• Spain's news in English

Catalonia elections: The key players

The Local · 24 Sep 2015, 11:36

Published: 24 Sep 2015 11:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

On Sunday, September 27th Catalonia will hold its regional election, in which 135 representatives will be elected to take a seat in the regional parliament.

Candidates who support independence for the northeastern region have billed the election as a de facto vote on independence, telling Catalans that a vote for the pro-secessionist coalition Junts pel Sí (Together For Yes) is a vote to breakaway from Spain.

But for outsiders interested in the goings on of Catalan politics, the different parties and politicians can often be more than a bit confusing. Here is a who’s who of the main players going into Sunday’s election.

Junts pel Sí (JxSí) Together for yes

JxSí presidential candidate and current Catalan president, Artur Mas. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

The pro-independence coalition made up of four parties that - according to the latest polls - could clinch an absolute majority in the parliament (68 of the 135 available seats). If it does, the Catalan parliament will declare independence "within 18 months" according to current president and the coalition's presidential candidate, Artur Mas.

The four parties in the Junts pel Sí coalition are:

Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, CDC (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia): conservative party headed by Artur Mas. 

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia): left-wing party headed by Oriol Junqueras.

Demòcrates de Catalunya - Democrats of Catalonia: a conservative, Christian democratic party founded in 2015 as a more adamantly pro-independent offshoot of the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC).

Moviment d’Esquerres - Left Movement: a social democratic party founded in 2014 when the Nova Esquerra Catalana (New Catalan Left) and the Moviment Catalunya (Catalonia Movement) parties merged. 

The four parties vary wildly in their political leanings, from left to right, but the one issue uniting all four is clear: they all want Catalonia to secede from Spain. 

Raul Romeva, a leader of the Together for Yes coalition. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

The coalition is led by Raül Romeva, a former MEP for the Catlan Green Party and an independent candidate in Sunday's election. 

The latest El País poll shows JxSí winning 66 or 67 seats, bringing it close to winning an absolute majority. There is also the possibility that the pro-independence CUP party will support Together for yes.

Ciudadanos (C’s) Citizens

C's candidate Inés Arrimadas. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

C’s (Ciutadans in Catalan) was founded in 2005 in Catalonia and launched nationwide this year. The centrist party opposes independence. Its presidential candidate is Inés Arrimadas, one of the C's nine members of parliament. According to the latest El País poll, it looks set to win 19 seats.

Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC) Socialists’ Party of Catalonia

PSC candidate Miquel Iceta. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

The Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), the PSC’s presidential candidate is Miquel Iceta (who is also a nifty dancer, showing off his moves when he was announced as candidate - see video below). 

The latest El País poll puts the anti-independence PSC as winning 14 seats.

Catalunya sí que es Pot (CSQEP) Catalonia yes we can

Catalonia yes we can candidate Lluís Rabell. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

A left-wing coalition that opposes independence, preferring to focus on social issues, whose parties are: 

- Podemos

- Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV) Initiative for Catalonia Greens

- Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (EUiA) United and Alternative Left

- Equo

The coalition, whose presidential nominee is activist Lluís Rabell, is modelled on Barcelona en Comú, the left-wing coalition that ran in May’s municipal elections, in which activist Ada Colau was elected mayor of Barcelona.

The latest El País poll puts CSQEP as winning 14 seats.

People’s Party of Catalonia (PPC)

PPC candidate Xavier García Albiol. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

Story continues below…

The regional branch of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, its presidential candidate is former mayor of Badalona Xavier García Albiol. The PPC is currently forecast to win 10 seats in Sunday’s election.

Candidatura d'Unitat Popular  (CUP) Popular Unity Candidacy

A far-left, pro-independence party that could support the Together for Yes coalition. El País poll predicts the party will win 10-11 seats. The CUP´s candidate is writer and journalist Antonio Baños (pictured below, furthest right). 

Candidates in a recent televised debate. Photo: TV3

Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC) Democratic Union of Catalonia

Previously in coalition with the CDC, the two parties split in June 2015, making this the first election they have run separately since 1977. The UDC’s presidential candidate is Ramon Espadaler (pictured above, second from right), while the party is predicted to win 0-2 seats.

Other parties

Partido Animalista (PACMA) Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals

Pirates de Catalunya - Pirates of Catalonia

Recortes Cero – Els Verds (Zero Cuts – The Greens)

Ganemos (Let´s win) 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man rescued from bin after climbing in find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

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 Rajoy to break deadlock
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!

Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
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
jobs available