Bringing Secessionism into the Mainstream: The 2012 Regional Election in Catalonia

Guillem Rico, Robert Liñeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

49 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Called two years ahead of schedule, the 2012 Catalan election was held in a context of economic recession, controversial austerity measures, growing political disaffection, and increasing popular support for Catalonia’s independence. The election was mainly marked by the decision of the incumbent moderate nationalists to advocate for the region’s secession from Spain, in the wake of a massive rally in support of the independence of Catalonia. In this article we report on the context, the campaign, and the results of the election, and assess the likely reasons why an unexpectedly high number of voters chose to defect from the incumbent. Additionally, we use survey data to investigate the rapid conversion of a substantial portion of the Catalan public to favour independence, formerly regarded as a rather extreme position, after the 2010 Constitutional Court’s controversial decision to curtail the region’s reformed Statute of Autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-280
Number of pages24
JournalSouth European Society and Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2014


  • Catalan Identity
  • Devolution
  • Eurozone Crisis
  • Nationalism
  • Referendum
  • Spain
  • Subnational Elections


Dive into the research topics of 'Bringing Secessionism into the Mainstream: The 2012 Regional Election in Catalonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this