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47% of Catalans would vote for independence while 28% would oppose it

According to an opinion poll released by the Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO), run by the Catalan Government, 47.1% of Catalans would vote for independence in the referendum to be held on the 9th of November 2014. At the same time, 19.3% would vote to keep the current status quo and 8.6% would support the creation of a Catalan state but oppose its independence from Spain, which means that 27.9% would vote against independence. The figures are particularly revealing because they have not been modified using statistical formulas and they reflect direct voting intention. In addition, 11.2% of the citizens do not know or do not answer what they would vote and 11.1% would not go to the polling station. All combined, it means that support for independence would be "around 56%" in the referendum, in line with previous polls, stated CEO's Director, Jordi Argelaguet.

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30 April 2014 09:19 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- 47.1% of Catalans would vote for independence in the referendum to be held on the 9th of November 2014, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday by the Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO), run by the Catalan Government. At the same time, 19.3% would vote to keep the current status quo and 8.6% would support the creation of a Catalan state but oppose its independence from Spain, which means that 27.9% would actually vote against independence. The figures are particularly revealing because they have not been modified using statistical formulas and they reflect direct voting intention. In addition, 11.2% of the citizens do not know or do not answer what they would vote and 11.1% would not go to the polling station. Taking into account those last figures, it means that support for independence would be "around 56%" in the referendum, in line with previous polls, stated CEO's Director, Jordi Argelaguet. The survey was done through 2,000 face-to-face interviews made between the 24th of March and the 15th of April, showing a 2.69% error margin.


The CEO survey also asked about voting intentions regarding the next elections to the European Parliament – to be held on the 25th of May – as well as a hypothetical electoral call for the Catalan Parliament.

Two pro-self-determination forces would win the next European elections

In the first case, the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) would win the European elections in Catalonia for the first time, obtaining 20.1% of the votes. However, the survey shows almost a tie with the governing Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition (CiU), which would gather 20% of the votes. Both parties strongly support Catalonia's right to self-determination and they are proposing the organisation of an independence consultation vote. The ERC openly supports independence, as do most of the CiU voters, although the Christian Democrats within the CiU would prefer a Catalan State with greater powers within a confederate Spain.

In third place would be the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is opposed to independence although it somehow backs Catalonia's right to self-determination. They are opposing the organisation of an independence vote without the prior agreement of the Spanish Government, which is completely blocking any talks on the issue. The PSC, which is part of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), would obtain 16.9% of the votes in Catalonia. The PSOE is proposing a Constitutional Reform to build a federal Spain, although it totally opposes Catalonia's right to self-determination.

The People's Party – which runs the Spanish Government – would come in 4th place in Catalonia, with 12.1% of the votes. The Conservative PP stands for the unity of the Spanish nation and absolutely refuses to talk with the Catalan authorities about the self-determination demands. On top of this, the PP totally opposes modifying the current Constitution to give Catalonia greater powers.

The Catalan Green Socialist and former-Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) would be the 5th most voted party, obtaining 11.3% of the votes. The ICV-EUiA is backing Catalonia's right to self-determination and the organisation of such a vote in the coming months. However, they are divided regarding their support for independence although almost half of them would vote for it.

Finally, the anti-Catalan nationalism and populist party Ciutadans (C's), which is running in the European elections for the first time, would obtain 9.9% of the votes. C's is totally against Catalonia's right to self-determination and is calling for the Spanish Government to be stronger in "fighting separatism". It started to run in the Catalan Parliament elections in 2006, obtaining meagre results. However, two elections later, in 2012, it experienced a significant increase, going from 3 to 9 MPs since it was backed by many PSC and PP voters opposing independence.

CiU would win the next Catalan elections, but only by 1 MP

The governing CiU would win the next Catalan elections if they were called in the coming weeks, according to the CEO survey. In the 135-seat Catalan Parliament, the CiU would obtain between 35 and 36 MPs; currently the CiU holds 50 seats. The ERC would come just behind, with 34-35 MPs, while currently it has 21 seats. In November 2012, the ERC became the second-largest party in the Parliament, recovering its good results from the early 2000s after the drop of the PSC. The Socialists now have 20 MPs, their poorest result ever by far. However, according to the CEO, the PSC would continue to lose votes and would obtain between 14 and 15 MPs.

In fact, the survey shows a triple tie between the PSC, ICV-EUiA and C's, all with 14-15 MPs. Currently the ICV-EUiA has 13 Mps and the C's, 9. The PP – which runs the Spanish Government – would be the 6th party in Catalonia, going from the current 19 MPs to 12-13 seats. Finally, the radical left-wing and independence party CUP would obtain between 7 and 9 MPs, increasing their current 3 seats.

Independence would be backed by some 56% of Catalans in a referendum

The CEO asked interviewees about their voting preferences for the self-determination consultation vote agreed among a majority of Catalan parties and scheduled for the 9th of November. The parties also agreed on the exact question wording, although they have also stated that they would be willing to re-negotiate the date and the exact wording with the Spanish Government if it accepted the vote, with the understanding that Catalans would be asked about their relation with Spain. The current question is divided into two parts. Firstly voters are asked: "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?" The second part of the question would read: "If yes, do you want this state to be independent?" The understanding is that those supporting independence should vote "yes" to both questions and those wanting to keep the current statu quo or supporting a recentralisation of Spain should vote "no". However, those wanting greater powers for Catalonia within a federal or confederate Spain, in which Catalonia would be "a state", should vote "yes" to the first part and "no" to the second.

The CEO indicated that 47.1% of all Catalan citizens would vote "yes-yes". However, taking into account those abstaining and not going to vote, the percentage would increase and around 56% of the voters would support independence, assuming that almost all those currently undecided would vote against independence. If those undecided mostly backed independence, the percentage would be even higher. According to the CEO, 11.2% do not know what to vote or do not answer the question, and 11.1% say they would abstain and not attend the polling station.

Those opposing independence are those voting "no" or "yes-no", which together make 27.9% of Catalans. Those voting "no", supporting the current Autonomous Community model or a more centralist Spain, represent 19.3% of Catalans. Those voting "yes-no" are those backing a Catalan state with greater powers within Spain and they represent 8.6%. This last formula is starting to be known as the "third way" between independence and the current statu quo.

All this means that in the first question - "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?" -, 57.6% of Catalans would vote "yes", 19.3% would vote "no" and 11.1 would not vote, leaving 11.2% who are still undecided. To the second question - "If yes, do you want this state to be independent?" – which would be answered by those having voted "yes" to the previous one -  81.8% would vote "yes" and 14.9% would vote "no". This means that the first group represents 47.1% of all citizens and the second, 8.6%. However, taking into account only those having cast a ballot – and not the entire census, the percentages of those voting "yes-yes", "no" and "yes-no" increase.

The main reasons behind voting intentions

Those voting "yes-yes" would have decided their vote mainly because they want Catalonia to have greater self-government powers (25.2%), they want greater fiscal powers (23.7%) and they are convinced Catalonia would improve its situation (21.4%). Those voting "yes-no" would mainly do it because they want greater political and fiscal autonomy (37.4%), followed by supporting a federal Spain (35.4%). Finally, those voting "no" would do it because they want to keep the unity of Spain (31.5%), followed by their identity feelings (14.3%) and the economic problems Catalonia might face if it became independent (12.8%).

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  • 47.1% of Catalans would vote for independence while 27.9% would vote against it (by ACN)

  • 47.1% of Catalans would vote for independence while 27.9% would vote against it (by ACN)