The Catalonia region of Spain is voting today in local elections which, while not directly an independence vote, are considered a proxy for independence support.

Background on Catalonia and Spain is explained in this English-language Spanish website, An historical look at the drive for an independent state of Catalonia.

This Vox-like Spanish website has a series of “cards” explaining what is going on, Catalonia explained in 21 cards.

The Daily Mail reports:

More than five million Catalans are expected to go to the polls for today’s Spanish local election which could lead to a push for independence in the north-east region.

Opinion polls are predicting that the majority of seats in the local Parliament will be won by pro-independence parties, which may force a vote on a referendum.

Secessionists have long pushed for an independence referendum, but Spain’s central government has not allowed one, arguing it would be unconstitutional because only it can call such a vote.

Sunday’s election is for Catalonia’s 135-member Parliament, located in the region’s capital Barcelona.
Secessionists argue that if they win 68 seats, the result would give them a democratic mandate to initiate a split from Spain that could include a unilateral declaration of independence.

The central government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says it will use all legal means to prevent Catalonia from breaking away, an exit European leaders warn would include ejection from the European Union.

Polls have forecast a slim win for the pro-independence parties. But they also indicate that the leading bloc of separatist parties ‘Together for Yes’ will likely need the support of the extreme left-wing CUP to cobble together a majority of seats needed to launch their push to sever century-old ties with the rest of Spain.

We will update when vote results are known.

UPDATE: Independence parties have won a majority of seats, though just under a majority of votes.

Reuters reports:

Separatists have won a clear majority of seats in Catalonia’s parliament, preliminary official results showed on Sunday, in an election that set the region on a collision course with Spain’s central government over independence

“Catalans have voted yes to independence,” acting Catalan regional government head Artur Mas told supporters, with secessionist parties on track to secure 72 out of 135 seats in the powerful region of 7.5 million people that includes Barcelona….

The main secessionist group “Junts pel Si” (Together for Yes) was on track to secure 62 seats, while the smaller leftist CUP party would get another 10, according to official results with 97 percent of the votes counted.

They would jointly obtain 47.8 percent of the vote, on a record turnout of 78 percent — a big boost to an independence campaign which has been losing support over the last two years.

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[Featured Image via YouTube]