Politics 17/03/2022

'No' to independence reaches all-time high of 53.3%

Seven out of ten Catalans continue to defend a referendum on self-determination

2 min
Manifestació de la Diada 2021 in Barcelona

The trend for months has been clear: without a short-term project, support for independence is receding in the polls and opposition to it is growing, despite the fact that pro-independence parties obtained their best election result a little over a year ago. Opposition to independence has reached its historical maximum with 53.3% in the last poll by the Centre de Estudis d'Opinió (CEO), which was made public this Thursday. Only twice in the ten years in which this question has been asked had the 50% barrier been broken, both in 2014. But it was close: the last survey, carried out last May, showed 48.7% of Catalans were against independence. On this occasion, they are clearly the victors, 15 points ahead of those in favour of Catalonia becoming a State, who made up only 38.3% of Catalans. We have to go back to June 2017, at the gates of the referendum, to find such low support for independence with 41.1% (in October of that same year it set, on the other hand, its record with 48.7%).

By political parties, 82% of ERC voters are in favour of Catalonia becoming an independent state, as do 86% of CUP voters and 93% of JxCat voters. On the other hands, 91% of PP voters, 92% of Cs voters and 83% of PSC voters are against it. The fieldwork was done between mid-November and mid-December last year. Demographically, independentism continues to be rooted in less populated areas. Thus, 70% of respondents living in municipalities of under 2,000 inhabitants want Catalonia to be independent, a percentage that drops to 53% in the case of municipalities that reach 10,000 inhabitants. On the other hand, 69% of Catalans living in cities with between 150,000 and one million inhabitants are against independence.

It is not surprising, then, that 34% of those interviewed in the CEO survey defend Catalonia as an autonomous community and 8.4% that it should be just another region of Spain. In this sense, 15% of those living in the Tarragona area want Catalonia just to be a region of Spain. When four response options are given, 30% of Catalans advocate an independent state and almost 20% want it to be a state within a federal Spain. If the origin of the citizens is taken into account, the independent state is the preferred option for those born in Catalonia (42%), while 48% of those born in other autonomous regions and 42% of those born in the EU and the rest of the world prefer Catalonia to remain an autonomous community. By parties, 43% of Vox voters want Catalonia to be a region of Spain; 49% of PSC voters supported Catalonia remaining an autonomous community, as did 68% of PP voters and 65% of Cs voters. As for the independent state, it is the preferred option for ERC voters (66%), CUP voters (71%) and JxCat voters (83%).

These figures do not diminish the consensus around a referendum of self-determination to resolve the political conflict. 72% of Catalans consider that Catalonia has the right to decide its future by voting in a referendum, while only 20% are against it. The percentage has remained fairly stable in studies made by different companies over the years. The support for the referendum achieves a wide consensus in Catalan society, despite the fact that, at present, it does not have the necessary political support in the State.