Politics 13/05/2021

CIS poll says three-way left-wing coalition is preferred formula to break deadlock

31.2% of those polled want PSC, ERC and En Comú Podem to share the executive, while 23.2% prefer to see ERC, Junts and CUP in the government

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Pere Aragonès and Salvador Illa talking yesterday during the plenary session of the Parliament.

BarcelonaThere are less than two weeks left for Parliament to invest a new President before repeat elections are called. The Centre for Sociological Research (CIS) published this Thursday a survey showing what options Catalans prefer to break the deadlock: the preferred formula is the three-way left-wing coalition (PSC, ERC and En Comú Podem) or at least the presence of several of these parties in the government, which convinces 31.2% of respondents, ahead of a pro-independence government (ERC, Junts and CUP), which is preferred by 23.2%. The ERC government alone is only liked by 5.7% of those surveyed. However, the preferences do not coincide with respondents' forecasts: 50.7% believe that the deadlock will be broken thanks to an executive shared by pro-independence forces.

ERC and PSC still veto each other and the only candidate who could obtain a majority for the investiture, Pere Aragonès, insists on forming a solo ERC government to break the deadlock and to be able to negotiate the incorporation of JxCat, the CUP and En Comú later. Among ERC voters the preferred government formula is, in fact, that of the pro-independence coalition: 48.9% want it, copmared with 23.6% who would opt for the left-wing coalition and 20.4% who would prefer an solo ERC government. JxCat voters (88.3%) and CUP (68.1%) have even greater preference for a pro-independence coalition. In fact, although the left-wing coalition option is in the lead when the sample as a whole is taken into account, it is only a majority option among PSC (54.7%) and, above all, En Comú (85,6%) voters.

On the other hand, to avoid uncertainty and the possibility of a repeat election, almost half of Catalans (49.9%) are in favour, according to the CIS, of reforming the Statute so that the force with the most votes is the one that governs (25.8% are opposed and 22.6% do not know or do not care about the issue). Nevertheless, Catalonia is still 41 years later the only autonomous region that does not even have its own electoral law. If it were to have one, 56.3% would be in favour of reducing the weight of Girona, Lleida and Tarragona to make the election of the deputies of the Parliament more proportional to the population.

Illa, the best valued leader

The PSC won the elections on February 14 by a slight advantage in votes over ERC. Precisely the leaders of these two formations are those who get better valuation in the CIS survey. On a scale of 1 to 10 (therefore, with a pass mark of 4.5), they are also the only two who pass. The socialist candidate, Salvador Illa, heads the ranking with a 5.1 and the favourite to become the 132nd president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, follows with a 4.8. Next come the parliamentary leader of En Comú, Jéssica Albiach (4.1), the Speaker, Laura Borràs (3.9), the president of the CUP group, Dolors Sabater (3.8), and last come the representatives of statewide right-wing parties: Alejandro Fernández (PP), with 2.9; Carlos Carrizosa (Cs), with 2.5; and Ignacio Garriga (Vox), in last position with 2.3.

Only 16.7% of abstentionists point to covid-19

The last elections in the Parliament set a new historical minimum of participation. Only 51.3% of Catalans went to the polls. In the middle of the pandemic it was assumed that the fear of contagion had been the main reason to keep voters away from the polling stations, although previous surveys, such as the one carried out by ARA, predicted that the pandemic was not the main threat to participation. CIS data point in the same direction: only 16.7% of abstainers place the coronavirus as the main reason for not going to vote (16.3% out of fear and 0.4% because they were infected when the elections took place).

So why did almost half of the voters stay at home? Because they didn't trust any party (18.9%); because voting "is useless" (14.3%); to show their discontent (14%); because they are "fed up with politics and elections" (13.5%); because "there was no alternative that satisfied them" (11.9%), among others. Data that should worry politicians, especially in case the disagreement between them ends up causing a repeat election.