Half French back regional independence referendums

Following Catalan referendum, an online poll found 53% of French people would support independence votes for regions such as Corsica or the Basque Country - as long as violent scenes could be avoided

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More than one in two French people are in favour of independence referendums for regions such as Corsica or the Basque Country, according to an online poll.

A total 53% said they would support such ballots on condition they were 'well-organised' and took place amid 'serene and well-organised democratic conditions' according to the study for francinfo and Le Figaro following the recent vote in Catalonia, Spain.

A similar number (52%) said authorities should 'take into account' the wishes of the Catalan people. The remainder believed that the result has no authority.

The Spanish government has suspended the Catalan parliamentary session planned for Monday in which a declaration of independence from Spain was expected to be made.

Organisers of the referendum said the vote was 90% in favour of independence, but the result has not yet been published. A total 2.2million people, 42% of the electorate in Catalonia, took part in the vote, amid chaotic and often violent scenes, as security forces tried to prevent the ballot taking place.

Eight out of 10 said they were shocked by scenes in Catalonia on the day of the vote, and laid the blame entirely at the door of authorities in Madrid.

But 69% said that Catalonian independence would be bad for Spain. A total 59% believe it would be bad for Europe, and more than half (54%) said it would adversely affect France.

The online poll, conducted by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting for franceinfo and Le Figaro, took place between October 4 and 5. A representative sample of 986 French adults from across the political spectrum took part in the study.