The 2015 Catalan election: a de facto referendum on independence?

David Martí (Corresponding Author), Daniel Cetra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The 2015 Catalan regional election, held on 27 September, was framed as a proxy for an independence referendum by the pro-independence parties. This was meant to bypass the PP-led central government's opposition to permit an official referendum. After an election campaign clearly dominated by the independence issue, the results delivered a majority of seats but not of votes for the pro-independence camp. However, the reading of the results as a de facto referendum is not straightforward. Growing polarization around the independence issue resulted in the emergence of two main blocs, for and against independence; in the polarization of stances within the blocs; and in substantial changes in the Catalan party system. The lack of agreement between the secessionist parties over the reappointment of Artur Mas as president almost triggered a new election but, in a last-minute move, Mas stepped aside. The new government aims to declare independence in 18 months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalRegional and Federal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2016


  • Catalonia
  • regional election
  • referendum
  • independence


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