Catalan Separatists Seen Winning Thin Majority, Exit Polls

Exit polls in the much-watched Catalonia regional elections show the separatists winning a majority by a razer-thin margin...

While those in favor of indepedence appear to have an absolute majority, the pro-Spain Ciudadanos party got the most seats.

Here's a party-by-party breakdown from the 8tv poll:

  • Ciudadanos Seen Winning 34-37 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Esquerra Republicana Seen Winning 34-36 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Puigdemont's Group Junts Seen Winning 28-29 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Socialists Seen Winning 18-20 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Podemos Ally En Comu Seen Winning 7-8 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Separatist Radicals Cup Seen Winning 5-6 Seats: 8tv Poll
  • Rajoy's PP Seen Winning 3-5 Seats: 8tv Poll

Vanguardia group poll shows separatists could win razor-thin majority. The pro-Spain group Ciudadanos is the most-voted party according to the survey.

Turnout is well above 2015 levels:

  •  Girona 68,21 % (65,08 % in 2015)
  •  Lleida 66,68 % (61,11 % in 2015)
  •  Barcelona 68,66 % (63,21 % in 2015)
  •  Tarragona 66,85 % (61,78 % in 2015)

If this exit poll result stands, it would usher in a new, chronic phase of the crisis: Rajoy has shown he has the legal weapons to contain the separatists, but not to dent their support.

For now the Spain ETF is showing that stress...

Bloomberg's Ben Sills provides a Timeline of events leading up to today:

The current crisis has its roots in 2010, when Spain’s Constitutional Court struck down parts of a new Catalan statute of autonomy following an appeal from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party.

Among the sections stripped out was a line from the pre-amble describing Catalonia as a "nation." That riled the separatists who began a series of massive annual demonstrations in Barcelona.

The economic crisis and waves of corruption allegations against Rajoy and the PP fueled the Catalans’ resentment of Madrid (as they overlooked the graft among their own elites) as separatist parties came to dominate the region’s politics.

On Oct. 1 they claimed victory in an illegal referendum on independence -- while Madrid cried foul over widespread irregularities.

Then on Oct. 27 the parliament declared independence. It proved an empty gesture though, as Rajoy fired the rebel government and took direct control of the region.