Catalan president below average in voters' evaluation in pre-election survey

Pujol, Maragall, Mas, Puigdemont, only former presidents with approval rating before elections

Catalan president Pere Aragonès
Catalan president Pere Aragonès / Mariona Puig
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 21, 2024 12:48 PM

Catalan president Pere Aragonès has narrowly missed out on a pass mark, with a rating of 4.9 out of 10, in the latest Political Opinion Barometer (BOP) published before the upcoming election.

The survey was undertaken by the CEO, the Catalan-government-owned survey agency.

The score was also close to the average since 1999 (5.2) obtained by Catalan presidents ahead of elections.

Thus, the ERC head of government ends his mandate with a better rating than José Montilla (4.6), Artur Mas in his second term (4.3), and Quim Torra (4.1), who was the worst rated of all.

Jordi Pujol (6.9), Pasqual Maragall (5.3), Artur Mas at the end of his first term (5.8), and Carles Puigdemont (5.1) are the ones who obtained a 'pass' mark of 5.0 or above ahead of elections.

Meanwhile, the Aragonès executive is the third-worst rated in the last quarter century (4.3).

Pujol the highest rated, Torra the lowest

Jordi Pujol, who governed from 1980-2003, was the best rated of all past presidents. Ahead of the elections of October 1999, Pujol obtained a rating of 6.9 and his government was rated 6.4. In his last year of office, the public gave him an average grade of 6.2.

Artur Mas was the second-highest rated on the eve of an election, with a 5.8 before the November 2012 vote, which were called early after the failure of the fiscal pact with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. However, his administration were rated much lower, at 4.9.

Pasqual Maragall obtained a score of 5.3 before the November 2006 elections, a vote he did not stand in. His government actually scored higher than him in the last year, with a rating of 5.5, higher than any grade an executive has received since then.

Meanwhile, Carles Puigdemont, who is standing in the upcoming election despite not having stepped foot in Catalonia since going into exile in 2017 following the peak of the independence crisis, was rated 5.1, with a government rating of 4.7. That survey was published at the beginning of the turbulent autumn of 2017, shortly before the referendum. The election was called for December 21 of that year directly by the then head of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, after Catalonia's self-rule was suspended. 

Quim Torra, who came out as president following that December 2017 election, obtained the worst score of any president at the end of a mandate in the past 25 years, with a 4.1. The election was held in February 2021 with Torra already suspended from holding public office for disobedience.