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The 2012 Catalan regional election was held on Sunday, 25 November 2012, to elect the 10th Parliament of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. All 135 seats in the Parliament were up for election. It was a snap election, announced on 25 September by President Artur Mas,[1] called as a result of the pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona on 11 September—the National Day of Catalonia—and the failed talks between President Mas (from Convergence and Union) and Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy (of the People's Party) to give greater fiscal autonomy to Catalonia.[2]

2012 Catalan regional election

← 2010 25 November 2012 2015 →

All 135 seats in the Parliament of Catalonia
68 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered5,413,868 Increase0.9%
Turnout3,668,310 (67.8%)
Increase9.0 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Artur Mas 2012 (cropped).jpg Oriol Junqueras 2012 (cropped).jpg Pere Navarro 2012b (cropped).jpg
Leader Artur Mas Oriol Junqueras Pere Navarro
Leader since 7 January 2002 17 September 2011 17 December 2011
Leader's seat Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona
Last election 62 seats, 38.4% 10 seats, 7.0% 28 seats, 18.4%
Seats won 50 21 20
Seat change Red Arrow Down.svg12 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg11 Red Arrow Down.svg8
Popular vote 1,116,259 498,124 524,707
Percentage 30.7% 13.7% 14.4%
Swing Red Arrow Down.svg7.7 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6.7 pp Red Arrow Down.svg4.0 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Alicia Sánchez-Camacho (cropped).jpg Joan Herrera 2010 (cropped).jpg Albert Rivera 2012 (cropped).jpg
Leader Alicia Sánchez-Camacho Joan Herrera Albert Rivera
Party PP ICV–EUiA C's
Leader since 6 July 2008 23 November 2008 9 July 2006
Leader's seat Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona
Last election 18 seats, 12.4% 10 seats, 7.4% 3 seats, 3.4%
Seats won 19 13 9
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6
Popular vote 471,681 359,705 274,925
Percentage 13.0% 9.9% 7.6%
Swing Green Arrow Up Darker.svg0.6 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2.5 pp Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4.2 pp

  Seventh party
  David Fernández 2012 (cropped).jpg
Leader David Fernàndez
Party CUP
Leader since 13 October 2012
Leader's seat Barcelona
Last election Did not constest
Seats won 3
Seat change Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3
Popular vote 126,435
Percentage 3.5%
Swing New party

Constituency results map for the Parliament of Catalonia

President before election

Artur Mas

Elected President

Artur Mas

Despite Artur Mas campaigning to win an absolute majority of seats, the election was an electoral setback for his Convergence and Union party, one which had went largely unnoticed by opinion polls. The Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) also fared poorly, obtaining fewer seats than pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and ending up as the third parliamentary force overall. In turn, ERC regained much of the strength it had loss in the 2010 election and became the main parliamentary opposition party for the first time. The People's Party (PP) and Citizens (C's) benefitted from the electoral polarization between the pro-independence and anti-independence blocs, scoring their best results until then, with 19 and 9 seats, respectively. The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) also entered the Parliament for the first time.




In the 2010 election, Convergence and Union (CiU) was returned to power after 7 years in opposition, as a result of the electoral collapse of all three parties comprising the "Catalan tripartite" government (Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV). Newly-elected President of Catalonia Artur Mas was able to govern comfortably thanks to his party's large parliamentary representation allowing for punctual support of several parties on different issues, in what was known as a policy of "variable geometry".[3][4] In 2011, CiU signed several agreements with the People's Party of Catalonia (PPC) in order to pass the 2011 and 2012 budgets, as well as for the approval of several spending cuts. In spite of this, the relationship between both parties quickly deteriorated after the 2011 general election, as a result of Mas asking new Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy (of the People's Party) for greater fiscal autonomy for Catalonia.[5][6]

On 11 September 2012, a massive pro-independence demonstration marked the Catalan political agenda and re-opened the debate about the right to hold a referendum on the independence of Catalonia,[7][8][9] as well as the debate about the feasibility of an independent Catalan state and its integration into the European Union. On 25 September 2012, President of the Government of Catalonia Artur Mas announced a snap regional election to be held on 25 November and argued, referring to the demonstration, that "this election will not be held to help a party [referring to CiU] to perpetuate itself in power. It will be held so that the whole of the Catalan population decides democratically and peacefully what will their future be as a nation."[10] President Mas signed the decree to officially call the Catalan election on 1 October.[11] Mas' move was criticized as an attempt to try to funnel the popular support for independence seen in the September demonstration into an absolute majority of seats in the election.[12]

