IT is now 8 pm on election day in Catalunya, and the first predicted results are just coming through on regional television station TV3.
According to the official and independent survey carried out at the polling stations, the results would largely confirm expectations with no major surprises, although still with the variable of who will come in first.
The survey suggests that Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) would claim the top spot with between 36 and 38 seats in the regional parliament, followed by the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC) with 34-36 seats.
Third would be Junts with 30-33 seats, followed by the Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) with seven.
Fifth, sixth and seventh places would be a three-way tie between En Comu Podem, Vox and Ciutadans (Cs) with six to seven seats.
Finally, the Partido Popular (PP) would claim between four and five seats, with the PDECat hanging between either not making it into the Generalitat at all or claiming a maximum of two seats.
Polling stations are now beginning to close with the vote count set to begin imminently.
By 6 pm, the level of participation had dropped by 22% compared to the previous autonomous elections in 2017, with 45% of the electorate casting their votes.
However, these figures do not take into account the surge in postal votes, which still have to be added to the totals.
Either way, abstention has not been as high as initially feared, with analysts pointing out that participation levels are similar to those registered in other recent elections in Europe during the COVID pandemic, such as Portugal at the end of January.
If these suggested results are confirmed, the pro-independence sector – ERC, Junts, CUP and PDECat – would have obtained more than 50% of popular support for the first time ever.
Furthermore, if all nine parties finally make it into the Parlament, it would constitute the highest number of political options ever present in the Generalitat, with the previous ‘record’ sitting at seven.
Also highly significant would be the entrance of far-right party Vox into the Catalan parliament for the first time, following the trend already seen in previous regional elections in Madrid, Andalucia, Murcia and the Basque Country.
More to come.