Polls Vindicate Puigdemont’s Decision to Form Separatist List

The deposed Catalan president is winning more support for his independence list than he did leading the Democratic Party.

Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont, the leaders of the Catalan ruling party, deliver a news conference in Barcelona, Spain, March 1
Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont, the leaders of the Catalan ruling party, deliver a news conference in Barcelona, Spain, March 1 (Generalitat de Catalunya/Rubén Moreno)

Carles Puigdemont appears to have made the right decision forming a new political entity, called Together for Catalonia, as opposed to leading his center-right European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) into next month’s election.

Two recent polls, one published in El Periódico, the other in ABC newspaper, give the deposed president’s list almost 17 percent support.

That puts it neck and neck with the liberal Ciudadanos and mainstream Socialist Party — both of which oppose Catalan independence — for second place.

Together for Catalonia uses PDeCAT’s infrastructure but has drawn candidates from civil society.

Separatists in the lead

The Republican Left is still in the lead with 23-24 percent support.

But that is down from the almost 30 percent it got in surveys last month, when PDeCAT was at just 10 percent.

In terms of seats, the projections are that the pro-independence parties will win between 66 and 71.

68 seats are needed for a majority in the regional parliament.

Unpopular kingmakers

Catalonia in Common, a left-wing party that is led by Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, could hold the balance. It would win between eight and ten seats.

The party, which includes the Catalan branch of the anti-establishment movement Podemos, rejects both independence and Spain’s suspension of Catalan home rule.

This refusal to takes sides has not endeared Catalonia in Common to voters. Its support has fallen from around 15 percent in the spring to 8 percent.