Pro-independence parties will keep majority, latest poll suggests
Candidacies in favor of a Catalan state would add up 46.7% votes and unionists 42.4%, with a record-breaking turnout
The pro-independence parties will keep the majority in the Catalan Parliament. This is what the latest poll, published on Monday by El Periódico newspaper, suggests. Jailed vice president Junqueras’ Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left) would win the December 21 elections with 37-38 seats out of 135. President Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) would fight for second place with 24-25 representatives and the CUP would get 7-8. The three parties altogether would get 68 to 71 seats, which means that they would maintain a slim majority of 68 representatives. 46.7% voters would choose one of these three candidacies.
The parties in favor of Spanish unity would add up 54-57 seats and 42.4% votes, with the Socialists and Ciutadans also battling for second place (24-25 representatives for each of them). The People’s Party would get 6-7 seats since they are the choice of only 5.7% of citizens. It is the Catalan branch of the party which has enforced direct rule of Catalonia and the other harsh measures against the independence roadmap and self-rule over the past few months.
Catalunya en Comú-Podem would obtain 9-10 seats. Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, who is also the party leader, said in an interview with RAC1 radio station that her party should not be counted either among the pro-independence bloc or with the unionist one. Catalunya en Comú maintains an ambiguous position on independence but is in favor of an agreed referendum on self-determination.
The poll suggests that the turnout may break previous records. Around 75% of voters went to the polls two years ago, for the September 27, 2015 elections. That was already the best-ever turnout in Catalan elections. The El Periódico poll for the upcoming vote suggests that up to 87% of citizens might vote.
Puigdemont, the preferred person for president
While Esquerra would still win the elections, the distance between Junqueras’ and Puigdemont’s parties is down from 16.1 to 7.4 compared to last month. President Puigdemont has formed a candidacy list with a number of independent candidates and for which some party officials have had to take a step back. Both Esquerra Republicana and Junts per Catalunya have included jailed or “exiled” candidates. The poll says that even with more voters choosing Esquerra, Carles Puigdemont is still the preferred person to be the Catalan president after the elections, being the choice of 30% of citizens. Miquel Iceta, the Socialists’ leader, is second with 15% support and Junqueras third with 13%.