Alessandro Solís, 17/11/2020
There are already several polls predicting that objective set by the pro-independence movement to exceed 50% of the vote is a chimera. A new opinion study by the Institut de Ciencies Polítiques i Socials (ICPS) indicates that, a few months ahead the elections of February 14, 2021, the “yes” to the independence of Catalonia has fallen below 42% (specifically , 41.8%).
The same house of sociological studies, attached to the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), shows how the “yes” to independence began to decline moderately in 2017 (year of the illegal referendum on October 1) and has been in a very marked free fall since 2018. At the same time, in the last two years the percentage of Catalans who want Catalonia to remain part of Spain has not stopped growing.
Thus, in this survey conducted between September 14 and October 14, the “no” to independence has signed its best result in recent years, with 51.3%. It is also the first time in recent years that those who prefer Catalonia to remain in Spain have exceeded 50% by a good margin, the horizon that pro-independentism has set as a goal.
In addition, 2.9% are indifferent regarding the division of Catalonia, 2.9% answered that they do not know and 1.1% did not answer the question.
The pro-independence movement continues to lose strength
Precisely when pro-independentism transferred to public opinion that its goal was to exceed 50% of the votes on 14-F, the polls point in the opposite direction.
Back in July, the Generalitat’s Center d’Estudis d’Opinió (CEO) revealed that 50.5% of Catalans were against independence and only 42% were in favor, with almost 8% of those respondents indicating that they are not clear about their position or not answering the question.
It is true that the most recent barometer of the also known as ‘Catalan CIS’ showed an increase in the responses of “yes” to independence, which rose to 46.3%. Although, of course, it still does not exceed 50%, and that survey also showed that the intention to vote for the separatist parties Esquerra Republicana, Junts per Catalunya and the CUP amounted to just 47.7%.
Returning to the new ICPS survey, another question regarding Catalan independence sheds more light on an electorate that is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. If today there was a referendum on the exit of Catalonia from Spain, 44.4% would vote in favor and 33.3% against, but 18.5% would not go to vote and almost 4% do not know or would vote blank.
This implies that the entire independence movement would go to the polls if a referendum is held, but those who do not support them would not necessarily do the same. The evolution of the responses to this question shows that the group of those who would vote in favor is the smallest since 2011, when it was 43.7%. And those who would vote against sign the best data since 2016, when they were 33.8%.
Additionally, the percentage of people who say they would not vote in a referendum on independence is the highest since 2013, when it was 20.9%.
Reasons for voting for independence
The poll also asks the independentists for their main reasons for preferring that Catalonia is not part of Spain. 21.7% have responded that they reject belonging to Spain and have expressed a feeling of incomprehension. 20.6% have attributed their ideology to the fact that Catalonia would be a millionaire without Spain.
14.3% of those surveyed say they are pro-independence out of a desire for economic self-management and self-sufficiency capacity, while 8.3% yearn for a different country model from Spain. 7.5% say that Catalonia is a nation and 7% link it to identity; that is, he justifies it because he feels Catalan but not Spanish.
Despite the fluctuations, the issue of independence is very or quite important for almost 70% of those surveyed. However, the majority speak little or nothing about this with their families, and almost 70% say they are concerned that the issue of independence will end up causing problems of coexistence among the citizens of Catalonia.