Catalan parliamentary election, 2012

Catalan parliamentary election, 2012
25 November 2012

All 135 seats in the Parliament of Catalonia
68 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered 5,413,868 Increase0.9%
Turnout 3,668,310 (67.8%)
Increase9.0 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Artur Mas Oriol Junqueras Pere Navarro
Party CiU ERC–CatSí PSC
Leader since 7 January 2002 17 September 2011 17 December 2011
Last election 62 seats, 38.4% 10 seats, 7.0% 28 seats, 18.4%
Seats won 50 21 20
Seat change Decrease12 Increase11 Decrease8
Popular vote 1,116,259 498,124 524,707
Percentage 30.7% 13.7% 14.4%
Swing Decrease7.7 pp Increase6.7 pp Decrease4.0 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Alicia Sánchez-Camacho Joan Herrera Albert Rivera
Party PPC ICV–EUiA C's
Leader since 6 July 2008 23 November 2008 9 July 2006
Last election 18 seats, 12.4% 10 seats, 7.4% 3 seats, 3.4%
Seats won 19 13 9
Seat change Increase1 Increase3 Increase6
Popular vote 471,681 359,705 274,925
Percentage 13.0% 9.9% 7.6%
Swing Increase0.6 pp Increase2.5 pp Increase4.2 pp

On the left: Winning party map for each municipality.
  CiU hold
  CiU gain
  PSC hold
  PSC gain
  ERC hold
  ERC gain
  PP gain
  ICV-EUiA gain
  CUP gain
On the right: Map showing the winning party in each comarque and the distribution of seats in every election boundary.
  PSC (less >5%)

President before election

Artur Mas

Elected President

Artur Mas

The 2012 Catalan parliamentary election was held on Sunday, 25 November 2012, to elect the 10th Parliament of Catalonia, the regional legislature of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. At stake were all 135 seats in the Parliament, determining the President of Catalonia.

This was a snap election, announced on 25 September by President Artur Mas.[1] It was called following the pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona on 11 September (the National Day of Catalonia), as a result of the failed talks between President of Catalonia Artur Mas (Convergence and Union) and Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy (People's Party) to give greater fiscal autonomy to Catalonia.[2]

Despite Artur Mas campaigning to win an absolute majority of seats, in the end his party, Convergence and Union (CiU), suffered a large electoral setback, largely unnoticed by opinion polls. The Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) also fared badly, obtaining the worst result in its history (a record which had already been broken in the 2010 election). While polling in third place, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) was able to attract the growing pro-independence movement and recovered the 21 seats it had lost in the previous election, becoming the main parliamentary opposition party for the first time.

The People's Party of Catalonia (PPC) 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 Candidates (CUP) entered in the Parliament for the first time with 3 seats.

Electoral system

The 135 members of the Parliament of Catalonia were elected in 4 multi-member districts, corresponding to Catalonia's four provinces, using the D'Hondt method and a closed-list proportional representation. As the community did not have an electoral law of its own passed into law at the time of the 2012 election, the electoral system came regulated under the community's Statute of Autonomy rules, and subsidiarily, under the Spanish general electoral law (Organic Law 5/1985, of the General Electoral Regime). As a result of the lack of an autonomous electoral law, seats were allocated to districts through specific Laws or Decrees for each election. For the 2012 election, seats were distributed as follows: Barcelona (85), Girona (17), Lleida (15) and Tarragona (18).

Voting was on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. Only lists polling above 3% of valid votes in each district (which includes blank ballotsfor none of the above) were entitled to enter the seat distribution.[3][4]


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".[5][6] 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.[7][8]

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,[9][10][11] 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 Generalitat of Catalonia Artur Mas announced a snap parliamentary 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."[12] President Mas signed the decree to officially call the Catalan election on 1 October.[13] 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.[14]

Opinion polls


Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first, and using the date the survey's fieldwork was done, as opposed to the date of publication. If such date is unknown, the date of publication is given instead. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. The lead column on the right shows the percentage-point difference between the two parties with the highest figures. When a specific poll does not show a data figure for a party, the party's cell corresponding to that poll is shown empty.

Seat projections

Opinion polls showing seat projections are displayed in the table below. The highest seat figures in each polling survey have their background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded. 68 seats were required for an absolute majority in the Parliament of Catalonia.

Voting preferences

Vote intention

Polls shown below show the recording of raw responses for each party as a percentage of total responses before disregarding those who opted to abstain and prior to the adjusting for the likely votes of those who were undecided to obtain an estimate of vote share. The highest percentage figure in each polling survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then no figure is shaded.



Summary of the 25 November 2012 Catalan Parliament election results
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Won +/−
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 of Catalonia (PPC) 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 ballots 52,898 1.46 –1.47
Total 3,635,170 100.00 135 ±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
Source: Department of Interior and Institutional Relations
Vote share
Blank ballots
Parliamentary seats

Results by province


Investiture voting

21 December 2012
Investiture voting for Artur Mas (CiU)

Absolute majority: 68/135
Vote Parties Votes
Yes Yes CiU (50), ERC (21)
71 / 135
No PSC (20), PP (18), ICV (13), C's (9), CUP (3)
63 / 135
0 / 135
1 PPC deputy missed the voting.
Source: Historia Electoral


  1. 1 2 3 4 Poll results are shown projected over candidacy votes (that is, votes going for political parties, excluding blank ballots). The vote percentage in the official election is calculated including blank ballots into the estimation. In order to obtain data comparable to both the official results as well as those of other polls, a rule of three has been applied to the poll projections, with the results of the calculation being shown instead.
  2. This poll provides data ranges, approximations and/or various electoral scenario hypotheses calculated using similar weighting parameters. In order to simplify, the average of these data is given.


  1. "Mas: "I have decided to dissolve Parliament and call an election for 25 November"" (in Catalan). El Punt Avui. 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  2. Spain's Catalonia region to hold early elections on Nov 25, Reuters
  3. "Organic Law 5/1985, of 19 June, of the General Electoral Regime".
  4. "Organic Law 6/2006, of 19 July, of Reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia".
  5. "PSC, PP and ERC criticize the variable geometry of a Mas defending "broad consensus"" (in Spanish). El Economista. 2011-07-06.
  6. "Sánchez-Camacho to Mas: 'The variable geometry will not always work'" (in Spanish). El Mundo. 2012-01-18.
  7. "Mas and Sánchez-Camacho sign the CiU-PP pact for the budget" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 2011-06-11.
  8. "CiU and PP ally again to maintain the sanitary cuts" (in Spanish). El País. 2011-10-20.
  9. "Catalan parties assess the independence demonstration" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 2012-09-12.
  10. "Independentism marks the political agenda in a critical autumn for the Spanish State" (in Spanish). Gara. 2012-09-23.
  11. "CiU, ICV-EUiA, ERC and SI negotiate a resolution for self-determination" (in Spanish). El Periódico de Catalunya. 2012-09-24.
  12. "Mas sets course for self-determination" (in Spanish). El País. 2012-09-24.
  13. "Mas: "Ningú no pot utilitzar les armes contra la voluntat d'un poble"". Nació Digital. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  14. "Catalan election: Mas asks for an absolute majority like the one of the Scottish SNP for a referendum" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 2012-11-19.
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