Everything that can happen in the Catalan elections of 12-M: the evolution of the polls and plausible scenarios

The Catalan elections do not seem to raise many doubts about the winner (especially in the vote counting).

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 22:21
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Everything that can happen in the Catalan elections of 12-M: the evolution of the polls and plausible scenarios

The Catalan elections do not seem to raise many doubts about the winner (especially in the vote counting). Instead, they represent a real enigma regarding two key issues that may determine who will govern Catalonia after May 12. The first is of a nuclear nature: will the pro-independence majority survive the failure of the process and its impact on the management of the Government? And only once this mystery is resolved and in the event that the sovereignist parliamentary majority disappears, will the second question gain true relevance: what margin will the announced victory of the socialist Salvador Illa register?

The surveys carried out between the electoral call and the last day on which polls could be disseminated (May 6) lead to a scenario in which, in the end, everything remains open. The comparison by period reflects trends that, if confirmed, would place the PSC in the lead, with close to 30% of the votes and up to 40 deputies; that is, a progression of around five points (and as many seats), with respect to the estimate of less than 25% of the vote that some of the pre-campaign polls awarded him.

For its part, Junts has been gradually imposing itself on Esquerra – its main rival in the independence space – since a start that was close to a tie, almost two months ago, and with percentages for both forces below 20% of the vote. Today, however, the average advantage of Puigdemont's party over Aragonès' party is close to four points (with studies that raise that margin to more than six points) and the distance in seats is between seven and ten deputies. While Junts exceeds 22% of the votes in several polls, Esquerra falls below 17%.

From there, the independence space shows a dispersion that could neutralize Puigdemont in terms of useful votes (with up to 38 seats, very close to a tie with Illa) or, on the contrary, reflect the disorientation of that electorate, with Junts below 22%, the CUP around 4%, and the emergence of the ultranationalist Aliança Catalana. This force did not appear in the polls until mid-April, but it seems to have consolidated a potential vote harvest above 3%, with an expectation of between three and four deputies.

These turbulences in the independence space generate uncertain expectations about an absolute majority of that sign. The averages since mid-March do not go beyond 67 seats (always one or two away from the bar of 68). Now, of the almost 40 surveys analyzed, at least 11 (a quarter) show an absolute pro-independence majority of up to 70 deputies. And that space has a potential ceiling of two million voters.

If the independence movement finally lost its majority in the Chamber, the magnitude of Illa's majority would be decisive for governability. Above all because he can expect little from his right flank, which would also improve his records from the previous regional elections. The PP – which, together with the now dying Ciudadanos, gathered nine seats and almost 9.5% of the votes in 2021 – could reach the 10% barrier today and garner up to 13 deputies. But it would not be able to separate itself from Vox, which can maintain a level of support similar to that of three years ago and obtain around 10 deputies. In any case, the Spanish right in Catalonia would consolidate around 18% of the vote and up to two points above its count in the last elections held before the process.

Finally, the commons – Sumar's Catalan franchise – pay for the wear and tear of the internal upheavals at the state level, although they also show a certain decline in the space of that sign in Catalonia. This party could lose up to two percentage points and up to three of its current eight seats (as a result of a sensitive transfer of votes to the benefit of the PSC).

These are the expectations, but with 40% of voters deciding their vote in the last week of the campaign (and a quarter of them on election day), it is not advisable to place bets.