15 de febrer de 2021

The election analysis of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia, by Mathew Tree




The election analysis of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia (British MPs in the Westminster parliament):


For the first time pro-independence parties won a majority of the popular vote - 51.16%.

Pro-independence parties retained a majority in the 135-member chamber with a total of 74 MPs in favour of a Catalan republic, 4 more than in the last election in 2017.

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) had with 23.02% of the votes and 33 seats – the same number as the pro-independence Esquerra Republicana Catalana.

This election saw a record low turnout of 53.55%. The Catalan government wanted the election postponed until the Spring when the lock down is expected to ease but that decision was overturned by judges.

There was a shift within the independence camp with Esquerra Republican Catalana overtaking Junts per Catalunya with the ERC winning 33 seats ( up one) to JxCat 32 (down one).

The ERC took 21.31% of the vot

e and JxCat on 20.06%.

The anti-capitalist Popular Unity (CUP) won 6.68% of the vote, surging from 4 seats to 9.

That means a majority of pro-independence voters voted left – which does not fit with the often repeated notion that Catalan pro-independence equals right wing nationalism. A majority of all votes cast went to parties of the left.

JxCat tended to win in rural municipalities and the ERC tended to win in urban areas as well as in the province of Tarragona.

The far right has entered the Catalan parliament for the first time with Vox gaining 11 seats and 7.69% of the vote.

Vox was born from a schism in the traditional conservative People's Party (PP) and outperformed their right-wing rivals who were only able to win 3 seats (down from 4), and 3.85% of the vote (down from 4.24%). That marks a historic low for PP, one of the two major parties in Spanish politics.

The biggest losers of the night were Ciudadanos. The unionist party was the largest in the last parliament with 36 seats. Their vote collapse spectacularly from 25.35% to 5.57%, winning just 6 seats. Voters abandoned them in favour of the Socialists on the left and in favour of Vox on the right.

What happens now?

In immediate terms the new Catalan Parliament has to elect a President. The two biggest parties, the PSC and ERC will propose Salvador Illa and Pere Aragonès respectively. The three pro-independence parties pledged not to enter into a coalition with the Socialists if they hold with that Illa could not muster enough votes to win. Aragonès will require the votes of JxCat and CUP. It remains to be seen what the latter’s asking price will be.

Aragonès and the ERC called for dialogue with the Spanish government but the Spanish Foreign Minister on this morning BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ruled out a legal independence referendum.

The other issue is an amnesty for the nine convicted Catalan civic and political leaders. But even if that was to be granted by the Spanish government there are thousands of cases going through the courts of pro-independence activists and politicians in relation to the October 2017 independence referendum.

The Catalan National Assembly issued a statement saying:

“The foundations of pro-independence support are as solid as a rock. We have exceeded 50%, a milestone that the Assembly set on its roadmap 2 years ago. This gives us a lot of strength. Now it's up to ERC to lead a united bloc and a government to move towards independence.”

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