Politics 08/02/2021

JxCat-ERC formula showing signs of erosion

Current coalition third most popular option amongst Catalans, behind three-way left-wing coalition (21,9%) and three-way pro-independence coalition (21%)

2 min
Survey NOW II opening

BarcelonaThe last absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament was achieved in 1992 by Jordi Pujol's all-powerful CiU. Since then those hoping to govern have needed to enter agreements or directly coalitions. The result on February 14 will be no exception, because the polls predict a triple tie between ERC, PSC and JxCat (according to ARA, in this order). Therefore, one of the main topics of the campaign is who will support who after the elections. But what do the electorate of each party think?

The first conclusion of the survey conducted by the Institut Opinòmetre is that the current formula, the coalition between JxCat and ERC, is showing signs of wear. If you ask the entire population, the preferred option is a left-wing coalition formed by ERC, the PSC and En Comú (21.9%), followed closely by a pro-independence coalition formed by ERC, JxCat and CUP, with 21%. The current JxCat-ERC government comes third (12.2%), followed in fourth place by a constitutionalist coalition between PSC, Cs and PP (11.7%).

According to the ARA poll, the only coalitions that would have sufficient backing in parliament would be the left-wing coalition and the pro-independence coalition. Taking into account parties' positions on these alliances, it seems the latter is more likely. Moreover, CUP would experience a surge from the current 4 seats to 8 or 9, enough to open this debate within the anti-capitalist formation.

Pro-independence coalition

Interestingly, CUP voters are the ones who most want to see their party in the government: 62.5% are in favour. In the case of JxCat, it is 55.6% (while 35.2% would like to reissue the current pact with ERC), and in the case of ERC, 42.6% (with 24.6% who want to repeat a coalition with JxCat and a small but significant 14.9% who would prefer a left-wing tripartite). If the question is asked to all those who declare themselves in favour of independence (47.6% compared to 43.5%), the three-way coalition with the CUP is also the preferred option, with 42.4%, followed far behind by the current two-way coalition (21.4%). There is also 14.1% of pro-independence supporters who would prefer a left-wing coalition with PSC, basically EEC voters.

In the unionist camp, the preferred option is a left-wing tripartite with ERC, PSC and En Comú, and this is because a clear majority of socialist voters, 53.7%, support this formula much more than a pact with Cs and PP (14%). It is a fact that clashes with the clear anti-independence campaign Salvador Illa is carrying out, and that would go against the opinion of their own voters, who do not object to governing with ERC. More logical is the almost unanimous support of Jéssica Albiach's electorate for the left-wing tripartite (76.7%); she is focusing her campaign in this direction. As for the right, the PSC-Cs-PP pact is the majority option for Cs (73.3%), PP (74.5%) and, interestingly, Vox (57%) voters, even if the latter were not part of it.

The CUP's dilemma

When we look at data of those in favour of independence according to parties we see that Junts has the highest percentage of pro-independence supporters, with 95.5%, followed by CUP (93.7%), ERC (85.7%), PDECat (54.5%) and En Comú (33.9%), while it is residual in other parties. This picture shows ERC to be more permeable to receiving votes that are not explicitly pro-independence and that En Comú has to move in a certain ambiguity in order not to lose votes.

In any case, this picture will remain after February 14 and will surely influence the decisions taken by the parties when proposing and negotiating pacts. As already happened in 2015, everything points to an important role for CUP, which will have to decide between being part of a pro-independence government, supporting it from the outside or forcing new elections.