According to the last Barometer [PDF, Catalan] of the Centre for the Study of Opinion [Catalan] (CEO), a public institution of the Catalan administration, 43.9% of Catalans would vote yes to independence, while 28.2% would vote against it and 23.3% would not vote.
Taking into account the abstention of 23.3%, the supporters of independence would win the referendum with 60.3% of votes, compared to 39.6% of negative votes.
The Barometer also reveals that the predominant reasons of the voters for independence are rational: for 36.4% of them, the most important reason is the capacity and wish of economic autonomy. Other reasons, in order of importance, include sentiment of not being respected by Spain (13.3%), identity (11.5%), sentiment of being citizen of Catalonia as a nation (10.4%), increase of capacity of decision and autonomy (10.3%), capacity of being self-sufficient (7.1%), wish for a different model of country (4.7%) and independence being the only way to improve (3.6%), amongst others.
It is worth noting that reviewers could only choose one reason, the most important for them, so this figures do not mean that, for example, only 11.5% of Catalans want independence for identity reasons.
In the case of those against independence, the reasons are less rational: unity of Spain—one of the mottos of the fascist dictator Franco— (42.6%), identity (18.7%), support of globalization—remove borders—(10.7%), it would be negative for Catalonia (9.7%), preference for a federal model (5.7%), it is not an important nor viable model (4%), independence is extremism (2.9%) amongst others.
The results of the Barometer, one of the most credible opinion surveys, confirm what other polls and surveys from universities, scientific institutions, private organizations and media have been showing during the last years: support for independence is mainstream and growing at enormous speed.
In 2003, the “Pulsómetro”, a survey by Cadena Ser, the Spanish radio station with most listeners, showed that 30% of Catalans supported independence, while in its 2010 edition support for an independent Catalonia grew to 42%.
In September 2010 the second most listened radio in Catalonia, RAC1, published a survey [PDF, Catalan] showing 48.4% of support for independence, compared to 41.4% of citizens that would vote against it in a referendum.
In February 2010 a survey by the Open University of Catalonia revealed that 50.4% of Catalans would support independence in a referendum, while only 17.8% would vote against it. Previous editions of this survey show the growth over the years: 36.5%/22.1% (2008); 50.3%/17.8% (2009).
Also in 2010, the two most widespread newspapers in Catalonia, La Vanguardia and El Periódico de Catalunya, published similar surveys in which support for independence in a referendum had grown to 47% and 48.1% respectively, while only 36% and 35.3% were against it.
The prestigious 10 years long European Survey of Values by ESADE (one of the best Business Schools in the world) and Carulla Fundation, revealed that support for Catalan independence has tripled from 2000 to 2010, and 45% of Catalans would now vote yes in a referendum. This study was finished before the sentence of the Spanish Constitutional Court against the new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, approved by the Catalans in a referendum in 2006, a sentence that reportedly multiplied the support for independence.
|Demonstration "We are a nation. We decide" in Barcelona on July 2010,|
with +1 million attendants - Photo by VilaWeb
The different surveys suppose abstention rates from 7% to 25%, showing that the referendum would result in independence regardless of the participation. Both participation and affirmative votes would surpass the 60% of participation and 55% of favourable votes required in previous referendums on independence in other countries.
The different figures also show that support for independence is growing across voters of all political parties.
Only the Spanish government can call for referendums in Spain, even if they are to be held only in a part of the kingdom’s territory. Several citizen’s legislative initiatives for a binding or even non-binding referendum to be held in Catalonia have been rejected by the Catalan Parliament because it is legally impossible for it to call for such a referendum, thus rendering Catalans unable to exercise their human right of self-determination.
Update January 2012
According to a new survey by El Periódico (the second most read newspaper in the country), 53% of Catalans would vote YES to independence for Catalonia while only 32% would oppose.
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