Catalonians vote for independence

The Catalonians who went to the polls on 9 November voted overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of a state independent from Spain. About 2.2 million people, out of an eligible electorate of 5.4 million, took part in the informal consultation. Over 81 per cent were in favour of an independent state and another 10 per cent in favour of more independence than Catalonia has at the present.

The vote is not binding as the Supreme Court upheld a central government ruling in September against a formal referendum.

However the head of the Catalonian government, Artur Mas, hopes that the results of the vote on 9 November will show the central government that it is now necessary to allow a fully recognised referendum.

Most of those who went to the polls voted in favour of two questions; whether they wanted Catalonia to be a state and whether they wanted that state to be independent of Spain. Only 10 per cent of those who voted opted for the first question and said no to the second. About 4.5 per cent voted no to both questions.

It is thought that most of those who want to retain the status quo in Catalonia did not go to the polls.

Catalonia is the wealthiest region in Spain and contributes about 20 per cent to the country's GDP.