Expatica news

Catalan separatists could win absolute parliamentary majority: partial official count

Catalan separatist parties were on course to win an absolute parliamentary majority in a crucial regional vote Thursday, official partial results showed, with 95 percent of the ballots counted at 2215 GMT.

The three pro-independence lists were on course to win 70 of the 135 seats in parliament — two less than their previous tally of 72 seats in 2015.

The three parties which are clearly in favour of Catalonia remaining a part of Spain would capture 57 seats — far short of the 68 seats needed for an absolute majority.

Pro-unity party Ciudadanos, which was formed in 2006 to fight Catalan nationalists, won 36 seats, up from 25.

Voter turnout hit a record high, soaring above 80 percent, as politicians from both camps portrayed the election as crucial for Catalonia’s future.

The campaign has been marred by the surreal image of leading separatist candidates campaigning from jail or exile.

The election is likely to be followed by weeks of haggling to form a government.