IT has all the hallmarks of the uncertainty and rancour that brought about the ill-fated referendum of 2017 and the indications are, as voters go to the polls today, that Catalonia, will again be gripped by indy fever as its new government takes shape.
In the final opinion poll before the opening of polling stations, the pro-independence Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) – led from his exile in Brussels by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont – is expected to win in terms of the number of seats and percentage of votes.
This is based on the findings of the latest Feedback polls for The National yesterday, the second of which was carried out hours ahead of the polling stations opening.
The polls has been updated since Tuesday via telephone tracking interviews, and yesterday’s consolidated Junts as the leading force with 20.6% of the vote and 32-35 seats (34 in 2017). The Socialist Party (PSC) is fighting for second place, with an estimate of 28-29 seats (previously it had 17), in a tight battle with the Republican Left, the pro-indy party of imprisoned vice-president Oriol Junqueras. It is predicted to take 18.6% of the vote and 28-29 seats (32 in 2017).
Ciudadanos (Citizens), which won the 2017 elections with 36 seats at the head of the pro-union bloc, has collapsed: the survey gave it 12-13 seats (retaining just 1 in 3 seats from 2017). En Comú Podem, the alternative left, would reach 9-11 seats (8 in 2017) and attract 7.7% of the vote.
The poll confirms the rise of the far-right, pro-union Vox, which would get 6.9% of the vote and break into the Catalan chamber for the first time with 9-10 seats.
At the other end of the political spectrum, CUP, the left-wing, anti-capitalist and pro-indy party, with 6% of the vote, would get 8 seats, twice what it has now. The pro-union conservative PP would secure between 3 and 5 deputies (MPs) and 4.09% of the vote, making it the loser in its right-wing struggle with Vox.
PDeCAT, the pro-independence liberals, heirs to the former Convèrgencia, could enter Parliament or remain outside: the poll predicts 2.8% of the vote for the party (up to 2 seats).
The poll suggests the pro-indy bloc would retain its majority in the Catalan chamber. Junts, ERC, CUP and PDeCAT would win 68-74 seats (absolute majority 68).
The pro-union bloc, led by former health minister Salvador Illa, would not achieve its goal of overthrowing the pro-indy Catalan Government, so the election operation sponsored by the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, looks set to fail.
As with any elections there are uncertainties and the best-case figure for turnout is 61.3% - at worst 58.3%, after a Catalan Government decision to postpone the poll because of coronavirus was overturned by the judiciary.
Undecided voters totalled 28.8%, just ahead of polling stations opening.