Religion
05.59% = No Religion
UPDATE: The aggregate percentages for “Irish” and “British” are of course a conflation of the census results for:
25.26% (Irish only) + 20.94% (Northern Irish only) + 01.06% (Irish and Northern Irish only) = 47.26%
39.89% (British only) + 00.66% (British and Irish only) + 06.17% (British and Northern Irish only) = 46.72%
I’m not stating that every single one of the 47.26% in the 2011 census self-identify as Irish in the sense of being citizens of the nation-state of Ireland. But all of that 47.26% percentage do regard themselves as Irish in some respect, including the 20% who self-identify as Irish in the sense of being inhabitants of the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland. And all of that 47.26% reject the definition of British, though offered it in several combinations.
That 47.26% is unsurprisingly close to the combined vote for the Nationalist parties in the North. Again, it is worth noting that half the population of the north-eastern part of the country reject the label of British.
The glass is very much half-full by any definition.
SECOND UPDATE: 46% of the population in the 2011 census unambiguously identified themselves as British of any type (excluding the tiny “British/Irish/N.Irish” category). That leaves Republicans with a challenge and an opportunity. A hearts and minds campaign to win over the half-hearted or doubtful or dual-minded represented by the 20% “Northern Irish”.
From a Republican point of view the stats below roughly represent the situation in the north-east:
42% = Nationalist Vote
47% = Irish and/or Northern Irish
If you were to accept the census at face value then a Nationalist percentage vote of 42% is derived from a census percentage of 25% “Irish”. Is that likely?
On the other hand a “British” percentage of 46% in the census is not far away from the percentage of Unionist votes (if one includes the Alliance Party).
Both political traditions must be drawing upon the “Northern Irish” vote (when it bothers to vote).
That 20% must be won to the Nationalist side and I believe that objective is achievable. In fact I would argue that a sizeable percentage is already sympathetic or de facto on-board.
“Partition” of some sort will probably remain a long-term (or permanent) feature of Irish politics. But within the context of a reunited Ireland. That is a regional legislature, executive, police and courts service, etc. in the north-east of the country but within a broader Reunited Ireland where the “border” is simply an internal administrative line. That is the New Ireland that can win over the 20% “Northern Irish”.
The DUP, UUP, etc. may be desperately seeking the “Catholic” vote but as recent events have shown they are incapable of genuinely doing so. The Alliance Party, or its political descendants, may well be the future voice of at least some of the British ethno-national minority within a reunited Ireland.
The future is being written in the demographics and Republicans and Nationalists must be the ones to shape that future.