The Catalan Left made huge gains in elections this week. Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) known as Esquerra, campaigned for Catalan independence but on a slogan of “A New Country for Everyone”.
ERC, attracted 277,000 extra voters, nearly doubling its percentage support (from 7% to 13.7%) and more than doubling its representation, from 10 seats to 21.
While all pre-election polls foresaw a rise in support for the ERC, none predicted this level of gain (the average of predictions was 16-17).
The ERC gain was greatest in the rural and regional areas where support for Catalan nationalism is strongest (reaching 26.7% in the shire of Conca de Barberá, and averaging 17.7% and 17.4% in the provinces of Girona and Lleida respectively).
The party also recorded strong gains in the urban neighbourhoods of Barcelona, often displacing the Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) as the second force behind the right wing nationalist CiU.
ERC Chairperson Oriol Junqueras, said the result “had clearly strengthened the process towards independence”. The result showed explicit support for independnece and also for those who want to see “a more just social and economic alternative”, he said.
Other Left parties including, Catalonia Greens (ICV) did well, ICV secured 10% of the vote and 13 seats.