2.3 million Catalans (updated figure) voted yesterday in the independence referendum organized by Catalan institutions and declared illegal by the residual Spanish Empire. The worst fears of military intervention did not materialize and Catalans could vote on the future of their country in spite of all, although with most unionist forces not recognizing the vote.
The figures are still provisional but reflect 96,8% of the votes, with the following results:
- 80.72% voted for an independent Catalan state
- 10.09% voted for a Catalan state but against independence (i.e. federalism)
- 4.45% voted against a Catalan state
- The rest include blank ballots and irregular choices like yes to independence but no or no choice regarding the concept of "state". This "other" category gathered more than 3% of the votes, suggesting that there is a sizable number of independentists against the state format.
The controversy now is on whether the referendum has any bearing at all, as it is "illegal" by the Imperial dictate of Madrid, and, more subtly if the turnout is enough to legitimate the vote. Obviously this is the burning nail of unionists, who want to somehow count the indifferent in their side this way, even if opinion polls show that the unionist option is much weaker than the independentist one.
- The 2014 EU elections had a 2.5 million voter turnout
- The 2012 Catalan elections had a 3.7 million voter turnout
- The 2011 Spanish elections had a 3.5 million voter turnout
- The 2006 new statute referendum had a 2.6 million voter turnout
It is obvious that the majority of those who oppose independence did not vote but rather attempted to sabotage the vote with their abstention, supporting that way the Spanish Imperialist doctrine of negation of the right to self-determination of Catalonia and other nations imprisoned within its borders. But how many these abstaining unionist are? 300,000 or 1.5 million? Almost certainly the real figure is somewhere in between, say 800,000, judging on past electoral behavior and opinion polls.
So while they may be willing to cast doubt on the result of the referendum, their argument is extremely weak and can only resound in the ears of the ignorant and those who are already persuaded. The reality is that at least 2/3 of Catalans who take a stand strongly support independence.
Figures' source: La Vanguardia[es]
Update: Spanish and even Basque institutional media is just ignoring the vote, as if it never happened.