Electoral systemEdit

The Parliament of Catalonia was the devolved, unicameral legislature of the autonomous community of Catalonia, having legislative power in regional matters as defined by the Spanish Constitution and the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, as well as the ability to vote confidence in or withdraw it from a President of the Government.[13][14] Voting for the Parliament was on the basis of universal suffrage, which comprised all nationals over eighteen, registered in Catalonia and in full enjoyment of their political rights. Amendments to the electoral law in 2011 required for Catalans abroad to apply for voting before being permitted to vote, a system known as "begged" or expat vote (Spanish: Voto rogado).[15]

The 135 members of the Parliament of Catalonia were elected using the D'Hondt method and a closed list proportional representation, with a threshold of 3 percent of valid votes—which included blank ballots—being applied in each constituency. Parties not reaching the threshold were not taken into consideration for seat distribution. Additionally, the use of the D'Hondt method might result in an effective threshold over three percent, depending on the district magnitude.[16] Seats were allocated to constituencies, corresponding to the provinces of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Each constituency was allocated a fixed number of seats: 85 for Barcelona, 17 for Girona, 15 for Lleida and 18 for Tarragona.[13][14][17]

The electoral law provided that parties, federations, coalitions and groupings of electors were allowed to present lists of candidates. However, parties, federations or coalitions that had not obtained a mandate in the Parliament at the preceding election were required to secure the signature of at least 0.1 percent of the electors registered in the constituency for which they sought election, whereas groupings of electors were required to secure the signature of 1 percent of electors. Electors were barred from signing for more than one list of candidates. Concurrently, parties and federations intending to enter in coalition to take part jointly at an election were required to inform the relevant Electoral Commission within ten days of the election being called.[18][19]

Election dateEdit

The term of the Parliament of Catalonia expired four years after the date of its previous election, unless it was dissolved earlier. The President of the Government was required to call an election fifteen days prior to the date of expiry of parliament, with election day taking place within from forty to sixty days after the call. The previous election was held on 28 November 2010, which meant that the legislature's term would have expired on 28 November 2014. The election was required to be called no later than 13 November 2014, with it taking place up to the sixtieth day from the call, setting the latest possible election date for the Parliament on Monday, 12 January 2015.[13][14]

The President of the Government had the prerogative to dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia and call a snap election, provided that no motion of no confidence was in process and that dissolution did not occur before one year had elapsed since a previous one under this procedure. In the event of an investiture process failing to elect a regional President within a two-month period from the first ballot, the Parliament was to be automatically dissolved and a fresh election called.[13][14]

Parties and coalitionsEdit

Opinion pollsEdit

The table below lists voting intention estimates in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first and using the dates when the survey fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. Where the fieldwork dates are unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed with its background shaded in the leading party's colour. If a tie ensues, this is applied to the figures with the highest percentages. The "Lead" column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the parties with the highest percentages in a given poll. When available, seat projections are also displayed below the voting estimates in a smaller font. 68 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Parliament of Catalonia.

Color key:

  Poll conducted after legal ban on opinion polls   Exit poll



Summary of the 25 November 2012 Parliament of Catalonia election results
Parties and coalitions Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Total +/−
Convergence and Union (CiU) 1,116,259 30.71 –7.72 50 –12
Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC–PSOE) 524,707 14.43 –3.95 20 –8
Republican Left of Catalonia–Catalonia Yes (ERC–CatSí) 498,124 13.70 +6.70 21 +11
People's Party (PP) 471,681 12.98 +0.61 19 +1
Initiative for Catalonia Greens–United and Alternative Left (ICV–EUiA) 359,705 9.90 +2.53 13 +3
Citizens–Party of the Citizenry (C's) 275,007 7.57 +4.18 9 +6
Popular Unity Candidacy–Left Alternative (CUP) 126,435 3.48 New 3 +3
Platform for Catalonia (PxC) 60,107 1.65 –0.75 0 ±0
Catalan Solidarity for Independence (SI) 46,838 1.29 –2.00 0 –4
Blank Seats (EB) 28,288 0.78 +0.18 0 ±0
Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (PACMA) 20,861 0.57 +0.12 0 ±0
Pirates of Catalonia ( 18,219 0.50 +0.29 0 ±0
Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) 14,614 0.40 +0.23 0 ±0 ( 11,702 0.32 New 0 ±0
Democratic Way (VD) 5,984 0.16 New 0 ±0
Communist Unification of Spain (UCE) 2,582 0.07 +0.04 0 ±0
Republican Left (IR) 826 0.02 –0.03 0 ±0
Socialists and Republicans (SyR) 333 0.01 New 0 ±0
Blank ballots 52,898 1.46 –1.47
Total 3,635,170 135 ±0
Valid votes 3,635,170 99.10 –0.19
Invalid votes 33,140 0.90 +0.19
Votes cast / turnout 3,668,310 67.76 +8.98
Abstentions 1,745,558 32.24 –8.98
Registered voters 5,413,868
Popular vote
Blank ballots

