CiU victory in Catalan elections

Convergencia i Unió (CiU) has emerged victorious following the regional elections in Catalonia with 62 seats – previously it held 48 seats. Although this does not give them an overall majority in the regional government it does mean that they have many more seats than their nearest rivals the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) with 28 seats – their worst results ever – and the PP, which despite obtaining the best results ever, still only has 18 seats in the Catalan parliament – four more than previously.

One of the most surprising results following last nights elections was the results for Solidaritat Catalaña (SI), a new political party led by the former chairman of Barcelona football club, which won four seats. However, Esquerra Republicana was another loser in last nights elections holding onto just 10 seats –previously it had 21 seats while ICV also obtained just 10 seats. Ciutadans gained 3 seats while Plataforma per Catalunya ended up with no representatives in the Catalan parliament.

CiU obtained 38.43% of the votes compared to 31.52 previously while support for the PSC fell from 26.81% to 18.33%. The PP increased its share of the vote from 10.64% in 2006 to 12.34%. Support for ERC fell significantly from 14.06% in 2006 to just 7% in last night’s elections.

Following news of the CiU’s results in last night’s elections Artur Mas, the leader of CiU, said that he received the news of his party’s victory with ‘a mixture of humility, responsibility and hope’. He added that ‘we are proud of the victory but will not boast about it’.

The future president of the Catalan parliament said that the ‘times to come would not be easy ones’ and that he would need to act responsibly while conscious that he had received votes from people who had never voted for his party before.

He also said that despite the hard times to come he hoped that the future of Catalonia would be based on its greatest assets – its ‘level of humanity and its people’. For this he asked for Catalonia to mobilize itself using all of its energy. Artur Mas said that ‘we need everybody’s help and emphasized that this meant everybody, political forces as well as non-political ones.

Finally Mas asked the Catalan people to build a better country with more freedom, respect and prestige so that they could feel proud of Catalonia. He promised to fulfil his role as President of the Catalan regional government with the greatest spirit and commitment to service.

Participation in yesterday’s elections for the Catalan parliament rose from 56.04% in 2006 to 59.92% in 2010.