Spanish incomprehension: the main reason for those in favour of independence

Independence would win in referendum despite not being majority opinion, according to ICPS poll

Incomprehension and rejection of belonging to Spain are the main arguments of those in favour of independence to defend leaving the Spanish state, according to the annual survey of the Institute of Political and Social Sciences (ICPS). The 21,7% of those who would vote 'yes' in a self-determination referendum would do it for this reason, followed closely by the 20,6% who prioritise the argument that in case of independence "Catalonia would improve". The "desire of economic self-management and capacity of self-sufficiency" is the third argument with most support. Behind it there are other concepts such as the "different country model" (8.3%), the nation (7.5%) and the "identitarian" feeling (7%).

For whatever reason, the supporters of independence would win the referendum as a whole. Thus, 44.4% of Catalans say they would vote in favour of independence, eleven points behind those against (33.3%), indicating a decrease in the difference compared to last year. A further 18% of the population would opt for abstention. However, when asked if the want Catalonia to become an independent state, the percentages change: 51,3% wish to stay in Spain, whereas 41,8% would rather leave. The survey, based on 1,200 interviews, was carried out between 14th September and 14th October.

The final result that the citizens expect from the independence bid does not change either with respect to other ICPS surveys: an agreement with the State to give more autonomy to Catalonia (42.2%). Only 9.1%, two points less than in 2019, are confident that Catalonia will end up being independent.

Assessment of pandemic management 

This year, the survey also includes a chapter dedicated to the covid-19 pandemic. Most Catalans think that both the Spanish (40%) and Catalan (40.2%) governments have done a "average" job. A further 21.7% consider it to have been "good", while 19.2% describe the work of the Pedro Sánchez government as "bad" and 14.8% as "very bad". The figure changes a little in relation to that of the Generalitat (21.1% speak of "bad" and 13.4% of "very bad").

The most valued institution in the poll is the Mossos d'Esquadra (5.98 out of 7), followed by the City council of Barcelona (5.46) and pro-independence entities, Òmnium and ANC, with 5.33 and 4.86 respectively. Among the worst rated are the Church (2.7), political parties (2.92) and the banking sector (2.94).

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