Distribution by constituencyEdit

Constituency CiU PSC ERC PP ICV–EUiA C's CUP
% S % S % S % S % S % S % S
Barcelona 28.1 26 15.4 14 12.7 12 13.3 12 11.1 10 8.4 8 3.4 3
Girona 43.0 9 10.1 2 17.8 3 9.6 2 5.9 1 3.6 4.2
Lleida 43.1 8 10.4 1 17.4 3 11.3 2 5.4 1 3.3 3.0
Tarragona 31.7 7 13.6 3 15.1 3 15.0 3 6.9 1 7.3 1 3.6
Total 30.7 50 14.4 20 13.7 21 13.0 19 9.9 13 7.6 9 3.5 3


Artur Mas (CiU)
Ballot → 21 December 2012
Required majority → 68 out of 135  Y
71 / 135
63 / 135
0 / 135
1 / 135


Opinion poll sources
  1. ^ "Sondejos" (PDF). Generalitat de Catalunya (in Catalan). 25 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Spanish exit polls: Sampling error or nonresponse bias?" (PDF). Revista Internacional de Sociología. 23 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Catalan separatists face poll setback". The Guardian. 22 November 2012.
  4. ^ "CiU no aconsegueix la majoria absoluta i el PSC podria ser atrapat per ERC ı PP". Segre (in Catalan). 18 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Castigo a Mas en las urnas". La Razón (in Spanish). 19 November 2012.
  6. ^ "PP y PSC compiten por la segunda plaza (La Razón)". Electómetro (in Spanish). 19 November 2012.
  7. ^ "ENQUESTA: CiU, ERC i SI creixen i podran declarar la independència al Parlament si Espanya impedeix el referèndum". cró (in Catalan). 17 November 2012.
  8. ^ "La mayoría de CiU sigue sin ser absoluta y ERC supera al PSC". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 18 November 2012.
  9. ^ "CiU, lejos de la mayoría absoluta". El Mundo (in Spanish). 18 November 2012.
  10. ^ "CiU fracasa en su lucha por la mayoría absoluta y PP logra la segunda posición". ABC (in Spanish). 18 November 2012.
  11. ^ "CiU no alcanza la mayoría absoluta por el ascenso de ERC, ICV y CUP". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 18 November 2012.
  12. ^ "CiU, lejos de la mayoría absoluta". El País (in Spanish). 17 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Estimación de voto en Cataluña para las elecciones del 25N". El País (in Spanish). 17 November 2012.
  14. ^ "CiU se quedará lejos de la mayoría absoluta que reclama Artur Mas para su plan independentista". Cadena SER (in Spanish). 19 November 2012.
  15. ^ "El ObSERvatorio de la Cadena SER. Estudio preelectoral de Cataluña (19/11/2012)" (PDF). MyWord (in Spanish). 19 November 2012.
  16. ^ "El PP atrapa al PSC mientras CiU sigue cerca de la mayoría absoluta". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 11 November 2012.
  17. ^ "El Racòmetre, 5 de novembre de 2012" (PDF). RAC1 (in Catalan). 5 November 2012.
  18. ^ "ENQUESTA: majoria absoluta sobiranista, mentre CiU no assoleix la majoria absoluta". cró (in Catalan). 11 November 2012.
  19. ^ "El independentismo bajaría al 40% si Catalunya saliera de la UE". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 4 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 28. 3a onada 2012" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 8 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Preelectoral de Cataluña. Elecciones autonómicas, 2012 (Estudio nº 2965. Octubre 2012)" (PDF). CIS (in Spanish). 8 November 2012.
  22. ^ "El CIS deja a CiU sin mayoría absoluta y el CEO sitúa a Mas por encima del listón". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 9 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Enquesta GAPS per a l'ARA: CiU se situa a les portes de la majoria absoluta". Ara (in Catalan). 2 November 2012.
  24. ^ "CiU modera su ascenso mientras PP y PSC se disputan la segunda plaza". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 28 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Mas se consolida por el hundimiento del PSC pero sin mayoría absoluta". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 25 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Voto estimado a partir del sondeo" (PDF). El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 25 October 2012.
  27. ^ "El Racòmetre, 23 d'octubre de 2012" (PDF). RAC1 (in Catalan). 23 October 2012.
  28. ^ "CiU acaricia la mayoría absoluta mientras el PP recupera posiciones". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 14 October 2012.
  29. ^ "CiU sufre el "efecto Mas"". La Razón (in Spanish). 30 September 2012.
  30. ^ "CiU no alcanza la mayoría absoluta". El Mundo (in Spanish). 30 September 2012.
  31. ^ "Marea soberanista sin mayoría absoluta". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 1 October 2012.
  32. ^ "El baròmetre de Catalunya, al complet". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Catalan). 2 October 2012.
  33. ^ "CiU roza la mayoría absoluta mientras el PSC se hunde y el PP baja levemente". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 30 September 2012.
  34. ^ "Una enquesta de Telecinco indica que un 51% de catalans diria 'sí' a la independència i només un 18,6% triaria el 'no'". Ara (in Catalan). 15 September 2012.
  35. ^ "CiU perdería 4 escaños mientras ERC subiría con fuerza". (in Spanish). 16 September 2012.
  36. ^ "El "efecto Mas": CiU y PSC bajan y ERC y PP suben". La Razón (in Spanish). 16 September 2012.
  37. ^ "CiU fa evident el seu desgast però l'alternativa segueix òrfena". Ara (in Catalan). 23 July 2012.
