The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) increases its lead over the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and would finish first in a hypothetical Catalan parliamentary election with a total of between 36 and 42 seats, according to the latest barometer of the Catalan research agency, Centre for Opinion Studies (CEO). The Socialists would increase their representation compared to the current 33 seats, followed by ERC, with between 31 and 37 deputies (currently, they have 33). Together for Catalonia (Junts) would remain as the third largest party in the chamber, obtaining between 22 and 27 seats, a drop from the current 32. The CUP, for its part, is predicted to win between 8 and 12 deputies (at present it has 9). With these results, the pro-independence majority could be threatened: ERC, Junts and CUP would have to achieve results in the top part of the predictive margin to gain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament, which stands at 68 seats.
The PP refloats in Catalonia
The survey places the People's Party (PP) as the fourth largest force in the chamber, and it would rise dramatically from the three deputies it has now to between 9 and 14. The party thus benefits from the Feijóo effect and the decline of far-right Vox, which loses support in the survey. Vox would fall from the current 11 deputies to a figure between 4 and 8, while Ciudadanos (Cs) would be the smallest party in Parliament with 3-6 deputies - currently, Cs has six - while in the previous legislature it was the largest party with 36. The alternative left party En Comú Podem also loses support, since if an election was held now they would get between 4 and 6 deputies, when they have 8 at present.
The changes compared to the last elections, held on February 14th, 2021 are a warning, above all, for Vox and Ciudadanos who show the lowest rates of vote retention and are no longer able to convince a majority of those who voted for them 17 months ago. On the other hand, the PP, the PSC and the CUP have the highest voter retention rates - they generate the most trust among their members. Junts and ERC are in the middle.
52%, opposed to independence
The CEO poll also concludes, once again, that those opposed to the independence of Catalonia continue to be in the majority with 52.0%, down very slightly from the 52.3% in March. In a yes-no question, those saying yes to an independent Catalan state remain at 41.0%, when previously they comprised 40.8% of the total.
A second question from the CEO contemplated the different scenarios of relationship possible between Catalonia and the Spanish state, with four four options: here, independence was the highest polling alternative with 34% support; while federalism, which would also constitute decentralisation of Spain, scores 22%. The current situation, a state of autonomous communities, registers 30%, and a more centralised state with Catalonia as a region of Spain remains at 8%. This series has shown relative stability since the summer of 2019, with a slight rise in the autonomous community and regional options.
Puigdemont, still the best known leader
Beyond parlamentary representation and the Catalonia-Spain relationship, the poll shows that Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont, currently an MEP, repeats his result as the leader best known to everyone, with 98%, followed by Oriol Junqueras with 95% and Inés Arrimadas with 90% - three leading politicians yet none of them with "normal" leadership situations - with Puigdemont in exile, Junqueras banned from holding office, and Arrimadas the head of a party which is practically liquidated in terms of voter support. The current president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, exceeds an awareness score of 80% among the public, and fills fourth place, followed by two Socialists, Salvador Illa and Miquel Iceta. From Vox, only the current leader in Catalonia, Ignacio Garriga, appears - in last place, with 36%.
Regarding the assessment of the leaders, the only one who still gets a pass mark is Oriol Junqueras with a 5.1 out of 10, second is president Pere Aragonès who is given a fail with 4.8, and third, Jaume Asens of the Comuns with 4.6. The highest-rating female politician on the table is the CUP's Eulàlia Reguant who ties with Asens. Together with another CUP deputy, Dolors Sabater, with a 4.5, they are the highest rated female politicians among Catalans, says the poll. Exiled president Carles Puigdemont, in voter assessment, is in tenth place with 3.9, tied with Miquel Iceta.