I don't often wade through polling datasets in the Catalan language for this blog, but it may be worth doing it in this particular case. As I've noted a couple of times over the last few weeks, the result of the Catalan referendum makes it phenomenally improbable that the anti-independence side would have won if they hadn't boycotted the vote. You'd have to believe in an ultra-high turnout and that practically all of the extra voters would have voted No - which stretches credibility beyond breaking-point, given that we know large numbers of Yes supporters were prevented from voting by the police. The only other possibility to cling to is that there was widespread falsification of results - essentially the mirror image of the wild conspiracy theories about the Scottish indyref result that unionists here love to scoff at. Judging from the reports of observers, there in fact seems to be compelling evidence that the vote was extremely well and fairly conducted under the circumstances. And yet, in spite of the compelling mandate for independence staring them in the face, the BBC website has taken to innocently finishing articles about Catalonia with a variant on the following: "Catalans are split on independence. An opinion poll earlier this year showed 41% in favour, 49% against." The pretty obvious subtext being that outdated opinion polls are more authoritative than actual referendum results.
Even if you believe that the BBC's favourite poll was bang-on accurate at the moment it was conducted, is it really so implausible that public opinion has changed since then, allowing us to reconcile the poll result with the referendum result? Of course it's not. Scottish public opinion proved extremely volatile over the final few weeks of indyref campaigning, and we didn't have the provocation of state authorities telling us it was illegal to vote and attacking us with truncheons and rubber bullets if we attempted to reach a polling station. The new Catalan poll today confirms that there has been a significant swing in favour of independence since the pre-referendum period, sufficient to give Yes a majority.
I, més concretament, vol que Catalunya esdevingui un Estat independent? (And, more specifically, do you want Catalonia to become an independent State?)
Yes 48.7% (+7.6)
No 43.6% (-5.8)
The fieldwork dates were 16th-29th October, and with Don't Knows excluded the results are roughly: Yes 53%, No 47%. Percentage changes are from the same polling organisation's figures in June.
The 'less specific' question asked by the poll is a multi-option question on various constitutional options - a bit like Scottish polls that chuck in a 'Devo Max' option. Outright independence is the most popular single option with 40.2% support. It's true that if you combine support for all of the options that involve Catalonia remaining within the Spanish state, you reach an overall majority - but, crucially, one of those options is Catalonia becoming a state in its own right within a federal Spain, which is clearly not on offer in the real world. That explains why there is a pro-independence majority on the binary Yes/No question.