The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) will not give up organising an independence referendum
The CiU leader and incumbent President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated that they will start negotiations with the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) to set up a stable pact. The ERC, which is now the second-largest party in the Catalan Parliament, said it would not sit in the Government but they will offer stable parliamentary support if the CiU does not abandon the self-determination agenda. Besides, the PSC stated it would not give its support to Mas as their “job is to build an alternative”. On Sunday, the CiU won the elections but lost 90,000 votes and 12 MPs. However, the parties defending the organisation of a self-determination referendum within the next four years had 345,000 more votes. The parties defending the unity of Spain had 201,000 more votes but lost 1 MP.
Barcelona (ACN).- After the surprise of the election night and with the new scenario just clarified, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which clearly won the elections again but lost 12 MPs in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament, started to explore potential alliances. With a programme that proposed an independent Catalan state for the first time, the CiU obtained 50 MPs, lacking 18 seats to reach an absolute majority. Therefore, the CiU needs the support of another party to have its candidate elected as President of the Catalan Government and to approve new laws. On Monday, the incumbent Catalan President and CiU candidate, Artur Mas, who is also the party leader, stated that they will not govern alone and would like to share the responsibility of managing the Government\u2019s daily decisions in such difficult times. Mas announced that they will contact the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) to explore the possibilities of forming a stable alliance with one or the other. The alliance could be restricted to Parliament level or it could lead to the formation of a coalition government. The ERC is now the second-largest party in the chamber with 21 MPs, immediately followed by the PSC with 20 seats. In addition, Mas emphasised that they will not give up the self-determination agenda and are working to build an independent Catalan state as this is the electoral mandate of the 30.7% of Catalans who voted for them. The PSC\u2019s Spokesperson, Jaume Collboni, ruled out reaching an agreement with the CiU, as their \u201Cjob is to build an alternative\u201D. A few hours earlier, the ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, had stated they do not want to sit in the Catalan Government but they are open to reaching an agreement with the CiU for a stable parliamentary pact if Mas\u2019 party carries on with the self-determination process. The ERC also asked Mas to break all pacts with the conservative and Spanish Nationalist People\u2019s Party (PP) in Catalan public institutions. Mas stated that the CiU will rule out any stable agreement with the PP in the Catalan Parliament. In addition, Mas emphasised that the parties claiming for the organisation of a self-determination referendum within the next four years almost obtained two thirds of the seats in the Parliament (64.4%), increasing by 1 MP in the Catalan elections with the highest turnout ever (70%). The parties supporting the Spanish unity lost 1 seat. Therefore, according to Mas, the Catalan people\u2019s mandate is to work to organise such referendum.
Pro-independence votes increased more than pro-Spanish unity ballots
In these elections, 504,000 more Catalans voted compared to the previous ones, held two years ago. In fact, these elections had the highest turnout since 1988, with 69.6% of the voters casting their ballots. Despite the increase in voting, the governing and pro-independence CiU lost 90,000 votes. It was the first time the CiU had run in the elections while openly supporting independence and, despite this fact, it still obtained 1,112,000 votes.
Looking at all the votes obtained by pro-independence parties, in total they won 217,000 more votes. However, if we consider that the CiU was not a pro-independence party in 2010 (although many of its voters were pro-independence supporters and still voted for the CiU), now there have been 1,329,000 more votes going to parties openly supporting building an independent Catalan state than in the previous elections.
Besides, the parties defending Spanish unity also increased their votes, but to a smaller extent than the pro-independence ones. Pro-Spanish unity parties obtained 201,000 more votes than in 2010. In fact, these elections mobilised many pro-Spanish unity voters that do not usually vote in the Catalan elections, as they do not feel interested. Since these elections were a sort of plebiscite on Catalonia\u2019s self-determination right, they flocked to the polling stations to defend Spain\u2019s unity.
Votes supporting a referendum within the next four years increased more than those opposing a referendum
At the same time, pro-Catalan independence supporters also flocked to the polling stations to cast their votes, as so did those defending the organisation of a referendum within the next four years. The parties supporting the organisation of a self-determination referendum within the next four years (which does not necessarily mean that they are in support of the independence option) increased their support by 345,000 votes in total. The parties opposing all referendums (even if the Spanish Constitution is reformed) also increased their support, but only by 253,000 votes.