• Spain's news in English

Catalans back away from independence: Poll

George Mills · 4 Nov 2013, 11:09

Published: 04 Nov 2013 11:09 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The independence debate in Catalonia is no longer simply about whether the region should or should't remain part of Spain, the poll published in Spain's El País newspaper shows.

Pollsters spoke to 1,000 people in the region in north-east Spain which has strong regional traditions, including a distinct language and culture, to hear their views on independence.

Catalonia has vowed on numerous occasions to press ahead with plans to hold a self-determination referendum. 

But the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has insisted that a referendum in Catalonia — a wealthy region home to about 7.5 million of Spain's 47 million people — would be unconstitutional.

The new poll found that if people were offered a straight choice in a hypothetical vote between independence for Catalonia and remaining in Spain, 46 percent would vote to become a separate country.

That is marginally down from the 49 percent who would have done likewise in September.

But the poll also found that when people are offered a third choice in the form of a Catalonia within Spain with greater powers and autonomy, the number of pro-independence voters drops to less than one in three people.

Specifically, with three options on the table — independence, remaining within Spain and a region with greater powers — the number of people who would vote for independence is 31 percent while the number who would choose the status quo is 17 percent.

Meanwhile, the new option, the so-called 'tercera vía' (third way), holds sway with 40 percent of voters.   

El País newspaper said the support for this third option was a reflection of the fact Catalans were "profoundly discontented" with both the anti-independence attitude of Spain's central government in Madrid  and the leadership of Catalan President Artur Mas.

The poll shows 86 percent of Catalans believed Spanish Prime Minister was mismanaging the Catalonia situation.

The survey also shows 55 percent of people living in Catalonia think the region should be able to vote whether it can remain in Spain with input from the rest of the country.

Forty percent believe all Spaniards should vote on the issue.

The survey also found that only 33 percent of people in the region believe an independent Catalonia is likely, against 40 percent in September.

Story continues below…

Another key finding was that 66 percent of people living in Catalonia do not believe Catalans are sufficiently informed about the consequences of independence.

Some 45 percent of people living in the region considered themselves Spanish and Catalan in equal measure, the poll found.

A total of 20 percent said they felt more Catalan than Spanish while 23 percent stated they were 'only Catalan'.

Only 6 percent of people said they felt 'only Spanish'. 

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available