In Catalania Poll shows more citizens favour independence than not

More Catalans favour independence than not, a regional government opinion poll showed on Tuesday, in a sharp reversal of the last survey that gave pro-unity supporters a clear lead.

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Police stand in front of people holding a Catalan, Spanish and European flags during a demonstration of pro and anti-Catalan independance in front of the Press Club in Brussels, on October 31, 2017 during a press conference of Catalonia's dismissed leader play

Police stand in front of people holding a Catalan, Spanish and European flags during a demonstration of pro and anti-Catalan independance in front of the Press Club in Brussels, on October 31, 2017 during a press conference of Catalonia's dismissed leader

(BELGA/AFP)
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More Catalans favour independence than not, a regional government opinion poll showed on Tuesday, in a sharp reversal of the last survey that gave pro-unity supporters a clear lead.

According to the latest poll, carried out by the Catalan government's polling institute between October 16 and 29 with close to 1,340 interviews, 48.7 percent responded yes to the question: "do you want Catalonia to become an independent state?".

Just 43.6 percent said no.

In the last such poll conducted in July, those against independence were close to 50 percent, while those in favour stood at 41.1 percent.

The last time there were more Catalans in favour of independence than against was in June 2016.

The poll comes as Madrid imposes direct rule on the semi-autonomous region after the Catalan parliament declared independence on Friday.

This followed an outlawed referendum on October 1 in which separatist leaders say 90 percent voted to split from Spain.

A mere 43 percent turned out, however, and the referendum was unregulated.

While Catalans are divided over the question of independence, they treasure the autonomy of their region highly and Madrid's imposition of direct rule is likely to have riled some.

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