THE number of those who have so far turned out to vote in today’s Catalan elections has fallen by 12 points since the last election in 2017.
So far, 22.7 per cent of voters have turned out, a figure which has fallen since the last election.
A total of 5.6 million Catalans are expected to vote in an election that is expected to result in a hung parliament.
Experts believe voter turnout could play an important role in this close contest, with low voter figures potentially swinging the results in favour of one party over another.
While in person voting has fallen, the postal vote has broken the record in an election in Cataluña with more than 265,000 votes received, representing an increase of the 277 per cent compared to the 2017 elections.
The polls so far seem to suggest a three-way draw between ERC, Junts and the Catalan branch of the PSOE, the Partit dels Socialistes de Cataluña (PSC).
Candidates for the Catalan regional election argued at the last televised debate before voters went to the polls. Former Health Minister Salvador Illa received the most criticism as polls show a tie between his Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and separatist groups.
The election campaign in Spain’s northeastern region, where nearly six million people are eligible to vote, has been marked by the coronavirus pandemic. Applications for mail-in ballots have tripled since the previous election in 2017, according to the postal service.
A quarter of the 82,251 citizens who were selected to staff the voting stations have requested to be excused from their duty, reflecting widespread fear about contracting the virus.
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