Support for Catalonia’s independence grows and polls say pro-independence parties would win the next elections
Just before the Catalan election campaign kicks off, the survey centres run by the Spanish and the Catalan governments have both issued their own polls. 57% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum, according to the Catalan survey. In June the percentage was 51%. The Spanish survey did not include the question. Both polls agree that the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) – currently running the Catalan Government – would gain more votes, close to obtaining an absolute majority. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is against independence and already obtained its worst results ever in 2010, would lose between 30% and 45% of MPs. The People’s Party (PP) would obtain similar results, but might become the party in second place. The Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) would increase its representation by 40% to 70% and might become the third party.
Barcelona (ACN).- The day before the Catalan election campaign kicks off, the survey centres run by the Spanish and Catalan governments have both issued their own surveys. They both indicate that the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which currently runs the Catalan Government, would clearly win the next elections, scheduled on the 25th of November. CiU would gain more votes and would be very close to or even obtain an absolute majority. In fact, the parties supporting the self-determination process would globally gain more votes and increase their share in the Catalan Parliament, reaching a possible 70% of the MPs, within a 135-seat house. In fact, support for Catalonia’s independence from Spain is growing, according to the survey issued by the Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO), run by the Catalan Government. At the moment, 57% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum, while in June the percentage was 51%. The survey issued by the Centre of Sociological Research (CIS), run by the Spanish Government, did not include this question. Both surveys indicate that the main opposition party, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is against independence, would dramatically drop, losing between 30% and 45% of MPs, while it had already obtained its worst results ever in 2010. As a consequence, the People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, might become the party in second place, despite obtaining similar results (the surveys indicate it might lose or win 1 MP). The Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) would increase its representation by 40% to 70% and might become the third party again. In addition, the populist and anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s), which only had 3 MPs and lacked its own parliamentary group, would double its results. The Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA), which supports self-determination and has been the most vocal party against budget cuts, would obtain similar results or show a very small improvement. In addition, those undecided represent a large group of the population, as 29.5% of the people interviewed by the CEO had not decided their vote yet. In addition, both surveys forecast a significant electoral turnout. According to the CEO the turnout might reach 65%; according to the CIS, 74%.
57% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum
According to the CEO survey, in a self-determination referendum, 57% of Catalans would vote for independence from Spain. In the previous survey, issued in late June, the percentage was 51%. According to the survey issued in November, 57% would support independence while 20.5% would vote against it. In addition, 14.3% of citizens would abstain or would not go to the polls.
In addition, 44% of Catalans consider that Catalonia should be an independent state, and 25.5% of citizens would prefer Catalonia to have its own state but be within a federal Spain. 19.1% would support the current status quo, with Catalonia being an autonomous community within Spain. Finally, 4% would prefer a unitary state with Catalonia considered to be a region.
The CiU would win the Catalan elections and could reach an absolute majority
The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which has been running the Catalan Government for two years ago and is leading the current self-determination process, would improve their results according to both surveys. In the last elections, CiU obtained 62 MP seats, while the Catalan Parliament’s absolute majority is set at 68 seats. According to the Spanish survey, CiU would obtain between 63 and 64 seats. According to the CEO, CiU would get an absolute majority of between 69 and 71 MPs.
The PSC would drop votes and obtain its worst results ever, once again
The main opposition party, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), would dramatically drop the number of votes. Already, in 2010, the PSC got its worst results ever, obtaining 28 seats, far below the 52 seats obtained in 1999 or even the 37 seats in 2006. Now, it could drop even more and become Catalonia’s third or fourth party. According to the CIS, the PSC might obtain 19 seats. The CEO gives only 15 MPs to the Socialists. The PSC is against Catalonia’s independence and proposes a federal Spain.
The PP would get similar results
The People’s Party (PP), which currently runs the Spanish Government and is absolutely opposed to Catalonia’s independence and the possibility of organising a self-determination referendum, would get similar results. In 2010 it obtained 18 MPs, which were its best results ever in Catalonia. According to the CIS, the PP could lose 1 or 2 MPs, getting between 16 and 17 MPs. However, the Catalan survey states that the PP could repeat the 18 seats, or even get an additional MP, reaching 19 seats. Depending on the PSC’s drop, the PP could become Catalonia’s second party for the first time ever, even if they hypothetically lost MPs.
The ERC would significantly improve results
The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), which had traditionally been the main pro-independence party in Catalonia, would significantly improve its results. In 2010, ERC got very low results resulting from an internal crisis and only obtained 10 seats, far from the 23 and 21 MPs from 2003 and 2006 respectively. After a change of leadership, in the next elections, ERC could get 17 seats according to the CIS. Depending on the PP’s and PSC’s results, ERC could become Catalonia’s third party and be very close to be the second political force. However, the CEO gives 14 seats to ERC.
The ICV-EUiA would slightly increase support
The Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA), which has been the most vocal party against austerity measures and budget cuts, would slightly increase their support or get the same number of MPs. Furthermore, for the first time, ICV-EUiA has given its support to Catalonia’s self-determination process. The CIS survey gives ICV-EUiA 11 MPs. In 2010 it obtained 10 seats. The CEO survey gives ICV-EUiA the same 10 seats.
The C’s would double results and get a parliamentary group
The populist and anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s), which is absolutely opposed to Catalonia’s independence, would double its results, although it would still be a relatively small party in the Catalan Parliament. In 2010, C’s got 3 MPs of the Parliament’s 135 seats. Now, the Spanish survey gives C’s 6 MPs. The CEO survey indicates that C’s could even obtain 7 seats. In both cases, for the first time ever, C’s would get its own parliamentary group.
The SI and CUP might not be in the Parliament
The results of two radical pro-independence parties are doubtful as they are very close to the minimum percentage to get parliamentary representation. The populist Solidaritat (SI), which obtained 4 seats in 2010, might be left out of the Catalan Parliament. The CIS gives SI 1 MP, but the CEO leaves SI out of the Parliament. In addition, the radical Left-Wing pro-independence party (CUP), which is running in the Catalan Elections for the first time, might enter the Parliament. The CIS does not give the CUP an MP at all. However, the CEO indicates that they could get between 0 and 3 seats.
Technical data in the surveys
Both surveys took interviews throughout Catalonia, covering rural and urban areas, and towns and cities of different sizes. In addition, both surveys tried to get a representative sample regarding age and gender. The Spanish survey took 3,000 face-to-face interviews between the 9th and 29th of October, with a 1.8% margin of error for the entire sample. The Catalan survey took 2,500 phone interviews between the 22nd and 30th of October, with a margin of error of 2.47%.