UPDATED: CiU wins Catalan elections – without absolute majority


Current results (99% of votes counted):

CiU 62

PSC 28

PPC 18


ERC 10

SI 4

C’s 3

(PxC 0)


The first results of today’s Catalan elections are in. CiU have won a convincing majority, which was to be expected. The PP has replaced ERC as the third largest group in Catalonia. The PSC has lost 10% of its vote. Iniciativa has fared worse than the last polls suggested. Solidaritat Catalana (‘SI’, Joan Laporta’s party) might get as many as 4 seats. Ciutadans have failed to do better than their previous successes.

CiU’s probable 66 seats leaves the party just short of an absolute majority in the Catalan parliament, but Artur Mas will be the new president. The question now is whether CiU will attempt to govern as a minority government, or if they’ll enter a coalition in order to guarantee the majority. Possible coalition partners would be the PP, ERC or even SI.

The PP would claim that they are the natural partners of CiU, and the two parties have been allied before. But the PP’s politics have become significantly more anti-Catalanista since then. It might be difficult to convince CiU activists that such a colition was really in Catalonia’s best interests.

Esquerra will obviously want to join a coalition. Their main political strategy recently has been to establish themselves as the kingmakers of Catalan politics. I get the impression that ERC might be a difficult sell too, though, as their support has dropped significantly in these elections. On the other hand, a weakened ERC might make a more attractive partner for CiU. It all comes down to whether CiU wants a Catalanist coalition, or would rather see ERC reduced to a minor force in Catalan politics. I suspect that they might prefer the latter option.

The wildcard here could be SI. Essentially a new party, they look like they could have the seats CiU needs, while also being small enough to be a pliable coalition partner. Personally, I see this as unlikely.

CiU obtindria entre 63 i 66 diputats; el PSC, entre 23 i 24; el PPC, entre 15 i 17; ERC, entre 11 i 13; ICV, entre 8 i 10; C’s, entre 2 i 3; SI, 4, i RI-Cat, 1.

47 thoughts on “UPDATED: CiU wins Catalan elections – without absolute majority

    1. Totally expected (and deserved), and I say this as an ERC voter since my mid-20s.
      Unless the grassroots kick the “professionals” out and take control of the party back, there is unlikely to be any significant change. More pain on the way at the next local elections.

  1. What is clear is what many of my persuasion feared and expected: by splitting the pro-independence vote disenchanted with ERC two ways (SCI and RCat), their representation in Parliament is at best 1 seat for Girona. At present, Laporta is left out as SCI has not polled 3% in Barcelona yet.

    Had they two formed a coalition, they would have got seats in each of the four provinces and have their own Parliamentary group.

    With current projections CiU- ERC majority is very very slim. I don’t see it happening. I would be surprised if this legislature lasts 4 years.

    Shock of the night is the entry of PxC in Parliament. They will now have access to funding and electoral blocs in the media. Disgusting.

    1. I found the answer: the electoral commission is an unelected body that makes every effort to surpress small parties. When will it ever be understood that this is a multi-party system!

      If this continues the smaller parties will have to take their voters out of the system and declare their own elections.

  2. I have it from a good source that CiU expect to put together a minority government and legislate with changing majorities (PP, ERC, very sometimes PSC). They actually seem to be quite cool with that.

    Independentist vote has gone through the groundfloor. I think that ends the ugly Estatut debate. A bit of a relief.

    Realism seems to have kicked in.

    1. Four negative votes, one of them actually speaking out in a comment and three sissies not knowing how to reason their response.

      Am I being too harsh? Sorry, I feel that browbeating makes no sense on a blog other than making obvious the intellectual shortcomings and/or laziness of some visitors.

      I feel that the marvellous tool called internet is far too valuable for such chicken shit, and that the efforts of the blogger and the commenters deserve much more.

      Please forgive my french.

  3. Here we have it, the first one to peddle the to-be-expected rubbish.
    It is our dear friend Candide, who else could it be?
    So predictable.


    Rab dixit: ”Given that ERC could easily half the number of parliamentarians, many bloggers and our esteemed resident journos for the international press, and of course the self-hating dogs of La Vanguardia will attempt to convey the message that Catalans are no longer looking for independence or “nationalist” (that meaningless word) politics and that the crisis has hurt Catalan’s self-confidence, and that support for independence is just a tiny, noisy minority, etc, etc. The usual rubbish.”

