Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A majority of Catalans want independence

Exactly 51.1% would vote for it right now in a hypothetical referendum, according to a telephone opinion poll of a sample of 2500 conducted by the Generalitat this month. Only 21% would vote against it if given the chance, while another 21% would abstain. Even a sensible fraction (9%) of voters of such an extremist unionist party as the People's Party (conservative, ex-NeoFascist) would vote for independence. 

Also 56% think that Catalonia would be better than it is now if it would have been an independent state, while 69% think that the self-government allowed to Catalonia is insufficient.

A different question asked is what model would they think that Catalonia should be, to which citizens replied:
  • 34% that an independent state
  • 29% that a federated state
  • 25% that an autonomous community (current status)
This shows that some of the independence voters could be satisfied with a greater degree of self rule that would be constitutionally guaranteed (federal model) but still prefer independence over the current status quo. The figure of people supporting independence as first option has grown almost three times since 2006, when they were only 14%. 

77% want Catalonia to collect its own taxes, instead of the current system by which the central state does, then returning an arbitrary amount to the corresponding region. Only 17% oppose.

23% declare to feel exclusively Catalan, 30% more Catalan than Spanish, 37% as much Catalan as Spanish, 4% more Spanish than Catalan, 4% exclusively Spanish.

Other results of interest from this public opinion poll are:

Main perceived problems: work precariousness (57%) and the economic situation (52%), followed at some distance by political matters: dissatisfaction with politics (24%), Catalan financing system (14%), Catalonia-Spain relations (12%). 

When asked for only one answer the issue of labor precariousness is still leading (39%), followed by economic situation (24%) and dissatisfaction with politics (10%). 

Eight people (0.3%) claimed that there are no problems worth worrying about in Catalonia.


There is obvious dissatisfaction with politics and lack of real democracy (popular participation in decision-making) seems the main issue.


48% think that no party can give a good answer to the problems of the country, followed by 19% who don't know and 14% who think it is the nationalist conservative Convergence and Union (CiU) party. 

62% think that the political situation of Catalonia is bad or very bad, while only 20% think it's good or very good. 

88% think that the political situation of Spain is bad or very bad, versus only 5% who think of it as good or very good.

49% have low satisfaction with how "our democracy" works, 23% are quite satisfied and 22% absolutely dissatisfied. Only 2% are very satisfied.

83% believes that politicians don't pay attention to what people thinks, 78% believes that politicians' main goal is selfish profit, 60% that common people can't actually influence politics, 67% that politics is too complex to understand easily,

Possible solutions: 
  1. Increasing popular participation in major decision-making: 45% as first option, 22% as second option
  2. Fighting price inflation: 25% as first option, 31% as second option
  3. Protect freedom of speech: 13% as first option, 27% as second option
  4. Keep order: 13% as first option, 17% as second option
Solutions for 10 years from now (several options possible):
  1. Increase popular participation in major  decision-making: 65%
  2. Fighting price inflation: 55%
  3. Protecting freedom of speech: 38%
  4. Keeping order: 28%

Internet still plays a minor role in political formation of Catalans (35%), while traditional mass media weight a lot (TV: 83%, newspapers: 62%, radio 45%, acquaintances: 45%). Among TV stations, the most commonly watched by far is the Catalan-language TV3 (57%).

In Internet, blogs have a very minor share (3%) of political information, while "social networks" are more important (12%). Digital newspapers still have the share of the lion, with Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia being the main online reference (30%), followed by Spanish El País (17%) and Catalan El Periódico de Catalunya (16%).


Catalan economy: 82% think that the Catalan economy is bad (52%) or very bad (30%), while only 7% think it's good or very good. 76% think that the situation is worse than a year ago, while only 3% believe it has improved. 

Spanish economy: 84% think it's bad (34%) or very bad (60%), while only 2% believe it's good or very good.

Personal economy: 51% say it is worse than the previous year, 44% that it is the same and 5% that it is better.

Refs. CEO poll[cat], Público[es].

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