Barcelona (ACN).- A clear majority of people in Catalonia now back independence, according to a new poll published by the Centre of Opinion Studies. The survey shows that 51% of Catalans would vote ‘yes’ in an independence referendum. For the first time in history, the poll also indicates that Catalans prefer independence to any other political arrangement inside Spain.
When asked which political option they preferred for Catalonia, 34% of Catalan citizens said complete independence, 28.7% mentioned a Catalan state within a federal Spain, 25.4% chose an autonomous community and only 5,7% a simple region. The rest either didn’t know or didn’t want to answer. Support for the independence option has risen dramatically, up 9.5% in the last year and a half, and it is three times what it was in 2006. Moreover, the fact that 51,1% of Catalans would vote ‘yes’ in an independence referendum means a 6.5% increase in comparison to the last barometer, published in February. Up to 21.1% of citizens would vote ‘no’, the same percentage would not vote at all and only 4.7% say they are undecided. Support for independence is strong within the voters of the Catalan right and left nationalist parties (CiU and ERC), the Greens (ICV) and the newly created independence party SI. In contrast, Catalan socialists (PSC), the People’s Party voters and the members of Ciutadans would vote no. It is the first time that a poll shows a victory for independence in a referendum. The Centre of Opinion Studies asked this question four times, and sees a “clear increase”, according to its director, Jordi Argelaguet. He said that the results show a section of voters that have always advocated for independence and a group of people that feel more positive about it because of the recent political and economic developments in Catalonia and Spain. The vast majority of Catalans, also according to the poll, support full fiscal autonomy for Catalonia, a demand of President Artur Mas' government. The survey shows 76.5% of citizens more or less agree or completely agree that the Catalan Government should raise and manage all its taxes. In fact, up to 68,4% of Catalans think that the current devolved system in Catalonia is insufficient, while 21,3% think it’s enough.