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Voting has ended in Catalonia, Spain’s northeastern region. According to the exit polls, parties that support secession from Spain have a clear majority in the next parliament. However, no party won an absolute majority.

The ruling center-right, nationalist CiU party is set to win 54-57 seats, the left wing pro-party ERC is expected to double its presence with 20-23 seats, These parties alone already pass the threshold for a majority: 68 seats. This could have implications for the euro.

Together with  ICV-EUiA (pro referendum) and CUP (pro-independence), the independence cause has between 89 and and 96 seats out of 135. Real results are pouring in.

For live election coverage, this local newspaper provides minute by minute updates in Spanish. The elections was called after Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy gave a clear NO to any demands by Catalonia.

Adding other smaller parties, support for independence is clear. However, if these are the results, it is a disappointment for Artur Mas, the current president of the Generalitat: he rode on the nationalistic sentiment that followed the September 11th rally, and declared elections in order to receive a mandate for moving towards a referendum for independence.

He also expected to enlarge the CiU’s share in the parliament, and even win an absolute majority. It now seems that the party will actually have less seats than the 62 it had in the previous chamber.

The elections show a shift to the left among the pro-independence parties.

Here is more background on these elections, and the current crisis between Spain and Catalonia.