Barcelona (ACN).- 3 out of 4 Catalan citizens would be in favour of organising an independence referendum in Catalonia, according to an official poll issued on Wednesday by the Catalan Survey Institute (CEO). The survey points out that 74.1% would support this initiative while 19.9% would be against it. In addition, 6% of the interviewees would be undecided about the convenience of holding a referendum asking if Catalonia should become a new independent state in Europe. This proposal has focused Catalonia’s and Spain’s political debate in the last month, since 1.5 million people, according to local police, peacefully demonstrated in Barcelona asking for Catalonia’s independence from Spain and to become a new European state. Less than three weeks after the demonstration and the Spanish Prime Minister’s refusal to negotiate a specific fiscal agreement between Catalonia and Spain, the Catalan President called for earlier elections, which are likely to turn into a plebiscite. The CEO survey took place just after the election call and it also asked for electoral preferences. The parties clearly supporting the self-determination (CiU, ERC, and ICV-EUiA) would become Catalonia’s first, second and third parties in the Catalan Parliament. The parties currently in the second and third place (PSC and PP respectively), which oppose the referendum and Catalonia’s independence, would plummet to fourth (PSC) and fifth (PP) place, with very low results (3.1% and 2.8% of direct support).
The CiU would improve results and win the Catalan elections
The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which has been running the Catalan Government for the last 2 years, would win the elections again, and it is likely to improve its last results and get an absolute majority (currently it has 46% of the seats at the Catalan Parliament). The poll, which does not project the preferences into electoral results and parliament seats, indicates that 26.3% of the interviewees have decided to vote for the CiU, which defends the independence referendum and building a Catalan state. Half of the people in the survey who already know who they will vote for or if they will be going to cast their ballots would support the CiU. In a survey from a year ago, CiU obtained the support of 25.1% of the interviewees.
Those undecided are the largest group
In fact, the number of those being undecided has almost doubled compared to a survey from a year ago. 34.6% of the interviewees have not decided the direction of their vote yet, while a year ago they represented 18.5%. In addition, 12.4% of the interviewees refuse to answer (5.9% a year ago) and 5.9% would not vote (10.9% in 2011).
The PSC votes plummet to only 3.1% of the decided support
The CEO survey indicates a major drop for Catalonia’s main opposition party, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is federated to the Spanish Socialists (PSOE). Only 3.1% of the interviewees would vote for it, making it the fourth largest party in the Catalan Parliament. A year ago, the PSC obtained 10.4% direct support. In fact only 25% of those who voted for the PSC in the last elections would repeat their vote, while 51.2% are undecided and 9.5% would vote for CiU. In the last elections, held in November 2010, the PSC had its worst results in history, although it remained Catalonia’s second party (with 21% of the seats at the Parliament). Since then, it has continued to decrease in the surveys. The party went through a leadership change a year ago, which confirmed the marginalisation of the party’s faction being more sensitive about the Catalan issues (called “Catalanist”) that had been taking place over the last few years. The PSC has been abandoning its most Catalanist soul and has approached pro-Spain unity stances.
The PP drops and becomes the fifth party in Catalonia
The Spanish nationalist and conservative People’s Party (PP), which currently is the third party at the Catalan Parliament (with 13% of the MPs) and runs the Spanish Government, would become the fifth party in the Catalan Parliament, with 2.8% of the decided voters. A year ago it got 6.5% direct support. The PP vocally opposes Catalonia’s self determination process and calling for a referendum. 13.2% of those who had voted for the PP in 2010 would not vote for them now, and 39.5% are undecided.
The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) becomes the second party
After a bitter drop in the last elections and an intensive renovation process, the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) would improve results and would become Catalonia’s second party, with 5.9% of the decided support. In a poll from a year ago ERC got 5.5% support. From the people who voted ERC in the 2010 elections, 23% of them would now vote for the CiU and 28.7% are undecided. In the last elections it obtained 7% of the Parliament seats.
The Greens and Communists (ICV-EUiA) become the third party
The Catalan Greens and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA), who supports the referendum and the self-determination process, would become the third party, with 3.4% of the decided votes. Compared to a poll from a year ago, their support would drop from 5.5%. In the 2010 elections, they were the fourth party in the Catalan Parliament with 7% of the seats.
The anti-Catalan nationalism and populists (C’s) increase their support but remain small
The sixth party in the Catalan Parliament would be the anti-Catalan nationalist and populist ‘Ciutadans’, which would improve results and get 1.4% of support. In a poll from a year ago it obtained 0.9% support. It would get some votes from the PSC and the ICV-EUiA. In the last elections it got 2% of the parliamentary seats.
The radical independence coalition slightly decreases support
The seventh political force in Catalonia would be the radical and populist Catalan independence coalition ‘Solidaritat’ (SI), which slightly sees its support decrease, going from 1.5% in 2011 to 1.3% now. 26% of those who voted for SI now would vote for the CiU, 6.7% for ERC and 40% of them are now undecided. In the last elections it obtained 3% of the Parliament’s seats.
Most of the voters for CiU, ERC, ICV-EUiA, SI and PSC support the referendum
74.1% of the interviewees would support organising an independence referendum in Catalonia. Looking at which parties these people voted for in the 2010 elections, 83.4% of CiU’s 2010 voters would be now in favour of the referendum, while 11.4% would oppose it. 59.5% of past PSC voters are in favour of the referendum, while 35.7% oppose it. 96.1% of the ICV-EUiA supporters are in favour while only 2% are against. Among ERC voters in the 2010 elections, 92% are in favour while 8% oppose it. And finally, among SI voters, 93.3% are in favour while 6.7% oppose the idea.
The large majority of PP and C’s voters would be in opposition, although a significant number of them would organise the referendum. 65.8% of the PP voters oppose the referendum and 26.3% are in favour of organising it. 70% of the C’s supporters oppose the self-determination vote while 30% are in favour of holding it.
Survey’s technical data
The survey had a confidence level of 95.5%. 800 individuals were interviewed with an error margin of 3.47%. People were selected among the residents with Spanish nationality, being 18 or older. The two criteria to obtain a representative sample was the size of their town (6 categories were defined) and their age group (4 categories were created), with a gender balance. Catalonia has an electoral census of some 5.2 million citizens, from a total population of 7.5 million.