Dhe Illa effect was not enough. In the Catalan regional elections, the socialists suddenly attacked the separatist top dogs: with former Health Minister Salvador Illa at the top, they soon took the lead in the counting. But even their narrow lead at the beginning did not help them to victory. Because it became clear much faster that the vseparatist parties had won 74 of the 135 seats. In the end, the socialists and the separatist ERC were even tied with 33 mandates.
Even before the election, the pro-independence advocates announced that they would definitely not work with Illas’ socialists. In Barcelona, therefore, the separatists will presumably continue to be the government. But they have to pull themselves together first, because a bitter fratricidal war is raging between the ERC and the JxCat party of former regional president Carles Puigdemont. Your last government alliance failed a year ago. According to the preliminary final result, the more moderate ERC with Pere Aragonès could provide the head of government for the first time.
Political earthquake for the right camp
For the right-wing camp, the early regional election brought a political earthquake. From a standing start, the right-wing populist Vox party made it into parliament with 11 members and even overtook the conservative People’s Party (PP), which received only three seats. Vox had led a xenophobic election campaign against the “Islamization of Catalonia”. The big losers were the national liberal Ciudadanos, who could lose up to 30 of their 36 seats so far. After the illegal independence referendum on October 1, 2017, most supporters of unity with Spain voted for the party in the last elections.
Only a good 53 percent of the voters took part in the election; In 2017 it was almost 80 percent. Many stayed at home because they feared infection. At first it was feared that not enough election workers would be available. The regional government originally wanted to postpone the elections to the end of May because of the pandemic. But the Catalan Supreme Court did not allow that. When people infected with Covid also cast their votes in the evening, the election workers put on protective clothing that is usually only worn in clinics.