LESS than a quarter of Catalans want to continue seeking independence from Spain as regional elections loom, a new poll has revealed.

Just 24% of locals polled by Metroscopia said they would want to seek secession after the December 21 elections, while 71% said they would prefer politicians to reach an agreement that includes Catalunya remaining part of Spain.


But an outcome is difficult to predict given the survey’s margin of error at 2.4% and the fact support was evenly split between the two sides.

The telephone poll surveyed 1,800 Catalans between November 20 and November 22.

Losing the majority in the regional parliament would be a heavy blow for Catalan separatists who have billed the election as a vote on Madrid’s decision to impose direct rule in October.

Secessionist parties are forecast to win 46% of the vote, down slightly from 47.7% in a previous election in 2015.

Unionist parties combined would account for another 46% of votes, up from less than 40 percent last time.

Turnout for the election is predicted to reach a record 80%.

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