specials | 2015-09-30
How to interpret the results of the Catalan elections
Making sense of the voting results that took place last Sunday
After having discussed in a previous article the future scenarios for Barça and the rest of the teams from Catalonia if the region gained its independence, the results in the 27S polls and their implications for the future deserve further analysis. Some of these explanations are unnecessary for Spanish readers, but may aid the understanding of those from other countries who are interested in the situation.
The Political Parties
Two electoral registers which strongly favored independence presented themselves for election.
Junts pel Sí (JxSí): a coalition which groups together the two biggest pro-independence parties, the liberal Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya and the social-liberal Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya.
CUP (Candidatura d’Unitat Popular): a left-wing anti-capitalist party.
Three electoral registers which strongly oppose independence and Catalonia’s right to self-determination presented themselves.
Ciudadanos (C): a party which is proud of Spain’s democratic regeneration and the fight against Catalan nationalism.
PSC (Partit Socialista de Catalunya): the initials of the Spanish socialist party in Catalonia.
PP (Partido Popular): a conservative party which currently sits on the Government of Madrid.
Finally, there were two registers which favored Catalonia’s right to self-determination and a reworking of the Spanish state in federal or confederal terms, but who have not officially declared whether they favor or oppose independence, in the event that this “third option” was not possible.
Catalunya sí que es pot (CSQP): a coalition made up of ecologists, former communists, and new alternative formations of left-wing groups.
UDC (Unió Democràtica de Catalunya): a democratic Christian Catalan nationalist party.
Interpreting the Results
The results show that the pro-independence registers have a substantial majority in seats, with 72 compared to the unionist’s 52 and 11 for those in favor of Catalonia’s right to self-determination within a federal Spanish state. Bearing in mind the fact that in previous elections the only pro-independence parties to put themselves forward were ERC and the CUP (at that time, CiU limited itself to campaigning for the right to self-determination, without publicly declaring themselves as being pro-independence), which means that the number of purely pro-independence representatives has tripled, going from 24 to 72, and has reached an absolute majority for the first time in the history of Catalan parliament.
In terms of percentage of votes, the pro-independence registers (47.75 percent), lead the unionists (39.15 percent), but fail to exceed the 50 percent of votes which is necessary to venture for a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. The indecisiveness of the CSQP and of Unió, who by standing up for a federal reform of the Spanish state have not yet expressed their intentions in the event that they had to choose between the current status quo and independence, prevents us from making definitive conclusions about who the winner would be if it came to a referendum like the Scots had.
With these results, we will have to wait until the Spanish general elections (to be held December) to see the intentions of the future Spanish government. The acceptance of a constitutional reform in federal terms could lead to a drop in pro-independence movements, but the resounding “no” from the PP and Cs makes this very unlikely. On the other hand, the failure of the options proposed by the federal reform of Spain would put a definite end to the “third option”, which could strengthen the pro-independence movement through the support of those who, having been denied their intermediate option, would prefer independence to the current status quo. A lot remains to be decided.
In summary, returning to the topic of sports, you could say that the pro-independence movement has taken the lead, but has not yet won the match. There is still a lot to play for before we can be sure of the final result which would set off the future scenarios for Barça described in the aforementioned article if Catalonia eventually ended up gaining its independence.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
WRITTEN BY: Xavier Codina
Die hard Barça fan and football lover specially interested in tactical analysis, Xavier also writes for Perarnau Magazine and Banquilleros.
TRANSLATED BY: Mark Coyle
Mark is a 26-year-old Irishman, a Language Graduate (QUB), freelance translator, and interpreter. Huge fan of Barça and diminutive Argentine playmakers.