  38. ^ "CiU fa evident el seu desgast però l'alternativa segueix òrfena". Ara (in Catalan). 23 July 2012.
  39. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 27. 2a onada 2012" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 27 June 2012.
  40. ^ "Gran davallada electoral de CiU". (in Catalan). 14 June 2012.
  41. ^ "CiU resiste mientras el PP retrocede y los socialistas se estancan a la baja". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 10 June 2012.
  42. ^ "Los recortes y las alianzas con el PPC erosionan la pujanza de CiU". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 13 May 2012.
  43. ^ "Voto estimado a partir del sondeo" (PDF). El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 13 May 2012.
  44. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 26. 1a onada 2012" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 2 March 2012.
  45. ^ "Catalunya mantiene la confianza en Mas para salir de la crisis". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 27 January 2012.
  46. ^ "Voto estimado a partir del sondeo" (PDF). El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 27 January 2012.
  47. ^ "CiU sale indemne de los recortes y mantiene intacto su apoyo electoral". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2 January 2012.
  48. ^ "Catalunya mantiene la confianza en Mas para salir de la crisis". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 27 June 2011.
  49. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 24. 2a onada 2011" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 29 June 2011.
  50. ^ "Proyección electoral. Barómetro de junio de 2011" (PDF). Feedback (in Spanish). 30 June 2011.
  51. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 23. 1a onada 2011" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 25 February 2011.
  52. ^ "Proyección electoral. Barómetro de febrero de 2011" (PDF). Feedback (in Spanish). 26 February 2011.
  1. ^ "Mas adelanta elecciones al 25-N "para abrir una nueva etapa"". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 25 September 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Spain's Catalonia region to hold early elections on Nov 25". Reuters. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  3. ^ "PSC, PP and ERC criticize the variable geometry of a Mas defending "broad consensus"" (in Spanish). El Economista. 6 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Sánchez-Camacho to Mas: 'The variable geometry will not always work'" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 18 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Mas and Sánchez-Camacho sign the CiU-PP pact for the budget" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 11 June 2011.
  6. ^ "CiU and PP ally again to maintain the sanitary cuts" (in Spanish). El País. 20 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Catalan parties assess the independence demonstration" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 12 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Independentism marks the political agenda in a critical autumn for the Spanish State" (in Spanish). Gara. 23 September 2012.
  9. ^ "CiU, ICV-EUiA, ERC and SI negotiate a resolution for self-determination" (in Spanish). El Periódico de Catalunya. 24 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Mas sets course for self-determination" (in Spanish). El País. 24 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Mas: "Ningú no pot utilitzar les armes contra la voluntat d'un poble"". Nació Digital. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Catalan election: Mas asks for an absolute majority like the one of the Scottish SNP for a referendum" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 19 November 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d "Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006". Organic Law No. 6 of 19 July 2006. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 March 2017.
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  15. ^ Reig Pellicer, Naiara (16 December 2015). "Spanish elections: Begging for the right to vote". Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  16. ^ Gallagher, Michael (30 July 2012). "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 1979". Organic Law No. 4 of 18 December 1979. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  18. ^ "General Electoral System Organic Law of 1985". Organic Law No. 5 of 19 June 1985. Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Representation of the people Institutional Act". Central Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  20. ^ a b c d "Parliament of Catalonia elections since 1980". (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Parliament of Catalonia: parliamentary groups since 1980". (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Deputies of the Parliament of Catalonia since 1932". (in Spanish). Electoral History. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Election Results. Parliament of Catalonia Election 2012". (in Catalan). Generalitat of Catalonia. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Parliament of Catalonia election results, 25 November 2012" (PDF). (in Spanish). Central Electoral Commission. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2017.