Turnout at 34.7% in first four hours of voting
More than 1 in 3 voters have already cast their ballot until 1pm, slightly down compared to 2015
The turnout in the first four hours of voting is slightly less than in the 2015. Until 1pm, 34.6% of voters have already cast their voters, a bit more than 1 in 3. This is half a point less than two years ago (35.1%). However, this figure is not that easy to compare, because in the past Catalan election was held on a Sunday, while this time it is on a working day. It is unclear whether some workers might turn up after work in the evening before polling stations close at 8pm.
Catalans have flooded the polling stations across the country in the immediate hours after the vote started at 9am. Voters had to queue before casting their ballot in many sites. Polls have estimated a record-breaking turnout, with around 80% of voters expected to take part, an all-time high in a Catalan election. Turnout is one of the elements set make this election a historic one. In fact, the vote is taking part in unprecedented circumstances, with the Catalan government deposed by the Spanish authorities and some of its members in Brussels, while some others in prison.
The election day is crucial, as citizens are asked to have their say after this autumn’s high tension,with episodes including the police violence on October 1, the declaration of independence and the enforcement of direct rule of Catalonia from Madrid. There are two clear blocs running in the vote, the pro-independence and the unionist ones. In between, Catalonia in Common is non-aligned.
While at 8pm an exit poll is published by Grupo Godó media corporation, citizens will have to wait until around 10pm to have more precise knowledge about the final election results. So far the results are difficult to call, because polls show uncertainty on whether pro-independence parties will keep the majority in the chamber.