Poll: Pro-Catalonia Independence Parties Seen Winning in Election

MADRID (Reuters) —
Pro-independence supporters hold the “estelada,” or pro-independence flags, during a rally in support for the secession of the Catalonia region from Spain, in Vitoria, northern Spain. (Alvaro Barrientos)

Pro-Catalonia independence parties will combine for the most votes in regional elections in December, though they may fall just short of a majority needed to revive the secession campaign, a poll showed on Sunday.

According to the GAD3 survey of 1,233 people conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3 and published in La Vanguardia newspaper, pro-independence parties ERC, PDECat and CUP would take between 66 and 69 seats in the 135-seat parliament.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the Dec. 21 election after firing the previous government and imposing direct rule over the autonomous region shortly after Catalan lawmakers passed a unilateral declaration of independence on Oct. 27.

Catalonia’s statehood push has tipped Spain into its worst political crisis since its return to democracy four decades ago as surging pro-secession sentiment in the region has in turn kindled nationalism across the country.

Sacked regional leader Carles Puigdemont traveled to Belgium shortly after Madrid took control and is now facing an arrest warrant for rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust relating to the secessionist campaign.

On Thursday, nine members of his sacked Cabinet were ordered by Spain’s High Court to be held on remand pending an investigation and potential trial.

One member of the dismissed Cabinet, Santi Vila, was freed after paying bail of 50,000 euros ($58,035) on Friday. The other eight could remain in custody for up to four years.

A second poll, in the conservative newspaper La Razon, echoed the GAD3 survey on Sunday, showing pro-independence parties would capture the most votes, though still fall just shy of a parliamentary majority with 65 seats. The NC Report survey was also taken between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3 and polled 1,000 people.

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