42.9% of Catalans would vote for independence and 28.2% against it according to the first official poll on the issue

However, if the question is open to other options, 33% would prefer a Catalan State within a Federal Spain, 31.8% the current situation as an Autonomous Community and 25.5% want Catalonia to be an independent nation. The poll results also show that 75.5% of Catalans want the Catalan Government to raise all the taxes, while only 18.2% prefer the current system through which the Spanish Government raises the main taxes. The poll was compiled by the Catalan Polling Centre (CEO), which is managed by the Catalan Government.

CNA / Patricia Mateos

June 30, 2011 01:29 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- How many Catalans actually back independence from Spain? This persistent question does not have a definitive answer, since the support for independence fluctuates, mainly as a response to centralism, and there has never been a real vote on the issue. However, for the first time, there has been an official poll on the issue. The Catalan Centre for Polling, called ‘Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió’ (CEO), which depends on the Catalan Government, introduced an explicit question on the issue in a general poll on the political climate. According to the poll results, 42.9% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum, while 28.2% would vote against it and 23.3% would abstain. The CEO Director, Jordi Argelaguet, emphasised that the main reason for backing the independence option is for economic reasons, linked to the feeling that Catalonia gives way too much money to the rest of Spain, while there is a lack of investment in infrastructure and basic services in Catalonia. On the contrary, the main reason for the 28.2% backing of the “no” option is the unity of Spain and the identity feeling. Argelaguet also explained that most of the people saying they would abstain, in a real referendum would probably vote for the “no” option considering the reasons for their abstention, and therefore the “no” side is probably higher, but the exact proportion is unclear.

The poll has two other relevant questions regarding Spain’s territorial organisation, its fiscal model and the future of both Spain and Catalonia relations. When asked about the ideal political organisation between Catalonia and Spain, 33% want a Catalan State within a Federal Spain. The difference with the current model would be that Catalonia would have greater self-government, the powers of each part would be clearly defined and respected, and true federal institutions would be in place to guarantee a smooth functioning. The second most preferred option is the current one, with 31.8% support, where Catalonia is an Autonomous Community within Spain, where the Spanish Government has clear decisive power over the regional governments. The third most preferred option is a Catalan independent nation, backed by 25.5% of those polled. Argelaguet said that while crossing these results with the question on the independence referendum, he can interpret that a part of those supporting the federal option would rather support independence than to stay in the current situation.

The poll also asked about the economic agreement that should exist between Catalonia and Spain, or in other words, how the Catalan Government should get its funding. 75.5% of those answering the poll are in favour of Catalonia directly raising all taxes in its territory, while only 18.2% would back the current model, where the Spanish Government raises most of the taxes and then gives a quantity in return to the Autonomous Communities Governments (with the exception of the Basque Country and Navarra, whose government already raise all their taxes).