A MAJORITY of Catalans believe a planned independence vote in November should not go ahead if, as expected, the ­referendum is declared illegal, two polls showed, as the Spanish region prepares for a stand-off with Madrid.

Catalan President Artur Mas has promised a referendum allowing Catalans to decide whether they want the northeastern region to break away from Spain. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to block the move in the courts, saying such a vote would be unconstitutional.

The vote would come nearly two months after Scotland's vote on independence, which came about following the 2012 agreement between Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond.

Mr Mas has said a "yes" vote in Scotland would be positive for Catalonia's independence movement.

Just 23 percent of those surveyed in a Metroscopia poll published in El Pais said Catalonia should press ahead with the referendum, even if it is declared illegal.

This is the stance of Mas's coalition partner, the separatist party ERC.

The poll showed 45 percent of those surveyed believed ­Catalonia should respect the decision of the court and 25 percent said the region should look for other legal ways to redraw its relationship with Spain.

A NC Report poll, published in La Razon newspaper, showed 55 percent of Catalans would not support the referendum if declared illegal. Both polls surveyed 1,000 people.

The wealthy region of seven million people has its own language and cultural identity and has long sought greater self-rule.