SUPPORT for independence is waning in Catalan and swinging behind a united Spain, an opinion poll by the region’s government has revealed.

Some 53.3% of voters say they were against independence versus 38.8% in favour of separation, according to the survey by Catalonia’s Centre for Opinion Studies. 

In a similar poll conducted in May last year, support for independence was on the knife-edge when 44.9% of people voted for Catalonia to be its own country. 

Oriol Bartomeus, a politics professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, said that the momentum in support for independence had apparently started to drop shortly after the Socialists came to power in 2018 and Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister, opted for dialogue to defuse tensions. 

His party is reliant on votes from Catalan nationalists to pass legislation.

Bartomeus said: “The independence movement grows with confrontation, Sanchez’s strategy, with a much softer reaction, removes some of the independence movement’s arguments and weakens it.

He added that the poll showing minority support included foreigners living in Catalonia, who cannot vote, which would be a blow to the camp that favours independence.

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