    A party formed 4 months ago operating in a mainstream media blackout and in the context of a disgraceful media campaign against Laporta has achieved 4 seats. And it is only 4 seats because they did not form a coalition with a splinter group off ERC.
    And the CUP, who have many councillors around the country, do not contest these elections. You know all this but “let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a good story”…

    Compare SCI’s treatment to the hype and media frenzy generated around Ciudadanos in 2006 (El Mundo and El Pais finally in agreement about something!), who are still on 3 seats, and although gaining votes in the metropolitan area, have actually lost votes in Barcelona city.

    If RCat and SCI had contested these elections together, they would have achieved at least 5 seats, and maybe more because of the multiplicative effect of a Grand Coalition. I know many friends who have not voted because of the failure to join forces between these two parties.

    This table shows how the seats would be redistributed if we add up SCI and RCat votes:


    CIU 858188 35 131690 9 86525 9 121607 9
    PSC 445448 18 41498 3 27242 2 56173 4
    PP 298856 12 25050 1 18863 2 41250 3
    ICV 192836 8 14057 1 7384 0 15708 1
    ERC 148061 6 26828 1 16877 1 26280 1
    SI+RI 95389 3 23405 1 9906 1 13419 0
    C’s 89168 3 8427 0

    A SCI&RICat coalition is short of a seat for Tarragona by less than 100 votes, which would also be lost by the PSC. .

    Arguably, a Grand Coalition would have pulled more votes that the simple sum of today’s poll and achieved its own Parliamentary Group easily. (5 seats).

    In any case, are you saying that CiU is not a recipient of pro-independence votes?
    I listened to the radio live over the internet and the chants from outside Hotel Majestic were quite clear: “Mas president, Catalunya independent”.

    Beside, the pro-Catalan vs pro-Spanish balance of parliament has swung towards more, not less “sobiranisme” in the last 4 years:

    In 2010:
    Unionist bloc: PSC-PSOE + PP + C = 46
    Sobiranista bloc: CiU+ERC+SI= 76
    I will leave ICV (10)out of this, even though they support the right of self-determination.

    In 2006:
    Unionist bloc: PSC-PSOE + PP + C = 54
    Sobiranista bloc: CiU+ERC= 69
    Neutral: ICV (12)

    Candide dixit: “Independentist vote has gone through the groundfloor. I think that ends the ugly Estatut debate. A bit of a relief. Realism seems to have kicked in.
    PSC-PSOE has lost 8 seats. The PP has only got 4 of these. C remains virtually unchanged. Many people that voted PSC-PSOE because they believed they would deliver on their federalist promise have finally jumped ship.

    This does not end the Estatut debate: it opens a new one on the fiscal powers (concierto) which was the key theme in CiU’s campaign. How the PSC-PSOE positions itself in this issue has the potential to split the party down the middle and decimate its vote for the next election.

    Yes, the out-and-out independence representation in Parliament might be down (from 21 to 14, if we exclude CiU completely) but this is not due to reduced public support but because of the clash of egos and strategy between SCI and RCat which prevented their forming of a united coalition. With four years of public funding and mainstream media access, SCI will achieve its own Parliamentary group next time round –something Cs have failed to do.

    The PP may be now the third party and gained 4 seats, but even in the most dire of crisis, with Zapatero being at his most unpopular, and the PSC rejecting their own record in government, their share of the vote has increased by less than 2% (from 10.6% to 12.3%).

    In 2006, ERC obtained 414,067 votes.
    In 2010, the sum of ERC, SCI and RCat has obtained 360,165.
    A loss of about 54,000 votes.
    But CiU has increased by about 269,000 votes more than 4 years ago.

    We can only speculate on how many more people would have voted for a SCI&RCat coalition but the reality of Parliament is that the “Spanish unionist bloc” is smaller now than it was 4 years ago.

    1. Amusing. You open up criticising globally my first point but then you only dig deeper into the second one.

      Even more amusing is that your crying foul over a supposed media blackout on Laporta mimicks exactly the attitude of Ciudadanos supporters a few years back.

