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Catalan support for split from Spain grows: poll

Catalan pro-independence supporters hold a giant "estelada" (Catalan separatist flag) during a demonstration called "Via Lliure a la Republica Catalana" (Way of Freedom for the Republic of Catalonia) on the "Diada de Catalunya" (Catalunya's National Day) in Barcelona, Spain, September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Support for Catalonia’s independence from Spain has grown in recent months, a survey showed on Friday, with people in the northeastern region in favor of a split overtaking those against one.

The poll comes eight months into a political deadlock at the national level after two inconclusive general elections that have left parties jockeying for power and so far unable to form a government.

Catalonia, which has its own language and accounts for about a fifth of Spain’s economy, has long harbored a strong separatist movement.

Pro-independence parties have since last year held a majority in the local parliament, though public support for a breakaway has ebbed and flowed since soaring in 2012 at the height of a nationwide recession.

According to the survey published on Friday by the regional government’s official pollster, 47.7 percent of Catalans responded positively when asked if they wanted Catalonia to become an independent state. Some 42.4 percent said no.

Since this question was introduced in the survey in 2015, the “no” had always outweighed the “yes” bloc, although in the last poll from March, both camps were broadly equal. Last year the official pollster carried out its survey on four occasions.

Support for independence spiked despite infighting among separatist parties in Catalonia in recent months, which according to the poll has drained backing for small leftist party CUP, which blocked a regional budget bill.

Reporting by Sarah White and Carlos Ruano; Editing by Tom Heneghan