There is a strong acceptance of the right to self-determination in Catalonia. Almost 85% of Catalans want to vote on the country’s future at the ballot box and only 13.8% oppose a referendum, according to a survey published on Sunday by the newspaper ‘El Periódico’. The poll shows that 49.6% of the Catalans asked are in favour of a Unilateral Referendum on Independence (RUI, going by its Catalan initials). In other words, they support a vote despite the lack of agreement with the Spanish Government. However, 35% would accept a referendum only “if it is legal and agreed” with the state. Regarding the result of the vote, 48.9% would opt for “yes” to independence, 40.3% for “no” and 8.5% do not know or did not answer. ‘El Periódico’ released this Monday another poll on voting intentions in case of elections in Catalonia. Currently, the governing cross-party list ‘Junts pel Sí’ (JxSí) and the radical left pro-independence CUP have a total of 72 MPs between them, with 68 needed for a majority. Pro-independence forces would maintain or even increase this absolute majority in the Parliament with between 69 and 73 seats.
8 out of 10 Catalans are in favour of a referendum on independence and 5 out of 10 would support it even if not held within the legal framework. Predictably, unilateralism attracts CUP voters (92.6%), those of left-wing pro-independence Esquerra Republicana (ERC), 92.2%; and of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat), former liberal Convergència, (75.4%). Two out of ten PDECat voters, however, would support the vote only if the Spanish Government authorises it.
The alternative left Catalunya Sí que es Pot (CSQP) electorate is majorly in favour of the RUI: around 60% of its voters support it, while a third would make any referendum subject to Spanish approval. 41.7% of Conservative People’s Party voters and 52% of people who vote for liberal Unionist Ciutadans (C’s) would also support an agreed vote. Meanwhile, 72% of Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) supporters are for the right to self-determination within the law.
Surprisingly, 17% of respondents who declare that they are not in favour of independence are, however, in favour of a unilateral referendum. 22% also expressed their will to vote in this scenario.
48.9% of Catalans would vote for independence
48.9% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum.The number of pro-independence supporters surpasses that of those who would oppose independence. Those who bid for Catalonia to continue within Spain are now 40.3%. These percentages, however, neither reflect the citizens that state they would not vote nor those who are as of yet undecided.
A unilateral referendum would have, according to the survey, a remarkable level of participation. The report shows that if the state ultimately blocks the referendum and the Catalan Government ends up pushing it forward, turnout would be notably high. Specifically, 52.8% of the respondents would vote, 11.5% would consider participating and only 26.4% say they would not vote. 6.3% deemed their participation in the vote unlikely.
Pro-independence majority in the Parliament
If held today, the left wing pro-independence party ERC would win the parliamentary elections in Catalonia, according to the latest survey of the Office of Social Studies and Public Opinion (GESOP, going by its Catalan initials), published this Monday by ‘El Periódico’. According to the poll, pro-independence parties would achieve a majority in Parliament, although the PDECat (former Liberals Convergència) would become the fifth-largest force in Catalonia.
The survey gives a maximum of 50 seats to ERC, while PDECat would get between 15 and 17. The increase in the republican vote would correspond to losses suffered by the former Convergència party and the CUP, which would lose four seats and stay on six MPs respectively. According to the survey, six out of ten voters who chose ‘JxSí’ in the last elections on the 27th of September 2015 would now choose ERC, as would one in four CUP voters.
The main opposition party, Liberal Unionist C’s would lose representation, going from the current 25 MPs to a maximum of 18. On the contrary, the PSC would recover ground and obtain between 19 and 21 seats, in comparison to their current 16. CSQP would also gain between four and five seats, while the PP would remain on the same total with 11 MPs.