  4. How I hate seeing that cook La Porta in parliament. Is the obvious coalition not a nationalist tripartit? CiU, ERC, and La Porta’s munchkins?

    Dark times for Catalonia.

    1. UPyD received fewer votes than Carmen de Mairena (http://bit.ly/hUOpgk).

      I’m willing to admit that the election result, while unsurprising, is still disappointing. If I were a C’s voter, I’d be worried too: it seems that however good Rivera is in TV debates, a brand new party with no TV coverage at all managed to do better than them. They claim they’ve consolidated their position: I’d argue that they’ve failed to capitalise on the negative opinion generated by the Tripartit.

      1. Yes, somewhat disappointing. I was hoping they’d get wiped out from the parliament, unfortunately they resisted better than expected. Still you see their support comes almost exclusively from the metropolitan area of Barcelona, and this makes it very difficult for them to get more seats. Unless they win support in other areas, which seems very unlikely, they are doomed to remain a marginal force.

        1. This all depends on your expectations, which in turn depend on your connection to reality.

          As Tom very well pointed out, Rivera fared (for me surprisingly) well in the debates. It could have been expected that he’d not only capitalise on discontent and/or simply keep his sheep together.

          That said, this is still a very stupid party.

  5. I agree with Tom about C’s, very poor considering the circumstances. I have to say that the election is a pretty typical response to economic crisis. The governing parties nationally and locally have been punished, with ERC’s non-Socialist supporters defecting en masse to La Puta and PSC seeing defections to CiU and PP. ICV support held up quite well, as their supporters had nowhere to go.

    I get the feeling that the electorate was mostly voting against the parties which have brought the ciountry to crisis, rather than expressing a new catalanist sentiment.

    1. But I disagree on another point: Catalanist sentiment was for CiU, and that in a sane fashion (given the insanity of it all). I see a positive vote here that is for a change, not any change, in a Catalanist way, not an independentist one.

      If Mas had known to at least put some good slogans out there he would have ended up with 66-68. The seny of his voters was not enough.

  6. Alsio, I am furious with Catalans for giving seats to the vanity party of a member of the inmobilarista super-class when they are the people who have brought Spain to its knees.

        1. Thanks, man. But I guessed that much and I’d like some more fodder, if you please.

          This is one of the very very few blank spots of mine (har har) and I need a link or two to be able to retrace Laporta’s dealings in this sector.

          If you pretty please.

          1. I don’t like the man because he is a populist. But seriously, of all the possible sources picking Intereconomia and Marca, I don’t know, it kind of doesn’t help your credibility along. Less so coming from a self-purported anti-nationalist who also pretends to be a sort of anarchist.

          2. Thanks, boy.

            Seems like there is a hash in the communication, and if I listen closely I hear a voice attacking the messenger instead of the message. Sounds like the usual form of interference caused by lack of education/culture, but one never stops wondering when it will cease.

            I think it is fair that I take my time to go back on your links and check them out before I see myself fit to evaluate their content.

            Thanks again.

          3. First reaction: surprinsingly detailed info from Intereconomía (and I really hate the guts of that TV channel).

            “Tangled Developmets” (sic), what a name!

          4. I first passed on the marca article. Now I see it’s quite biased, but the pearl is: “En Barcelona no hay pelotazos, ni siquiera esa palabra existe en catalán.”

            No es que la solución esté en un cop de pilota, aunque del Barça se trata.

            The solution was that Laporta had to create Laputa. A word that exists in both Spanish and Catalan. Then forbid, and not only ignore, Spanish so nobody can accuse him of anything, because there would be no word for it.

            Devilishly intelligent move. But I think I have read something similar about the power of words and how to reinterpret them succesfully to mean their opposite, or not mean anything at all.

            And the best is that some will remain entirely unphased because they have censored the newspaper alltogether. Some always are with the leader and pose no questions.

  7. I see that Mas has already announced the first tax gift to the wealthy – I imagine he will get the PP voting for that one. And Rosa Diez has decided to pardon the Catalans for not voting for her this time by offering them another opportunity.

  8. I have read many silly things blamed on Laporta, but now apparently he is also to blame to crisis and the property crash. Unbelievable. Lock the man!

    1. He’s not the only one, but he is a corrupt slimeballl who’s part of the property clique that made a fortune while destroying Spain’s economy.

