Is 51% Of The Vote A Victory For Independence We Have Reason To Think That

2021-02-16   |   by CusiGO

Catalonia’s total number of independents has exceeded half (51%), which is a milestone, despite being caffeine free. The Catalan election has never been a perfect referendum, which is logical, but four years ago, this amount was more important for two reasons: first, the political parties proposed a clear division; second, most importantly, more Catalans were expressed at that time.

Catalan nationalist parties had previously passed the 50% threshold (when the CIU had not yet declared independence), but since the late 1990s their votes have ranged from 46% to 50%. In 2017, the proportion remained at 47.5%; by 2015, it will reach 50% only after joining Uni. The change is small now, but more than 50% is a symbolic threshold.

But to what extent does this number represent the success of independence? A majority is a success. But in this case, more than 50% of the votes seem irrelevant. The reasons are as follows.

The first reason is that the gap between 47.5% and 51% is very small. As can be seen from the above chart, Catalonia feels equal: in recent years, Catalonia has undergone many changes, but the power of nationalist (and then independent) parties is not one of them.

The second (main) reason is abstention, which is perhaps the most important: in the 2017 election, two out of every three voted. The figure below shows the group voting of the whole census including abstainers.

In 2017, 38% of voters voted for the independent party, 40% voted for non independent forces, and 20% stayed at home. Many people voted for it, and the groups were almost equal. But the current figures have nothing to do with it: the largest group are abstainers, who make up almost 50% of the population. Then 27% of Catalans who have the right to vote chose the independent party, and another 25% – slightly lower – voted for other forces. In my opinion, the referendum value of this election is very low.

On the whole, it was a demobilized election. In this regard, there are two possible readings. It can be said that independents voted more, which is true. In this regard, 51% is a symbol of health. But you can also say that disability is a worse sign for them, because for those who want to express their willingness to change (independence), participation is more urgent. Between 2017 and 2021, 641000 independents were voted down.

The third reason is the balance within the block. Among the non independents, more Federalism (increasing PSC) and more Spanish Nationalism (increasing VOX) were voted for. But in the independence movement, people voted against division. Junts went through a mild excision, pdecat, and lost CKD’s first seat. CKD’s road map was at least a little slow and did not ask for a referendum.

My fourth reason is the electorate of ERC.

A major change since 2017 has to do with these voters’ preference for Catalonia’s relationship with the rest of Spain. Four years ago, nearly 90% of ERC voters wanted Catalonia to become an independent country, according to the chief executive. But the number is now 60% or 65%. In other words, a third of the party’s voters are likely to rule Catalonia and choose other options, from Catalonia to become an “autonomous region” (7%) to “a state within federal Spain” (27%). These figures are almost unchanged among cup voters (80-85% want Catalonia to be an independent country) and Catalonia’s voters (85%). If they do, though less than the DPP, about a quarter of the divided DPP voters choose federation or autonomy.

That doesn’t mean the independents didn’t get half the vote: they did. It’s important to vote. Nor did they belittle their victory in the seat, which allowed them to agree to form a government and elect a president, even when pdecat lost its vote.

However, for the above four reasons, I think that the voting is not a promotion of independence. To a large extent, the election is mainly static. This Sunday, the balance between Catalan’s socially dominant groups has barely changed, although few people vote, which is an ideal situation, and the results will change a lot. The difference between the independents and the unionists is very strict, because it is combined with the deep level of Catalan society, such as the origin of language, class and family. By 2012, there are two very likely to have voted for different parties. What changed at that time was not the division, but the transcendence of the division: the gap widened because suddenly, standing on one side and on the other did not mean wanting more or less autonomy, but wanted to live in different countries. This change in preference is as important as the total number of votes between parties.