Catalan independence, the latest poll

Three or four times a year, the Catalan government conducts a wide-ranging survey of political opinion based on a sample of 2,500 people. The most recent was published yesterday:

     Baròmetre d’Opinió Política, November 2012

The most interesting question is how people would vote in a referendum on Catalan independence. These are the new figures, together with those for the end of June this year:

If a referendum on the independence of Catalunya were to be held tomorrow, what would you do?

Vote for independence ... 57.0% ... (was 51.1%)
Vote against independence ... 20.5% ... (was 21.1%)
Abstain ... 14.3% ... (was 21.1%)
Other responses ... 0.6% ... (was 1.0%)
Don't know ... 6.2% ... (was 4.7%)
Won't say ... 1.5% ... (was 1.1%)

Question 39, page 26

If we factor out those who say they will not vote, the Yes percentage increases to 66.5% and the No percentage to 23.9%. This would be the closest equivalent to a UK poll, where people are first asked how likely they are to vote, and the figures then weighted accordingly.

And if we exclude them and the three other categories, the straight Yes/No split becomes 73.5% in favour of independence to 26.5% against.

By any standard, this is an overwhelming majority. Catalan independence is looking like a cast-iron certainty.

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Anonymous said...

As long as the Catalans keep their campaign peaceful, which I'm sure they will despite provacation (and agent-provocateurs?) from Spain I think there's no way the EU or Spain can stop them gaining independence. To do so Spain and the EU would have to become anti-democratic. In which case the Catalans must have the courage to say that they'll gain independence outside the EU.

If they call UDI then I can imagine Russia, Venezuela, Cuba recognising them. Maybe some other small and micro-states, possibly more in Latin America. But they have to stick to their mandadate. As we saw with the dying days of the Hapbsburg Empire, all of a sudden Austria was willing to offer all kinds of independence light options which only a year earlier were 'too far' extreme and unthinkable. The Spanish socialists will offer federalism (a busted flush) whilst parts of the Spanish left and right will call for miliary intervention. They may even go for the Free Association option which Ibarretxe the Euskadi President offered in 2006 to Spain but which the Spanish rejected.

In any case, it seems to me that 60% of the Catalan population has made up it's mind and it's just too late for Spain.

Isn't it time this item was covered on BBC Wales?!


Anonymous said...

I agree with M. At first the "usual suspects" will recognise Catalonia but eventually the mainstream and the EU will be compelled to by democratic legitimacy. It will be a huge test for the EU. If some kind of pro-Spanish stance takes hold it would mark a massive turning point for the attitude of stateless nations towards the EU. But I think they will put in place a process to accept Catalan EU membership.

Anonymous said...

It's a certainty- if CiU agrees. CiU can dictate the pace
of any referendum process. I still think they won't hold one. Catalans that want independence should back ERC who are more solid on the national question and of course have a good social programme. Has CiU openly said it will seek a referendum if it wins the elections?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. It's a shame it'll never happen in Wales because the ethnic Welsh are a minority.

Independence for Gwynedd maybe?

Anonymous said...

Can't we in Wales start things moving. How about a Rally in Cardiff to assert ourselves as a Nation to start demanding more powers for ourselves. What are we waiting for?

MH said...

A unilateral declaration of independence is still a possibility, M, but only if Spain refuses to allow a referendum. In practical terms things have just about reached the point where there is no doubt about what the outcome will be, and therefore a referendum will in practical terms be irrelevant. But, for form's sake, a referendum is preferable. Maybe it could take place after a UDI. Bear in mind that there was no referendum when Czechoslovakia split ... it was just a matter of inter-government negotiation in circumstances where the will of the people was probably less clear-cut than it is in Catalunya.

I completely agree that it is now too late for a federal or free association solution.


CiU have agreed, 19:23. That's the platform on which they are fighting the 25 November election, and why they called it. It's probably true, though, that the "C" is more enthusiastic about it than the "U".

One of the things that has disappointed me is that the ERC aren't doing too well in the polls (same survey I linked to above). They're doing better than they did in the last election, but are not back up to the level of support they had a few years before that. I had hoped that they would overtake the PSC to become the main party of the left, as has happened with EH Bildu in Euskadi, but it doesn't look as if they will. It looks like CiU might get an absolute majority. I'd prefer it if they fell just short and needed to rely on the ERC to get the independence process through.

The CiU is a centre right party, probably most in line with Orange Book LibDems here, and have been implementing public services cuts with far more relish than is decent. If it wasn't for the fact that the constitution question has eclipsed everything else, CiU really deserve to take a hammering. It is a smart move on their part to have made this election all about independence.


Same old racist claptrap from 21:09. Nationality has nothing to do with race.

It's worth bearing in mind that Catalunya's population grew rapidly in the 60s and 70s because of huge levels of immigration from Spain. I've seen it said that 70% of the population are not ethnic Catalans. But so what? In terms of nationality, they are now every bit as Catalan as those whose forefathers have lived in Catalunya for generations ... and just as likely to vote for Catalan independence.


In response to 21:58, I would say that they key to the spectacular success of the independence movement in Catalunya has been the lead role played by civil and civic society. The politicians have, reluctantly for the most part, found themselves having to tag along.

That's a lesson for Wales too. We shouldn't rely on politicians to make all the running. It is a matter for the whole of our society, at all levels.

Anonymous said...

The Spanish government have in the past 24 hours admitted what could have been summised since the decision by Mas to call the election: they are going full frontal, using Madrid's unionist media, getting their big hitters out over the next two weeks in Catalonia, publishing dossiers stating that Catalonia will have a long wait in the acquis waiting room before EU entry etc. The intention is not to stop Mas full stop, it is rather to stop the CiU from getting an overall majority. And there's the quid, CiU, ERC, IC-V and CUP combined will garner results leading to a two thirds in favour positioning, but it won't look good internally or more importantly internationally when it comes to pushing through a referendum which would be constitutionally illegal. Anti-democratic of course, but constitutionally illegal all the same! Sovereignty is that which is recognised by others.

The fact that the largely anti-systemic CUP have entered the fray may well skewer things against an overall majority, which is exactly the opposite of what independentistes want. What a time to enter the fray, considering that this will not really be a party political election, but rather a pre-referendum.

I'm surprised CiU haven't used more of this advice given 2 weeks ago, which argues that the EU cannot strip European citizenship from people living in Scotland were Scotland to give a yes vote. While Scotland isn't Catalonia, the same principle applies.

On a comment made: I agree with 16:23 that ethnic groups should not be conflated with race, but then a question for you would be, who is then the political subject? The political subject for me is the person living in Wales, the Welsh citizen.

Anonymous said...

Apart from derailing the thread, the stupidity of comments like Anon's is easy to see. "Brilliant. It's a shame it'll never happen in Wales because the ethnic Welsh are a minority.

Independence for Gwynedd maybe?"

You sir/madam, are a troll. If you actually believe the "ethnic Welsh" are a minority in Wales, then the logical situation is that that cannot be reversed through legal policies. You therefore either believe in extremism, or are trying to be an agent provocateur.

Wales exists because many nationalists over the years have made it so, often within a British context as Gwyn A Williams said, and also in our case by trying to find common ground with non-nationalists. We are still here despite everything and in spite of the massive challenges we face, anything other than civic nationalism is a dead end.

Anonymous said...

"If you actually believe the "ethnic Welsh" are a minority in Wales, then the logical situation is that that cannot be reversed through legal policies. You therefore either believe in extremism, or are trying to be an agent provocateur."

I guess I believe in 'extremism' then. I'd make Welsh the only official language and leave the EU. Sorted.

Anonymous said...


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