Catalonia votes today in critical election over Independence
Catalonia will go to the polls today to elect the 135 seats of the parliament of Catalonia. There are 5,510,713 eligible voters in this election which is all about whether Catalonia should be an independent nation.
Whilst this is a long standing demand by the politicians it is unclear that the people would support full independence. The overall position would appear to be that whilst Catalonians are split on the subject many are not happy with the present relationship with Madrid but the vote for pro-independence parties has always been narrow.
In 2011 the pro-independence parties won a narrow victory and it looks as though today will produce something similar.
The ‘Together for Yes’ pro-independence group of five parties, the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), Democrats of Catalonia (DC) and Left Movement (MES) are on about 42% of the vote. The regional branch of the Spanish ruling party, People’s Party of Catalonia (PPC) has 9% support and the Socialists’ Party of Catalonia (PSC), again a regional party of the main Spanish opposition is on 12% support.
The Citizens Party, which opposes Catalan nationalism and has done well as it branches out into other regions of Spain is on 16%. The ‘Catalonia Yes We Can’, a Catalan self-determination party, is on 10% support according to the polls.
Together for Yes supports Artur Mas, the President of Catalonia who has instigated much of the pro-independence activity and organised the referendum last year which was not recognised by the national government or the courts. Mas has said that he will instigate an 18 month programme for secession if he gets a majority.
Polling stations are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.