      The cosy arrangement between the bankers, estate agents and builders to keep prices high with ridiculous mortgage deals, while ignoring the fact property was inevitably going to crash, is the reason Spain will probably be going cap in hand to the IMF some time in January or February.

      1. Oohh how dare you boynamedsue. Just because Laporta may have say, lied to cover his pals membership of la Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, or just because he may have his lovely little Elefant Blau groups to hustle and slur those who occupy his desired position of authority, does not mean anything! He is a Catalan nationalist fighting for independence and is thusly a man of honesty, integrity and is of unquestionable character who would never abuse any position of power that he holds.

        Basically boynamedsue, you just don’t get that (for some) being a Catalan nationalist wipes out any wrong doing at all. Joan Laporta is an honest and 100% trust worthy guy with impeccable integrity. Just like Xavier Vendrell. I clearly speak the truth here because there are high quality exemplary journalists who back these guys up all the way. Like Salvador Sostres. So there. Read it and weep. I often do.

          1. Couldn’t remember the full details so I just checked and it’s even better than I remember! It was guy called Alejandro Echevarría who also happened to be Joan Laportas brother in law and was also a member of the board at FCB (hmmm I wonder how that happened).


            So sweet of Laporta to try and hush it up and aid a member of a foundation that is dedicated to the life and works of (presumably in their eyes, Great) General Francisco Franco.

          2. Thanks a lot for the input.

            “les relacions del seu cunyat amb la Fundación Francisco Franco van ser anteriors a la seva entrada a la junta directiva del Barcelona”, as if being member of that foundation *prior* to entering the club was exculpatory, instead of what it really is: a shame everybody knew of that should have prevented his entry into Barça.

            The “pal” serving as “responsable de la seguretat del club” is another pearl, and he bias of the 3/24 reporter another one. What a bunch!

            Uh, but beware, you just quoted a newssource. You’ll be criticised for it and suffer susodicho “hash”.

            All the more: thanks!

      2. I think I have to find one of my rare moments of alligning myself politically:

        I just hate all these real estate people. They are leeches when they are not vultures. They excert no productive post in society. They are simply scum, each and every one of them. Not personally (necessarily), but socially and politically speaking.

        Ah, just had to get that off my chest.

  9. Tom, I think it would only be fair to allow Rab a reply on the Catalan independence thread. The issue we were treating is something he has been referring to regularly.

  10. Oh, finally! La Vanguardia today has given us numbers of voter migration and quite a detailed oversight of the development of voter totals over the past 15 years.

    It has even been able to begin some kind of sound analysis of the statistics, which is rare stuff in this country. Certainly, the most hurtful conclusions (for LV’s audience) were left to the imagination of the reader, and one of them goes: there is no upward space for CiU, let alone for independentism. The PSC lost a big deal of its voter base, but is likely to recover if it does not continue to present itself as more nationalist than CiU or ERC. And CiU has preciously little time to translate the momentum gained on the autonomic level into something more sustainable, starting with the test of the municipal elections next may.

    Those (many) who over the past 20-30 years have argued that Catalonia will only possess a normal political spectrum once independent have been disproven: Catalonia is as normal as it can ever get, the voters do show the usual preferences and do follow the usual patterns expected for most places in Europe, with the indentity issue playing some, but no major part in their decision making. And this trend will continue.

    Many more conclusions can be made as to how each party would have to adapt its strategy to the real world, but I think I’m going to sell them to the highest bidder. Might catch a good price, because they’re even rarer than LV’s bit.

    1. If you wonder what I’d have to say about Laporta-Laparty-Laputa (except precisely this): that party is going to be the C’s of Catalan independentism. If they’re lucky they’ll even win some TV debates, with the same electoral gains as C’s: hardly any.

      And they’ll forever defend their “ideas” most vociferously.

    2. Given that the vote is secret, all the analysis you can make is basically limited to gross speculation. Don’t let this bring you down, though. I’m glad you’ve come to the conclusion that independence is not possible. I hope you now can sleep well and -most importantly- that you’ll spare us your platitudes on the subject.

      1. You are so right, the election result is secret. No, wait, it’s not. What were we talking about again? Google “voter migration” yourself, never too late to learn new things.

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