European election in Catalonia sees turnout of 43.53%

Final participation in 2019 was 60.9%, 17,40 percentage points higher, coinciding with local elections and peak of independence push

A voter during the 2024 European Elections on June 9, 2024 in a polling station in Lleida
A voter during the 2024 European Elections on June 9, 2024 in a polling station in Lleida / Alba Mor
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 9, 2024 02:12 PM

June 9, 2024 11:31 PM

The turnout in the 2024 European elections was 43.53% in Catalonia, while across Spain, 49.21% of eligible voters casted their ballots.

Compared to the last vote, this is a drop of 17 percentage points in Catalonia and 11 percentage points in Spain as a whole.

More than 5.7 million voters in Catalonia were eligible to cast their votes until 8 pm at one of the 2,934 polling stations. Overall, 2.4 million people cast their ballots.

In the vote to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs,) all of Spain is considered a single constituency, with no differentiation between the candidates standing in Catalonia and the rest of the country. 

The last European elections in 2019 fell on the same day as local elections and came during the peak of the independence push, with former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont running as a candidate for the continental chamber from exile. The final turnout for that vote was 60.9%. 

Voter turnout is one of the main challenges for EU elections: in 2019, turnout was 50.6% on average across the different member states, exceeding 50% for the first time since 1994.

Mail-in vote requests were down by 27.5% in Catalonia compared to the last EU elections. A total of 81,819 Catalans requested to post their ballot, with some 22,000 doing so online, although they had to go to a post office to cast their vote

There were a total of 1,787 ballot boxes across Catalonia, with equipment used in the recent Catalan elections being reused. 

On the morning of May’s Catalan election, a major incident on the Rodalies commuter rail line caused widespread transport disruptions, preventing some voters from traveling to their polling station. 

To prevent a similar situation, the Spanish government said that rail infrastructure company Adif and Catalan police will "reinforce" surveillance of the Rodalies network.

Spanish government authorities in Catalonia coordinated with Adif and the Mossos d’Esquadra to protect key points of the rail network to "ensure that there is no manipulation," nor any incident that could "interfere with the mobility of citizens" on election day. 

Defense and security amid the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza are some of the biggest topics the next European legislature will have to face, as well as the ongoing climate crisis and the European Union’s Green New Deal debate

In Catalonia, one of the biggest topics for the continental institution is the question of making Catalan an official European language.