A surge in support for independence

I've just seen a report that the percentage in favour of independence in Catalunya has surged by more than 8% to 53.6%. The official Baròmetre d’Opinió Política is published every quarter, and the figures for the previous quarter were 45.4% in favour of independence with 24.7% against. I'll link to the full figures when they're available.

There does seem to be a strange contrast between Catalunya and Scotland. The Scottish government is pressing ahead with a referendum on independence even though the opinion polls currently show that only a minority favour it. But the Catalan government is not pressing for any move towards independence from Spain, even though the polls are consistently showing a large margin in favour of it. Odd, isn't it?

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Owen said...

The economic situation in Spain is so bad that perhaps they don't think it's worth it for the time being or just biding their time.

However if any of the stateless nations in Western Europe were ever to go down the UDI route I'd put money it being either Catalonia or the Basque Country. I don't know why I have this impression, but Spain seems like a unattended boiling kettle at the moment politically and economically.

Anonymous said...

A structural constraint is that a referendum on secession is simply not possible under the current constitution. That of course could be changed, but the confluences needing to occur in Spain to bring this about with both PSOE and PP voting in favour of a constitutional amendment are, as of today, unforeseeable. Not impossible, just difficult to discern.

Among immediate and contingent constraints are: who wags the tail chez CiU? The SNP are a cohesive bunch, it seems. CiU, also a catch-all formation, is nominally led by Artur Mas (Convergenci), but the business end of the federation (Unio) led by Duran i Lleida is still not convinced, and Mas needs to be careful to bring the substantial Duran i Lleida rump along. Another 10 points may do it.

Anonymous said...

This below from 'Ara' today, first paragraph, showing how Mas has his work cut out with Duran i Lleida. It can be tough, being married and everything ...


Unknown said...

Minority? Have you been watching the BBC?

MH said...

I agree that the Spanish constitution doesn't allow for a referendum, Anon, but if the Generalitat decides to hold one, I don't think anything Madrid does will be able to stop it. In the end, it doesn't matter what the "legal" or "constitutional" situation is, democracy always wins out. That's why the threats about the Scottish referendum are so hollow.

Alternatively, if a referendum is refused then the Generalitat could simply declare independence.

I take the point about the slightly different agendas of the C (CDC) and U (UDC) parts of CiU. But if there is a consistent majority in favour of independence in the polls, then the UDC will come round. Artur Mas has acted so hesitantly because, in my opinion anyway, he wants to hold his party together. But I was pleasantly surprised to read here, translation here, in La Vanguardia that the CDC is planning to change its official policy at its next conference in March to a position of "full sovereignty". If this gets adopted (and I don't think it would be on the agenda unless they expect it to be) then it really is only a matter of time before Catalunya is independent. The next election is in 2014. So I would expect either that a referendum is called within a year or so afterwards, or that a declaration of independence is made. A Yes vote in Scotland in September or October 2014 would certainly galvanize things if the Catalan election is again in November. But the elections to the Basque Autonomous Community are in 2013 ... and who knows what might happen there.


Stuart, there's no point in hiding the fact that although one or two polls have put the percentage in favour of a Yes to independence for Scotland ahead of the No vote, the bulk of them don't. However I do expect that to change over the next few months, so that at the end of the year the Yes percentage will be ahead ... and in two year's time, comfortably ahead.

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